This Southern Sweet Tea Recipe is an easy-to-make classic iced tea recipe that's ever-so-popular in the South. You can make this sweet tea with a sugar substitute or regular sugar, so it's not only tasty and refreshing - it's guilt-free too! Ready to make it?
- WATCH: How to Make Sweet Tea
- You'll love this Southern Style Sweet Tea
- Southern Sweet Tea Recipe Ingredients
- How To Make Southern Sweet Tea
- How to Serve Southern Sweet Tea
- Best Sweet Tea Recipe Tips
- How to Store Homemade Sweet Tea
- Southern Sweet Tea FAQs
- Homemade Sweet Tea (Sugar Free)
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WATCH: How to Make Sweet Tea
You'll love this Southern Style Sweet Tea
I have a funny sign in my kitchen that says: "Here in the South...we don't hide crazy, we parade it on the front porch and give it sweet tea." 😉
Lately, it feels like we're all a bit crazy, right? Let's all grab a glass of sweet tea and parade ourselves around on the front porch. That'll give the neighbors something to talk about, right?
Classic Southern Recipe
Is there any other drink that is more classically Southern than sweet tea? Here in the South iced sweet tea is more than just a drink - it's practically a way of life. 🙂 Think rocking chairs and front porches - peacefully sipping away on a delicious glass of refreshing tea served over ice on a hot and humid day.
Guilt-Free Sugar-Free Iced Tea
For sweet tea lovers looking for a homemade healthier version that's sugar free - here you go! Tasty and guilt-free. Gotta love that. This recipe has no calories, no fat, no protein, and no net carbs.
Keto Sweet Tea
This is a keto-friendly sweet tea. I used a granulated monk fruit sweetener but you can use your favorite sugar substitute as long as it is a 1:1 sugar ratio. The nutritional analysis of this recipe, including the optional baking soda is in the recipe card. Yes - for real...it's all zeros!
Southern Sweet Tea Recipe Ingredients
- Boiling Water
- Family Size Tea Bags - black tea is traditionally used but you could also use green tea.
- Sugar Substitute - with a 1:1 sugar ratio (or regular sugar)
- Optional - baking soda
- Garnish - lemon wedges and mint leaves
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
Be sure to save this pin to Pinterest for later! 😉
Substitutions and Variations
- Flavored syrups such as peach or raspberry are a wonderful addition. Many are sweetened so be sure to use sugar-free if needed.
- Use green tea bags in place of the black tea bags.
- My mother used to make sun tea when I was growing up! Place cool water and tea bags in a pitcher (covered) and place out in the direct sun for 3 to 5 hours. The amount of time will depend on how strong you like your tea. Taste it periodically.
How To Make Southern Sweet Tea
1. In a saucepan heat water to boiling.
2. Add the tea bags and steep for 8 minutes.
3. Remove the tea bags. Add sweetener and whisk to dissolve the sugar.
4. Allow the tea to cool then transfer to a glass pitcher and refrigerate.
How to Serve Southern Sweet Tea
Sweet tea is best served over a full glass of ice, a lemon wedge, and even a sprig of mint. The mint adds a refreshing taste to the tea - perfect for a hot day!
Best Sweet Tea Recipe Tips
- Use any favorite sweetener with a 1:1 sugar ratio. If you are not following a sugar-free diet then by all means use regular sugar if you'd like.
- You can use 4 regular sized tea bags for every one family sized bag.
- If you don't like the "bite" of tea you can add 1/2 tsp of baking soda while the water is warm. This will make the tea more smooth tasting.
- Everyone has a different sweet preference. Some like it very sweet others not so much. Adjust your sugar to your liking. If you aren't sure start with 1/2 cup sugar up to 1 cup.
- This recipe calls for 2 to 3 family-sized tea bags for every 8 cups of water. If you prefer your tea on the stronger size use 3 tea bags. For a more medium flavor use 2.
- If you were to try the tea straight with no ice it will seem strong and very sweet. Remember that once you add it over ice the ice will begin melting and dilute the taste.
How to Store Homemade Sweet Tea
Store your homemade sweet tea in a covered pitcher or jar up to 1 week in the fridge.
How long is homemade sweet tea good for?
Homemade sweet tea is good for 3 to 4 days, but for the freshest taste, it is best to drink it the first day! Enjoy!
Southern Sweet Tea FAQs
4 regular tea bags equals 1 family-sized tea bag.
By adding baking soda to sweet tea it will neutralize the tannins in the tea giving it a much smoother taste. It's completely optional of course!
The quickest way is to boil water; however, you can make a cold-brewed ice tea by placing tea bags in cold water in a pitcher. Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for 12 hours.
Unsweet tea has no calories. If you follow this recipe, the tea will have 1 calorie, depending upon the sweetener you use.
Yes, sweet tea contains black tea which has caffeine. Black tea contains about 47 mg of caffeine per tea bag. This sweet tea recipes contains approximately 47 mg per serving.
Homemade Sweet Tea (Sugar Free)
- 8 cups boiling water
- 2 - 3 (family-sized) black tea bags (4 regular sized tea bags can be used for every 1 family size)
- ½ to 1 cup sugar substitute with a 1:1 sugar ratio (regular sugar may be used; adjust to taste)
- optional: ½ teaspoon baking soda (used to reduce the tannins and tanginess of the black tea)
- for garnish: lemon wedges and mint leaves
- In a saucepan, heat water to boiling.
- Add tea bags and steep for 8 minutes.
- Remove tea bags, and while the water is still hot, add the sweetener whisking to dissolve. (Optional: add ½ teaspoon of baking soda to remove the bitter taste of the tea.
- Allow tea to cool then transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate. Serve over ice along with lemon wedges and mint leaves.
- Use any favorite sweetener with a 1:1 sugar ratio. If you are not following a sugar-free diet, then by all means, use regular sugar if you'd like.
- Use 4 regular-sized tea bags for every 1 family-sized bag.
- If you don't like the "tangy bite" of tea, add ½ tsp of baking soda while the water is warm. This will neutralize the tannins in the tea.
- Everyone has a different sweet preference. Some like it very sweet, others not so much - feel free to adjust the sugar to your liking. If you aren't sure, start with ½ cup sugar and add more to where it's perfect for you.
- This recipe calls for 2 to 3 family-sized tea bags for every 8 cups of water. If you prefer your tea on the stronger side, use 3 tea bags. For a more medium flavor, use 2.
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