Southern Sweet Tea isn’t unique, but it is certainly different from iced tea made in other places. Why? Well my personal experience has shown that making sweet tea in the north and out west is sweetened with fruit juices, not sugar. Ok if I wanted fruit juice, I’d have some. Can’t stand it when restaurants serve “sweet tea” and it ends up being raspberry tea.
While that might be better for you, um…it’s not Southern! We make our iced tea with sugar, plain and simple. Though some of us may use it with fake sugar, it’s still sugar!
There are two different kinds of Southern Sweet Tea. Sun tea and brewed tea.
Sun tea uses more tea and of course it takes longer to make. But beyond that, they’re virtually the same.
I have fond memories of making sun tea with my Mom in the hot Virginia summers. We had a large 2 gallon jug that she used to make sun tea. We’d fill it up and set it out on the front porch in the morning and by dinner time, it was ready!
Now how sweet you want your tea is up to personal preference. Mom used two cups of sugar per gallon. It was sweet, but not too sweet. My Man on the other hand, uses ½ cup for a gallon. So it’s up to you.
Today we use the family size tea bags. 4 to a gallon. And which brand you use also matters. We prefer Luzianne, but growing up Mom always used Lipton. We’ve made some changes to make things better. My son loves iced tea, but I don’t care for him having that much caffeine. So we use Luzianne’s Caffeine free family tea bags.
So here are our recipes.