How To Make Iced Sweet Tea (Video)

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A lot of folks have asked me how I make my sweet tea so today I’m bringing you a video showing you exactly how I do it. Hope you’ll join me for a glass!

This is how we make our sweet tea but everyone has their preference. If you prefer a weaker tea, use fewer tea bags. If you like it sweeter, taste it and then add more sugar to suit you. Note: Most restaurants use a much more sugar than this :). We always go through a full gallon a day (at least) but if you have any left you can just store it in the refrigerator and enjoy over the next day or two!

Sweet Tea

  • 5 Tea Bags*
  • 3/4 Cup sugar (more if you prefer)
  • Water

Remove tags from teabags and place in small pot. Fill up pot most of the way with water (exact amount doesn’t matter as long as the tea bags are covered and then some). Place on medium to medium high heat and bring just to a boil. Remove from stove eye and prepare your pitcher.

Fill pitcher halfway (or so) with cold water. Add your sugar**. Add hot tea. Stir until sugar is dissolved and fill remainder of pitcher with cold water. Serve over ice.

*We use Orange Pekoe tea but you can experiment with making iced tea with other teas as well. Earl Grey makes a delicious iced tea!

**I prefer to use Splenda or Ideal Sweetener in my tea but use the same amount as I would were I using sugar.

The trick to having a good smooth tasting tea is to avoid adding hot tea directly to the sugar or sugar directly to the hot tea. This scorches the sugar and creates a very bitter taste in your tea. To avoid this, place cold water in your pitcher first, add your sugar to that, and then pour in your hot tea.

If you have a traditional coffee maker, I talk about how to make sweet tea in that in this post.

Funny Family Stories of Sweet Tea

One time my mother was watching a television talk show and they were talking about how much Southerners love sweet tea. The host said “Well it’s no wonder, they’ve probably been drinking it since they were four!” Mama took objection to this and huffed “Four? I was putting it in your baby bottles by the time you were two!” ~giggles~

My Grandmother Lucille spent a great deal of time at the elbow of my Great Grandmother (Mama Reed) after she was married learning how to cook. A lot of the daughters in law and mothers gathered at Mama Reed’s house on Sundays to help prepare the big meal. Shortly after Grandmama joined the clan she was given the task of making the Sweet Tea. Back then it was made in a large glass recycled pickle jar. Grandmama poured the hot tea directly into the jar and set to stirring it up vigorously with a long handled metal spoon. A few clinks later and the jar shattered, sending sticky sweet tea all over Mama Reed’s clean kitchen floor. Everyone had a good and gracious laugh about it but Grandmama said “I liked to never got the sticky off’n that floor!”

How young were you when you started drinking sweet tea?

Do you have any special or funny memories of Sweet Tea in your family?

I’ll pick one of the comments below to win a Luzianne Prize Pack

Winner announced on this post and notified tomorrow evening. Giveaway closes at noon central time Friday, July 1st.

This Giveaway is now closed. Congratulations to Joan Whitaker! I’ve been in contact with Joan and given her directions on how to claim her prize. Have a great day and thank you!

Disclaimer: This post was not sponsored by Luzianne nor was I compensated for doing it. I just think it’s awfully good tea. I also think y’all need to go make some right now.

“Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how.”

Submitted by Jenny (thank you, Jenny!). Submit your quote or read more great quotes by clicking here.

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  1. I’ve just started making sweet tea in my instant pot and it’s so quick and easy. Guess we’re never too old to learn new ways to do old recipes.

  2. I was raised in Alabama and still here. The way I make my tea is I put my water in a boiler and use 4 family size Luzianne tea bags. Now the best part is I put light brown sugar in my tea, about 1 1/2 or 2cups. the best you will ever drink. I use a 1 1/2 gal. pitcher.

  3. I am from Idaho but I’m completely convinced that I have the soul of an old southern woman! I absolutely LOVE all southern foods and hello Sweet tea! I spent a year in Arizona and while out at an eatery ordered sweet tea and was told they don’t have sweet tea because they’re not far enough south. Ridiculous! High tailed my butt back to Idaho where it is evidently south enough to sell sweet tea!

  4. I have no idea how old I was when I first had tea, but it was young! I crave it when I’m sick, I think it can cure anything! My kids had it in their first zippy cups. I only make it a couple times a week now, but when our kids were always home, it was a gallon a day!

  5. I grew up in South(ern New) Jersey spending every Summer in Biloxi, Mississippi. So my version is probably a little “yankee-fied”. I use Red Rose Tea because it is the purest brand in the US (least chemicals of any other brand used on the tea leaves plus you get little porcelain whimsies in the box!) and I make a simple sugar syrup to sweeten it that you can add per glass. HAVE to have lemon too! I make 4 gallons a week with gallon jugs of distilled water I buy especially for the tea. I boil one gallon of the distilled water in my big stainless chili pot and add half a box of tea bags (50) with the paper tags removed-AFTER THE WATER STARTS TO BOIL!- and remove the boiling water from the heat, cover the pot and let the tea steep about 10 minutes. I fish out the tea bags in a strainer and give them a good squeeze when they are cool enough to handle. (Then I lay them out to dry on a cookie sheet and I use the tea out of them for the garden or the litter box!) I put 4 cups of water from each of the three full jugs of water into the one empty jug and then add 4 cups of the tea to each jug to fill it. I use all of this in a week because I use it for hot or cold tea and sweeten it or add lemon or cream or even spices as I want to! Simple sugar syrup is essential to use to sweeten it (if you use sugar) to keep it clear!

  6. I completely dissolve the sugar into the water just as it starts to bubble, add tea bags, then turn off the heat and let steep for about 20 minutes. I don’t let the grandkids & great-grands drink soda except on rare occasions,

  7. I love this video! I started making ice tea for my husband and now he is hooked-I can’t wait to try this recipe!

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