How to Make Perfect Southern Sweet Tea

It’s only fair that I share my recipe for Perfect Southern Sweet Tea since my blog name is Sweet Tea & Saving Grace, right?  Anybody who knows me knows that I love sweet tea.  I think my mom even put it in my baby bottle.  It’s just what you do here in the South, y’all.  Sweet tea is a staple at all meals, including breakfast, and is the lifeblood of the South.  It’s what gives us our fabulous accents!  (That’s not a scientific fact but I bet it’s the truth, so we’ll go with it.)

Sweet Tea
For those of you who live in the South, you might have another variation of this method, and may add more or less sugar, but it’s all about the same.  If you’ve never had real sweet tea, well, first of all, bless your heart!  You are missing out!  Also, you might want to start with less sugar and adjust it to your taste.  In my house, the sweeter the better!  My grandmama’s sweet tea was so full of sugar it poured slow like syrup.  (Not really, but it sure tasted like it!)

Without further ado, here is my recipe and tried-and-true method for making Perfect Southern Sweet Tea….best served over ice in mason jars.

What you need:

–> 2 family-size Lipton tea bags
–> 2 cups sugar (more or less for taste)
–> 1 gallon pitcher
–> small saucepan
–> wooden spoon

001Fill a small saucepan with water.  Add two family-size Lipton tea bags and bring to a boil.

002After the water boils, remove the saucepan from heat and let it steep for a couple minutes.  (Just let it sit there and cool just a bit.)

While it steeps, add two cups of sugar to a gallon sized pitcher.

003Use your wooden spoon to press the tea bags up against the side of the saucepan as you pour hot tea over the sugar, squeezing as much tea out of the tea bags as possible.

Stir until sugar dissolves completely.  Then, add a little water to the saucepan and squeeze the tea bags into the pitcher again.  (I do this 2 or 3 times to get all of the tea out of the tea bags.)

Fill pitcher with cold water and refrigerate until serving.

004In case you’re wondering, yes, we really do drink out of those gorgeous and large mason jars every single day.  We like the big ones like this: Ball Jar Mouth Quart Jars.  Also, we keep this Savannah Glassware Co. dispenser in our fridge for easy pouring.

Sweet tea, much like Southern accents, go with anything, so pour a tall glass, grab a seat on the front porch swing, and enjoy the sweet nectar of life!

*contains referral links

*linking up at Be Awesome

7 Responses

  1. Bless yout heart Kirsten, you do know your sweet tea! I’m a southern gal rellocated by military family to California. One thing I’ve never changed is our sweet tea. I would like to offer a saving tip, we’ve always used. The price of tea is as bad as coffee. We’ve (passed down for generations) always I used 1 family tea bag, and steep it. I start my tea in the morning as we generally drink the gallon up in a day. Once boiling turn the burner off, I pop the lid on and just let it sit there usually till midafternoon when the previous days gallon is just about gone. Pour it up, and fill pot once again with fresh water to rinse out any extra dribbleof flavor we can squeese from the this blessed little bag of goodness. Then 1 an 3/4 cup of sugar and fill gallon jug to the brim with cold water to make todays amber juice of the Gods. 6 or 7 ice cubes in a glass and I’m ready to sit and check out a few new websites.
    This doubles your supply of tea! Happy sippin!

  2. Awesome tips Karlea! Thanks so much! I accidentally bought the big gallon-sized Lipton tea bags but I like them now – I make one big tea bag and split it between 2 gallon pitchers. We’ve always got 2 gallons of tea ready to go!

  3. Thanks for sending me the link to this, Kirsten. This looks delicious and certainly sweet! I’ll have to give it a try with my English tea bags and see how it works out 🙂
    Emma x

  4. LOL! I read the title of the post to Fred and before I could say more he said “You just run on over to Chuck Fil A and order you a gallon. Take it home and serve it over ice with some lemon.” He about passed out when I told him how much sugar you put. 😉

  5. LOL! Silly Fred, Chick-fil-A doesn’t make their tea nearly as sweet as my own! And no lemon. Bleh. Speaking of sweet tea, I’ve got a pot on the stove that just finished boiling! Gotta go make a fresh pitcher!


I'm Kirsten & I'm happy you're here! Sweet Tea & Saving Grace supports women seeking to find balance in the busy, deepen their faith, and instill joy and love in their homes, lives, and blogs by providing encouraging and inspiring content and valuable resources. My prayer is for you to leave here better than when you came. Be blessed!