Sustainability made simple

Authentic Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

southern sweet tea
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Pexels

Learn how to make this simple and authentic southern sweet tea drink for your next dinner party, summer BBQ, or to enjoy on a hot summer’s afternoon at home.

Southern sweet tea has been around since the 1800s and is a staple in southern cuisine. While the rest of the country prefers to drink unsweetened black tea, the south added sugar and has never looked back. You’ll most likely receive sweet tea when ordering tea in a restaurant down south. To make this delicious southern sweet tea at home, follow these simple steps.

Delicious Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

Southern sweet tea tastes best with a bit or lemon or mint as a garnish.
Southern sweet tea tastes best with a bit or lemon or mint as a garnish.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / fernandovillalobos)

Before you can taste this recipe, you’ll need a few things to get started. If using a plastic pitcher, make sure you choose one that is heat-proof and BPA-free


  • Tea kettle or large pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Pitcher or carafe 



  1. Boil the water using a kettle or a large pot on the stove. 
  2. While you’re waiting for the water to boil, add the sugar to your pitcher or carafe. Adjust the amount of sugar based on your own preferences. 
  3. Once the water has boiled, add the water into the carafe or pitcher and stir using the wooden spoon until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Tie the twelve tea bags together by their strings and let them steep in the carafe/pitcher.
  5. Let the tea steep for only 5 minutes, then remove the bags.
  6. Add cold water to the pitcher, and ice if serving right away.
  7. Add the optional lemon slices or mint leaves into each glass as a garnish, or serve on the side.

Preparation Tips

For more robust flavor, steep the teabags overnight, or add a ½ cup of lemon juice into the mixture while it’s still warm. Remember to add both ice and cold water to the mixture before serving your homemade southern sweet tea

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