Southern-Style Sweet Tea

A shady front porch and a glass of this iconic Southern beverage are the perfect combination for a warm summer afternoon.

  • Prep Time 10 min
  • Total Time 2 hr 30 min
  • Servings 8

8
cups (2 quarts) cold water
6
tea bags iced tea
1
to 1 1/2 cups sugar
Ice
Lemon slices, if desired
Fresh mint sprigs, if desired

  • 1 Heat 4 cups of the water to boiling. In large heatproof bowl, place tea bags; pour boiling water over tea bags. Cover with foil; let steep 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and discard tea bags.
  • 2 Add sugar to tea; stir until sugar is dissolved. Pour into large heatproof pitcher. Stir in remaining 4 cups cold water. Refrigerate until chilled.
  • 3 Serve tea well chilled over ice, garnished with lemon and/or mint.

Expert Tips

If you can’t find tea bags labeled “iced tea” at your grocery store, use any type of black tea bag. If family-size tea bags are available, substitute 2 family-size bags for the 6 regular-size bags.

If you like your tea super-sweet, use 1 1/2 cups of sugar. If you’re preference isn’t as sweet, only add 1 cup.