Sweet Tea~ a Southern Favorite

Pitcher of Iced Tea with a Glass of Ice Tea.

Pitcher of Iced Tea with a Glass of Ice Tea. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We recently took our family skiing in Colorado. Let’s just say, I think I could write a book about the entire journey! One little funny thing, EVERY time we went out for dinner, my kids asked for sweet tea. My hubs and I just chuckled because we know very well that delightful concoction is served only south of the Mason Dixon line. Since we have never driven west of Alabama, we’re not quite sure where the western boundary of sweet tea service is. I’m pretty sure we’d be safe in Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana. Does anybody know if you can get sweet tea in Texas or Oklahoma? I’m guessing probably so. I’m thinking it pretty much dries up when you get to New Mexico and Kansas.

So, if that’s the case, why?Did they run out of sugar? Did the early settlers with Southern upbringing  just stop and say, “I ain’t going that far?” Did they go and come back to avoid any Yankee neighbors? I remember driving north with my Mother In Law early in my marriage( remember I married a Yankee), and having a similar experience as my kids. When I couldn’t get sweet tea, they’d offer iced tea and a little container of sugar packets. Any southerner knows that dog won’t hunt. The dang sugar won’t melt! If you did not grow up watching your momma make Sweet Tea, you can learn from mine.

Sweet Tea

2 family sized Lipton tea bags( or 4-5 regular size)


1 cup sugar

I personally prefer Lipton’s Tea. Why? Because that’s what my Momma gets! Fill a medium sauce pan with water, bring to a boil. Add the tea  bags and turn off , and let it steep for about 30 minutes. You don’t want to boil the bags , they tend to break and the tea leaves get all in the water..not so tasty. Bowling the bags will also make the tea bitter. Pour the sugar and the hot tea into your favorite pitcher. Stir until sugar melts. If you are just dying for a glass, fill the glass with as much ice as will fit and pour the sweet tea over. You can leave the pitcher on the counter during the day. My Momma and grandmothers made a fresh pitcher every day. I must say that both of my Grandmothers made their’s so sweet I had to cut it with a little water. I also admit that I made the transition to just 1/2 sweet and 1/2 unsweet. My favorite place to get my tea if I’m out and about is Chick-Fil-A…of course, they say “Yes ma’am” too!

About Debbie

I have been married for 20 years to a Yankee, have two great kids, a fun and funny Southern family, and a whole bunch of friends. I try to enjoy the journey!
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14 Responses to Sweet Tea~ a Southern Favorite

  1. Nancy says:

    I can tell you from experience no sweet tea in Texas. It’s a deal breaker for me to move there I can tell you that. They are southerns but just a bunch of people living in a hot state.

    • Debbie says:

      No sweet tea is such one of many reasons this Southern girl ain’t moving! Glad you are staying put too!

  2. Debbie says:

    My family is Southern from way back and always had sweet tea chilling in the fridge. Unfortunately, I can’t drink it — don’t even ask! I can drink all I want of hot tea, but ice tea does horrid things to my innards. Anyway, up here in Yankeeland, our McDonald’s regularly carries sweet tea, though I have no clue how close to the real thing it is!

    • Debbie says:

      Debbie, you poor thing. I guess you may as well live in Yankeeland if you can’t enjoy tea! My Yankee husband likes Mickey D’s sweet tea, but I don’t like the ice to tea ratio! CFA gets my vote!

  3. Ahhhhh Sweet Tea! Many years ago I visited your lovely state of Georgia and ordered iced tea. I had never heard of sweet tea before and was shocked when I took a big swig. It was super yummy but I have always had straight tea. :)

    • Debbie says:

      My mother in law says when they first moved south, she had a hard time finding restaurants who served hot tea! Go figure!

  4. I had to give up the sweet tea when I became a diabetic. Now I add Splenda. It was hard to switch since I was raised on that sweet tea Deb’ s Granny (my Mama) made!

  5. Becky G says:

    Well, you know i am southern and my momma and grandmomma made the best sweet iced tea there was always with lemon. I too, have cut way back and sugar…and i have learned to like it without any sugar, just lemon. The kids still add their sugar though!

  6. How I miss Chick Fil A sweet tea!!!! My BFF, Ann, gets gallons of it when we go someplace together—no joke. It is the best. I don’t really make it at home anymore—trying to get off the sugar kick but when I am in NC especially, sweet tea all the way!!!!Yum!

  7. Beth Melberg says:

    A transplant from Cherry Hill, NJ…I prefer half icetea mixed with half Sweet Tea when I order my tea. Plus, I add lots of lemon to mine. How regionally harmonious is that? ;-)

    • Debbie says:

      Beth, to be completely honest, I order unsweetened with just a splash of sweet…there I said it. I’m afraid it might cost me my Southern girl card, but I said it! I have to save a few calories for my wine!