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+ servings
two glasses of sweet tea with a pitcher

The Best Southern Sweet Iced Tea

Homemade Southern-style sweet iced tea is an easy drink recipe that is perfect all year round!
5 from 6 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 20 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Drinks
Cuisine American
Servings 12 glasses
Calories 97 kcal


  • 1 gallon water
  • 3 pitcher sized black tea bags or 10-12 regular-sized tea bags
  • ¼ teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • fresh mint optional; choose only one garnish
  • lemon optional; choose only one garnish
  • peach slices optional; choose only one garnish
  • raspberries optional; choose only one garnish


  • Bring half of the water up to a boil over high heat. Once it has reached a rolling boil (constant big bubbles), remove the pot from the heat and add in the tea bags and baking soda. Allow tea to steep for 5-6 minutes, but no longer.
  • After 6 minutes, carefully remove the tea bags from the pot without squeezing the liquid from the bags. Add in the sugar and stir until dissolved.
  • Add the remaining cold water to the tea mixture and pour it into a pitcher.
  • Pour tea over ice in a tall glass. Add mint leaves or sliced lemons, as desired.


Calories: 97kcal | Carbohydrates: 25g | Sodium: 39mg | Potassium: 1mg | Sugar: 25g | Calcium: 10mg | Iron: 1mg
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