How To Make Southern Sweet Tea


Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than a large glass of ice-cold sweet tea in a mason jar. Did you know that today, June 10th, is National Iced Tea Day and that  Summerville is the “birthplace of sweet tea”? There’s even a Sweet Tea Mural at the Visitor’s Center.

You can also take your picture with “Mason” The World’s Largest Sweet Tea. Mason stands over 15ft tall and can hold up to 2,524 gallons of sweet tea. In 2016, Summerville made its way into the record books by setting the Guinness World Record for the World’s Largest (Sweet) Iced Tea on National Iced Tea Day.

When my husband and I decided to move from the Midwest to Summerville (the birthplace of sweet tea) I decided I needed to perfect my southern sweet tea recipe. After trying a few different methods of making this refreshing southern staple I have found the one that our family likes best.

Our Family’s Favorite Southern Sweet Tea Recipe

1. In a large pot bring four cups of water to a rapid boil.

2. Once boiling, turn off the heat and add in three family-size iced tea bags (we like Lipton Iced Tea).

3. Let the tea bags steep for 5-7 minutes.

4. Remove the tea bags and add in 1/2 – one cup of sugar, depending on how sweet you like your tea.

5. Using a whisk, stir the sugar into the tea mixture until it all dissolves.

6. Finally, add two quarts of cold water to the pot and stir.

7. Pour finished tea into a large pitcher and store it in the refrigerator. Serve over ice with optional lemon. Enjoy your sweet iced tea while sitting out on your piazza (that’s southern for “porch”) of course.

Do you have a favorite summer drink recipe? I’d love to hear in the comments!

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Jenni Watson
Jenni is an Independent Travel Agent with a deep passion for the Lowcountry. In fact, she and her husband love the Charleston area SO much that, after vacationing out on Isle of Palms several times, they decided to relocate their family from Illinois to Summerville. Since moving to the Charleston area in July of 2019, Jenni started a travel blog, Our Sweet Tea Life, where she shares her love of the area. Jenni is also a homeschooling mom to three daughters. In her free time she enjoys traveling with her family, spending time at the beach, volunteering at Magnolia Plantation and strolling the beautiful streets of Charleston.