Southern Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is a Southern staple drink that just screams summer. I bought a huge box of tea bags so I can make versions of sweet tea all summer long. The brand of tea that you use for sweet tea is generally considered to be important. A lot of people swear by Lipton or Luzianne Tea. I’ve only ever used Lipton for sweet tea so I can only vouch for that. As strange as it might seem at first, baking soda is typically added when making sweet tea as it reduces the bitterness of the tea and makes the drink taste smoother.

If you’re feeling fancy, you can jazz up your sweet tea by adding fruits like peaches and strawberries. Just puree fresh peaches or strawberries (I’ll let you decide how much you want to use) with about one cup of water, use a small sieve strainer to strain the juice from the pulp and add the juice to the sweet tea at the end. I don’t add sugar to my sweet tea when I add fruit, but if you’re adding both fruit and sugar, I suggest that you add the fruit first, give it a taste and then decide how much sugar you want to add. You can also make a diet version of this sweet tea recipe by replacing the sugar with 1/3 cup of stevia. Happy summer!

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Southern Sweet Tea

Sweet tea is the quintessential Southern drink. It’s cool, refreshing, and oh so delicious.
Prep Time3 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Resting time15 mins
Total Time28 mins
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 cups
Calories: 48kcal
Author: Mavis K.


  • 5 Lipton tea bags
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/6 tsp baking soda
  • 12 cups water
  • Lemon slices (for garnish)


  • In a medium pot, heat 4 cups of water until the water comes to a boil. Remove the pot from the stove. Add the tea bags plus the baking soda to the hot water and let it sit for 15 minutes.
  • Remove the tea bags and add the sugar to the tea, stir until the sugar completely dissolves. Add the remaining cups of water to the pot.
  • Pour the sweet tea into a pitcher, place the pitcher in the fridge and let the tea chill. Serve over ice with lemon slices for garnish, if desired.


Calories: 48kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Sodium: 30mg | Sugar: 12g | Calcium: 8mg

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