Sweet Tea Recipe – ice cold freshly made sweet tea that is perfectly smooth and delicious. The secret ingredient cuts the acidity and makes the perfect southern-style sweet tea!
Our family loves sweet tea, especially at a party or BBQ. One of my favorite things to do is sit in the backyard and watch the kids play while I sip on an icy glass of sweet tea. I thought it was about time I shared my Perfect Sweet Tea Recipe.
The Secret Ingredient
This sweet tea is the perfect balance of flavors, and a pinch of baking soda gives it an ultra smooth finish. Baking soda is the secret ingredient that makes this sweet tea recipe so good! It cuts the natural acidity of the tea which means you don’t have to add as much sugar.
What is Sweet Tea?
Sweet tea is not just tea with sugar added. Sweet tea is a strongly brewed tea with sugar added while the tea is still hot so it is smooth and sweet. Adding the sugar to the tea while it is hot allows it to dissolve completely. Then it is chilled and kept ready to serve in a large pitcher.
How to Make Sweet Tea
- Start by making a tea concentrate with 10 regular sized tea bags and 4 cups of boiling water.
- Let tea steep, then add sugar to hot water so it can dissolve.
- Once the sugar dissolves, add baking soda.
- Then add 12 cups of ice water, a mixture of ice and water that equals a volume of 12 cups.
- Serve chilled.
Note: This recipe was originally published in March 2013. The recipe is the same. Photos and text have been updated.
- 10 regular sized Lipton tea bags
- Fresh filtered water
- 1 1/2 cups of sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon of baking soda
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil, remove from heat and add tea bags.
- Let tea steep for about 10 minutes.
- Remove tea bags and add sugar to hot water.
- Stir until sugar is completely dissolved.
- Add baking soda and stir again.
- Pour tea and sugar mixture into large pitcher.
- Add 12 cups of ice water and stir until cooled.
- Serve over ice.
Makes one gallon of sweet tea. Serve with fresh lemon slices and mint, if desired.
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