How to Make the Best Southern Sweet Tea
Down here in the south, sweet tea is a staple. Its priority is right up there with milk and eggs. I drink tea year-round and with every meal – including breakfast.
However, I just don’t understand how people can pay for those jugs of pre-made sweet tea! Don’t y’all know how easy it is to make sweet tea? Well, I have decided to take on the responsibility of curing everyone’s tea-jug-buying habit.
First of all, it is very important that you imagine me saying all this with a southern accent. M’kay?
Let me break down the cost for you. Red Diamond Sweet Tea costs about $2.50 per gallon. A box of 100 Lipton Tea Bags costs about $3. If you use 4 tea bags to make a gallon of tea, that means you will make 25 gallons of tea per box of tea bags. That works out to 12¢ per gallon. A savings of $2.38 per gallon. Even if you work in the cost of sugar and a cute new tea pitcher, it is still cheaper to make your own.
Now, if great savings does not sway you, what if I said homemade tea tastes better? Because it does.
And, because I love you all dearly, I am going to share my super-top-secret Southern Sweet Tea recipe.
You will need:
- Pan or Kettle to boil water
- 1 Gallon or 2 Quart Pitcher
- 4 Regular Tea Bags (or 2 Family Size) – any brand (I recommend Lipton – but NOT the cold brew!)
- 1/2 Cup – 1 Cup of Sugar
First, bring some water to a boil. I use this handy tea kettle that I got at Ikea, but you can boil it in a saucepan or whatever you have on hand.
Pour boiling water into your tea pitcher. Make sure to use a pitcher that is safe to hold hot liquids. Don’t use glass!
Remove 4 small tea bags from the package and brew in the hot water. I drape the paper part over the side, but my husband likes to wrap the string around the tines of a fork, and lay the fork across the top of the pitcher.
Let the tea brew for a few minutes. I don’t really time this, and I don’t really think it matters that much, but I’d guess around 5 minutes.
Take out the tea bags and add cold water to fill the pitcher. You can add ice too, if you want.
Add sugar. I like mine pretty sweet and use about 1 cup for for my 3 Quart Pitcher. I’d suggest adding a little, stirring, and tasting until you get it just right.
Pour over ice and enjoy!