Southern Style Sweet Tea

This base Sweet Tea Recipe is a southern Staple. You can not go anywhere in the South without having this style of tea. Some restaurants are more sweeter than others and some offer unsweetened tea.

This recipe for sweet tea is so versatile. You can make any flavored tea that you like. I will leave some variations at the bottom of this recipe so you can try out different flavors including “Sun Tea”.

Let’s get started.


1 Gallon size Tea bag ( I use Lipton)
1 cup of Sugar ( more or less to taste)


  1. Fill up a large saucepan with cold water to about 1 to 1 1/2 inches below the lip of the pan. Add the tea bag and turn the heat to medium heat. Bring the mixture just to a boil and immediately turn the heat off. Let the tea steep for about 5 minutes or so. Discard the tea bag. DO NOT SQUEEZE THE TEA BAG AS IT WILL MAKE THE TEA BITTER.
  2. To a large tea pitcher add the sugar. Pour over the tea and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  3. Fill up the remaining portion with either Ice or Cold Water. Stir to mix and let the mixture cool completely before storing in the refrigerator.


  1. Add room-temperature water to a large tea pitcher. Add your tea bag and stir. Cover with Plastic wrap or a tea towel and place on a window sill (or your counter – Some like to sit it outside in the sun for 1 to 2 hours) and let the mixture steep for about 4 hours. Remove the tea bag and discard. Stir in your sugar and stir to dissolve. Place in the fridge to chill. Serve.
  2. You can add fresh fruit to this such as lemons, oranges, or even berries before serving.


1 cup of your favorite berries (blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or mixed berries) You can add more or less of the berries depending on your taste.


1 cup of your favorite fruits ( peaches, mango, passion fruit, or acai) Any mixture or blend will do just fine.

Herbs such as rosemary, mint, or thyme.

  1. For the fruit and berries: Add the fruit or berries to a pot and add 1/4 cup of sugar. Turn the heat to low and stir constantly until the berries or the fruit are liquid. This should take about 5 minutes or so. Pour the mixture through a strainer to remove any skins or seeds from the berries or fruit. Add to the pitcher with the sugar before adding in the hot tea to mix.
  2. For the citrus: Squeeze the juice of your favorite citrus into a pot and add 1/4 cup sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir constantly for about 5 minutes. Add the mixture to the pitcher with the sugar before adding the hot tea.
  3. For the Herbs: Add your favorite herbs to the tea mixture after you remove it from the heat so that the herbs infuse into the tea. Remove the herbs before adding the tea to the pitcher.

TO SERVE: Pour the tea into a glass filled with ice. You can add fresh fruit, citrus, or herbs as a garnish before serving. ENJOY!

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