I'm not too snobby about many things but when it comes to a glass of sweet iced tea I've set my standards high and I have learned over the years how to make sweet iced tea perfectly.
What is a perfect pitcher of sweet iced tea
- You brewed the tea and let it sit too long before making your pitcher of iced tea.
- It’s been in the refrigerator a few days.
- You brewed it, made it and then let it sit out and get warm. Keep your tea chilled!
Making Sweet Iced Tea may seem pretty simple but the technique is what makes a crystal clear glass of sweet iced tea. Follow my instructions and I promise you a perfect pitcher of sweet iced tea each time.
This recipe makes a half a gallon of iced tea. You can double it and make an entire gallon. You probably should just go ahead and make a gallon. Nothing tastes better than a fresh glass of sweet iced tea on a hot summer afternoon.
- Preparing your tea while the tea is still hot is what gives you a crystal clear pitcher of iced tea. If you wait until the tea has cooled you will end up with a bitter and cloudy pitcher of tea.
- It also allows the sugar granules to dissolve. I hate it when the sugar doesn't dissolve and sits on the bottom of my glass.
- Chill completely before serving over ice so the warm tea does not melt the ice in the glass.
- Do not add ice to the pitcher of sweet iced tea. It will water it down and lose much of the flavor
- Garnish with a wedge of lemon, lime or a slice of orange.
- Garnish with fresh mint or lemon verbena.
How to make Sweet Iced Tea
- 8 cups water divided
- 6 tea bags Lipton Black Pekoe Tea
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 whole lemon (lime and mint for garnish)
- Add 4 cups of water to a medium size saucepan and bring to a roiling boil. Boil the tea bags for about 2-3 minutes. Remove the pot from the hot burner.
- Steep tea for 10 minutes.
- Measure sugar and add to pitcher
- Pour the still hot tea over the sugar. Stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Add the remaining four cups of water and pour it into the pot with the tea bags. Swirl the pot around a little bit to allow the tea bags to release that last bit of tea goodness from the tea bags. Pour the tea water into the pitcher.
- Chill completely before serving and serve over ice.
Recipe Expert Tips
- Chill a big pitcher of this sweet iced tea recipe before serving with a wedge of lemon and a sprig of fresh mint.
I have drank sweet tea for as long as I can remember and I am 59 years old. I make my tea 2 gallons at a time. I pour the hot tea over the sugar and stir it until it is dissovled. Then I keep refilling the pot with water running over the tea bags and pouring it into the container. It gets all the tea flavor. Then put it into the frig to chill. If you don't drink all the tea in about 4 days it starts turning sour. Between my husband and myself we will drink all of it before then. We drink sweet ice tea all year long.
Being a Georgia transplant, I have had to instruct quite a few people on the fine art of making "sweettea". It is imperative that you add the sugar in the last minute or two of cooking, you don't want the sugar just to melt, you want that chemical reaction with the sugar/heat/tea that makes a truly distinctive taste. You will see this chemical reaction happen, don't have the pot too full.
just double checking...only 4 cups of boiling water is added to the tea bags, the remainder of water (4 cups) is at room temperature and added to the already steeped tea bags.
That is correct. Enjoy!
I'll make two batches and use my ice cube tray to fill with tea then use it for cubes in the drink. Thanks
That is a great way to keep the ice from diluting your iced tea. If you like lemon in your tea you could even add a half slice to each ice cube cavity. The you won't need to use a lemon slice! Thanks for stopping by!
I love it! I feel your passion!! I grew up on this stuff.... delicious. And lately, Ive been craving tea, tea, tea...... sweet tea that is!