Southern Sweet Tea

When I moved to North Carolina, sweet tea was a bit of a foreign concept to me. For one, I don’t really enjoy the taste of any tea (I know, shameful). Two, my parents have always had unsweetened tea, which is apparently like drinking decaf coffee to any coffee connoisseur. So I can vividly remember the first time my mom and I were in North Carolina visiting my future college and when the waitress asked her sweet or unsweet, she burst out laughing because she forgot that was a thing here.

Anyways, I digress. I’ve never had an issue not liking tea even though I am in the south. The problem came when I married a guy from Virginia. When my best friend would come to visit, she’d always bring a large mason jar of sweet tea. Finally I decided it was time to ask for her prized recipe. She graciously offered to share it with me and let me share it with y’all!

I always imagined that making sweet tea would be really difficult, I have no clue why. But let me tell you, it’s so easy. If you can boil a pot of water, you can make sweet tea. It only takes about 20 minutes to make the tea and between 2-4 hours to chill completely. Depending on how many sweet tea drinkers you have in your house, a pitcher might last you a few days to a week.

Whether you like your tea with lemon or without, this sweet tea recipe has been tried and true for over three generations! My best friend Kels is from a small, small town in South Carolina, so she knows what she’s doing. (Shout out: if you want to check out more of her tried and true southern recipes check out her blog!) It’s also approved by my husband, the entire reason this all started! Perfect thing about this recipe, besides being so simple, is you can always make your tea more or less sweet the next batch depending on how it goes.


This recipe is perfect for a summer drink or just for your year round sweet tea cravings!


Southern Sweet Tea


  • 6 Luzianne “Iced Tea” bags
  • 1 1/2 cup of white sugar


  1. Fill a small sauce pan 3/4 of the way with water and bring to a boil. Remove from heatand add the 6 tea bags tied together and let steep for 10-15 minutes.
  2. Add the sugar to your tea container of choice, and fill 1/4 of the way with HOT tap water and stir until the sugar fully dissolves into the water.
  3. After the tea has steeped, pour the tea mixture into the sugar water and stir (discard tea bags)
  4. Add warm water to the tea container until full, stir, and refrigerate for 2-4 hours until chilled

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Madison is a food blogger who is passionate about community and hospitality. She believes food is a way to bring people together around the table and strives to share easy recipes to encourage people to do just that! She lives in sunny Arizona with her husband, son and dog.

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