Traditional Southern Iced Sweet Tea—a refreshing home brewed sweet tea (using black tea bags) with great hints of lemon and a whole lot of sweetness. The perfect drink for the sunniest of days! A true Southern staple, where conversations cannot exist without a good glass.
Well—I’ve been so excited to share this recipe with you guys! If you’ve been following my blog, then you’ll know that I’m a Southern girl at heart (born + raised), so this cup of goodness brings back so many great memories and fun in the sun moments. For those of you that are in the South, I do hope that this recipe makes you proud! Haha.
While you can use any brand of black tea that you prefer, I find that the Lipton brand of tea serves the best variation of sweet tea, in my opinion. I remember seeing my Grandma and other relatives use this brand growing up, so I guess that it’s a staple at this point. Moreover, I don’t generally use these tea bags on a daily basis since I don’t ever really drink black tea, unless of course I enjoy a large cup of black tea lemonade from Starbucks. Then in that case, I’ll drink away! Haha! Going back to sweet tea—it’s really been a part of life for as long as I can remember. Much like Lemonade (for many people), this sweet tea is the epitome of a Spring, Summer, Fall, or Winter MUST HAVE in the south. Yes, ya’ll—it’s that serious!
When searching for a big box of these tea bags, I did notice that there are a ton of options available now when it comes to flavor. They even have the Southern Sweet Tea mix, which makes things a lot easier for those of us who may not have want to make it from scratch or just need a quick fix. However, I wanted to make this classic recipe fully homemade, so I chose to brew my tea bags myself and add the other ingredients. Plus, I like to mix and match and personalize the ingredients to my own preference.
To start, you have to steep your tea bags in a large pot of boiling water. To speed things up, I generally use 8 tea bags for a medium-sized pitcher (as shown in my photo), however, you can always use more if you want to have a bolder black tea flavor. Obviously for a larger pitcher, you can add an additional 2 tea bags to the brewing process. Speaking of the brewing process, thank goodness for the little strings attached to the tea bag right? I can’t tell you how many times my entire tea bag (string and all) has fallen into the pot during the steeping process. Haha. Oh, well! It’s still the perfect taste! Just continue to steep your tea bags for about an hour for the best results (but you can do up to 2 hours, if desired).
Meanwhile, you can combine your brown sugar (I find that less is more with this as opposed to pure cane sugar) and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan, over medium-high heat. Whisk until sugar is fully incorporated. Let cool.
In a medium sized pitcher (about a gallon or so), add steeped tea (be sure to squeeze out tea bags and remove!), sugar mixture, lemon slices, and 3 cups of ice and refrigerate immediately to keep it cold. Once desired temperature is reached, enjoy a nice glass!
Cheers to a fine glass of Sweet Tea!
Traditional Southern Iced Sweet Tea
- 8-10 Lipton tea bags
- 1 cup organic brown sugar (Can add an additional 1/2 cup for desired sweetness)
- 2 large lemons, sliced
- 8 cups freshly boiled water
- 3 cups ice
Start by steeping your tea bags in the 8 cups of freshly boiled water. Just continue to steep your tea bags for about an hour for the best results (but you can do up to 2 hours, if desired).
Meanwhile, you can combine your brown sugar and 1 cup of water to a small saucepan, over medium-high heat. Whisk until sugar is fully incorporated. Set aside and let it cool for a bit.
In a medium-sized pitcher (about a gallon or so), add steeped tea (be sure to squeeze out tea bags and remove!), sugar mixture, lemon slices, and 3 cups of ice and refrigerate immediately to keep it cold.
Once desired temperature is reached, add 1-2 lemon slice to an individual glass and pour over with sweet tea. Enjoy!
Traditional Southern Iced Sweet Tea.