Thursday, August 27, 2009


We had dinner the other night at a BBQ restaurant that, like all good BBQ restaurants, had sweet tea on the menu. I drank a ladylike gallon or so. You southern folks are spoiled and can get this elixir of the gods everywhere – and by “everywhere” I mean including McDonald’s. This hardly seems fair but then again, you people (ya’ll) invented it. Around here, no one knows what it is and I’m on my own.

I love sweet tea. Love it. Love it so much. For real, don’t get between me and a glass of that beverage or you will be mowed down. My family is not from the south but I guess the panhandle of Texas is close enough (and close enough to a Furr's Cafeteria) to explain my early history with The Tea. But this is not just about me. This is about you, and how you should be making your own sweet tea with the easiest recipe in the world.

It’s not healthy or fancy but it has caffeine and sugar and that’s why it’s good. Especially right now, at the hot end of summer.

Sweet Tea

8 cups of water
7 Lipton tea bags
Don't try to get all "interesting" with the tea flavor or it won't be right. No green tea allowed.

1 cup granulated sugar

Boil 2 cups of water in a kettle. Place tea bags in a large measuring cup. Pour hot water over the tea bags and let steep for about an hour.

Remove the tea bags and pour the tea concentrate into a pitcher. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Add cold water to fill the pitcher, about 6 cups. Serve over ice.

You can get all Georgia-extra-points about it and garnish it with mint and lemon wedges if you’d like to.

Makes about 2 quarts of now-you-know-what-to-make-when-I-come-over.


  1. I like Luzianne better. :)

    Just inserting your daily dose of outside negativity. lol.

  2. Last year, I took my friend from Portland to an Austin BBQ place and she embarassed the hell out of me by asking for chamomile tea. The waiter said, "We only have two kinds of tea here, y'all. Iced tea and sweet iced tea."

  3. Mary - Close enough.

    Wendi - You're going to have to keep that gal at home. Next she'll be asking for a soy latte.

  4. Sounds perfect right now!

    Karen Peterson

  5. Was that one "cup" of sugar? Excellent!

  6. Ahhh a kindred sweet tea drinking soul. I feel much the same way about sweet tea and I grew up in the Pacific Northwest!

  7. I'm a Texas girl and I've played around with the recipe to find a much quicker and lower-calorie way.

    - heat a Pyrex measuring cup full of water in the microwave for 3 mins
    - add water to a big ol' pitcher containing 3 Lipton family-size tea bags and let steep for 10 minutes
    - scoop out tea bags and add 5 packets of SweetNLow
    - fill big ol' pitcher with cold water. stick in the 'icebox' until chilled or, for instant relief, pour over a glass full of ice

    I fully believe that real sugar tastes better, but I only drink 3 things (well, 2, now that i'm sober and don't drink vodka): sweet tea and water. When you drink as much of it as I do, you can't take in that much sugar a day! We make 2 pitchers a day during the warm months which, on the Gulf Coast, is 9.5 months out of the year.

    Happy tea-drinking!

  8. I know that it's not even close to the same thing, but I recently discovered the "non-sugar" sweetened ice tea sold (and branded)by the pallet at the unmentioned mega-chain shoppers club and I can't get enough of the stuff. Not the same without the real sugar but it's better than my old daily fix of diet coke. I am going to try this recipe out the next time we have my wife's parents in town from South Carolina.

  9. I live in SC & we make a gallon of sweet tea every 3 days. We use 3 qts of water, two large (family size) tea bags and 1&3/4 cups of sugar. It's my "coffee."