Southern Sweet Tea: 1 Pitcher or Large Batch

Southern Sweet Tea: 1 Pitcher or Large Batch

Southern Sweet Tea

Doesn’t the name just make you think about sitting in a rocking chair on your front porch enjoying a summer sunset? Me too! What’s great about sweet tea is that you can drink it just as is, or use it as a base for some fun cocktails.


  • Tea- I use Luzianne for Iced Tea
  • Sugar


  • Bring water to a boil (use amount specified on package).
  • Once boiling, remove from heat, add tea bag/bags, and cover. Steep about 5-8 minutes. The longer you leave it, the stronger it will be, but don’t oversteep or it can turn bitter.
  • Add desired amount of sugar. Sugar can be mixed with hot tap water while tea is steeping to dissolve and prevent clumping. Dissolve two or more cups of sugar in three cups of hot tap water for a gallon of sweet tea.
  • Add in cold water according to package instruction and allow tea to come to room temperature before adding ice or putting it in the fridge.


For a crowd: 

Southern Sweet Tea for a Crowd

For large batches, figure out how much liquid your container holds, but be sure to leave room so you can add ice before serving. For my large container I used:

  • 16 cups water (to boil)
  • 8 Luzianne tea bags (these are for iced tea and are larger than everyday tea bags)
  • 4 cups hot water with about 2 – 2 1/2 cups sugar (to dissolve)
  • 12 cups cold water (16 minus 4 for sugar)

Boil water, turn off and steep all 8 tea bags for 8 minutes. Add dissolved sugar mixture and stir in. Allow to cool for a few minutes and pour into large serving container. Add 12 cups cold water and stir. Taste and add more sugar if needed. Allow to cool to room temp.

If you can, store in the fridge until your party, otherwise it can sit out on the counter for a few hours. About 15 minutes before party- set out and fill to the top with ice. Provide cups and ice, and cut lemons and sprigs of mint for garnish.


Cocktails that use sweet tea…

Sweet Tea Sangria


Bayou Zinger

Bayou Zinger- we substituted lemonade for the fresh lemon juice and it was good, but a bit sweet. I’d probably opt for the fresh lemon juice next time.