Southern Sweet Tea


Southern Sweet Tea is consumed by the gallons in South Carolina.  Before I moved to South Carolina, I never heard of sweet tea before. Sweet tea is believed to have originated in Summersville, SC.  Sweet tea has the same ingredients as iced tea with the exception of a little extra sugar, or maybe I should say lots of added sugar. When going to a restaurant, most southerners will order sweet tea as their go-to drink. Below are some tasty Southern Sweet Tea Recipes.

Sweet tea is not just consumed during hot summers days, but it is available in all parts of South Carolina year round.  The first recipes of ice tea were made from green tea, this was the main type of tea grown during the time period.  Most South Carolinians prefer Black Sweet Tea. Here are a few variations of Southern Sweet Tea recipes that you can enjoy!

rn Sweet Tea sc travel guide
Sweet tea

Southern Sweet tea

  1. Sprinkle a pinch of baking soda into a 64-ounce, heat-proof, glass pitcher. Pour in boiling water, and add tea bags. Cover, and allow to steep for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove tea bags, and discard; stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour in cool water, then refrigerate until cold.

Peach Sweet Tea


  • 5-6 regular tea bags (I used Lipton)
  • 1-quart water
  • 1 (15 oz) can peaches in juice, pureed in a blender
  • 1-quart cold water
  • Simple Syrup:
    1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated white sugar
  1. Boil one quart of water in a large pot. Add tea bags and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove tea bags and discard.
  2. While tea is steeping, prepare simple syrup: in a separate small saucepan, combine one cup of water and one cup of sugar and bring to a boil. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  3. Pour simple syrup into a pot with tea and stir. In a heat-safe pitcher, combine the tea with pureed peaches, and one quart of cold water. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Serve tea over ice with fresh mint and peach slices if desired. Enjoy

Raspberry Sweet Tea


  • 8-1/4 cups water, divided
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 individual tea bags
  • 3 to 4 cups unsweetened raspberries 
  1. In a large saucepan, bring 4 cups water to a boil. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Remove from the heat; add tea bags. Steep for 5-8 minutes. Discard tea bags.
  2. Add 4 cups water.In another saucepan, bring raspberries and remaining water to a boil.
  3. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 3 minutes. Strain and discard pulp.
  4. Add raspberry juice to the tea mixture. Serve in chilled glasses over ice. Yield: about 2 quarts.

Mint Sweet Tea


In a large pot bring the water to a boil. Remove pot from heat, add the tea bags, cover with a lid, and allow tea to steep in water for 20 minutes. Take a 1-gallon jug and pour the sugar into the jug and cover with some hot tap water. Stir the sugar around to dissolve while the tea is steeping. Once the tea has steeped, remove the lid and the tea bags. Pour the tea into the jug with the sugar, stir, and place the tea bags back into the jug. Stir the tea well, making sure the sugar dissolves. Fill the jug with cold water to yield 1 gallon.

To serve, pour each glass of tea and garnish with a slice of lemon and mint leaves.

Southern Strawberry Sweetened Tea


  • 4-5 family-size tea bags (I use Luzianne)
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • 4 cups ripe strawberries (makes about 1 cup of juice)
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • Frozen or fresh strawberries, mint (optional garnish)
  1. In a small pot, bring two cups of water to a boil.(could also heat in microwave)
  2. Remove from heat and add tea bags.
  3. Let tea bags steep for 10 minutes before discarding the tea bags.
  4. Meanwhile, dice up strawberries.
  5. Place in a food processor and puree.
  6. Strain pureed strawberries through a mesh strainer, reserving the juice and discarding the pulp.
  7. In a large pitcher add tea, strawberry juice and sugar.
  8. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
  9. Stir in 4 cups of cold water.
  10. Refrigerate until ice cold.
  11. Pour over ice and serve immediately.
  12. If desired used frozen strawberries as ice cubes and fresh strawberries or mint as garnish.


Enjoy these Southern Sweet Tea Recipes.  If you have any suggestions or other recipes, please leave a comment or email so we can add your favorite version of this popular drink.