Deliciously comforting Southern Sweet Tea, so easy to make but perfectly refreshing! 

Southern Sweet Tea | Grandbaby Cakes

Sad truth:  I have probably had way more Southern Sweet Tea in my life than plain water.  I know that sounds crazy but it is a fact.  A pitcher of it existed on every supper table through my youth and still finds its way into my fridge from time to time, especially when the weather warms up.

The appeal of Southern Sweet Tea is pretty clear: Ice cold tea with heaps of sugar to cut that tea tartness.  Whoever invented this was a genius!

Southern Sweet Tea | Grandbaby Cakes

Most Southerners would like you to believe that there is a real science to making this beverage but I think that’s just a bunch of hoopla that has been brainwashing folks for years.  The reality is it is quite simple to make good ole fashioned Southern Sweet Tea.  I almost didn’t have a real recipe to share in this post.  In fact, the recipe below is more of a guideline than a set recipe to follow to the tee.

With more of a detailed idea of how to create sweet tea, you can pretty much follow your gut (and taste buds) through the process to create a rendition that will satisfy your thirst whenever necessary.

Southern Sweet Tea | Grandbaby Cakes

So really you only need like 3 (or 4) things to create sweet tea: Water, tea bags, sugar and if you want to get fancy, lemon.  That’s it.  Why folks make this such a big deal is beyond me.

Now for tea bags, the South is pretty loyal to Luzianne but Lipton makes good sweet tea too so grab one of those boxes and get busy.  For sugar content, this is very subjective.  I know folks who love their tea to taste as sweet as candy and then others that like theirs a bit on the bitter side.  Again, all subjective so do what makes sense for you.  Lemon or mint?  That’s more of a new aged thing to some. My big mama certainly would think so but I love adding them to my pitcher because of the additional flavor infused in the tea and how lovely it looks swirly around in my mason jar.

When it is all said and done, making Southern Sweet Tea is no sweat, believe me, and it is a very personal thing.  Make it your own and enjoy a big glass for me, okay?

Southern Sweet Tea
Prep time
Total time
Deliciously comforting Southern Sweet Tea, so easy to make but perfectly refreshing!
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1 pitcher
  • 5 cups water
  • 5-6 tea bags (depending on how strong you want your tea)
  • ⅔- 1½ cups granulated sugar (depending on how sweet you want it)
  • Optional: Lemon and Mint
  1. Add water to a medium sized pot and boil over high heat.
  2. Once boiling, turn off heat and add tea bags. Steep for 15-25 minutes (depending on strength you prefer).
  3. Stir in sugar until it completely dissolves into the hot tea.
  4. Remove tea bags from pot then pour tea into a large pitcher.
  5. Add enough water to fill the pitcher then add lemon wedges and mint (if you would like for garnish and flavor).
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve.


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