Sweet Tea

Total Time:
25 min
10 min
10 min
5 min

8 to 10 servings

  • 1 -ounce loose black tea
  • 1 quart hot water
  • 1 quart room temperature water
  • Simple Syrup:
  • 5 cups sugar
  • 3 cups cold water

Infuse loose tea into hot water for 4 to 5 minutes. Strain tea into room temperature water. Sweeten with simple syrup if desired.

For simple syrup, in a small non-reactive pot combine 5 cups of sugar and 3 cups of cold water. Slowly bring to a boil and add 6 sliced lemons and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Remove from heat. Allow to cool 10 minutes and strain.

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    Perfect recipe! I have a lot of tea bags left so I weighed 1oz of them (4 regular bags, and I cut the simple syrup recipe to 1cup water and 2/3cup sugar (I didn't want to store extra because it only takes 2 minutes to make, then added it all to the tea. Perfect! Just enough sweetmake without being overly so. Thank you! 
    Update-- I just realised I had initially intended on making the simple syrup with 2/3 water and 1cup sugar. I'm glad I mixed them up though. It was perfect the way I fixed it.
    I love sweet tea and was delighted to find this recipe! I especially like making enough simple syrup for several batches, portioning it, and freezing it. It is then a snap to whip up additional batches of sweet tea during the work week. I add lemons & limes and mint from the garden into the syrup and it makes a fabulous tea!
    I love this tea. It's just what I needed. I was a little confused as to how much syrup to use, but one can only guess.... it's like sweeting your coffee: EVERYONE'S DIFFERENT! Thanks, Alton! You are a genius!
    The recipe seemed simple, but it was unclear with regards to how much syrup to add. Like the Yankee I am, I added the whole batch of simple syrup and then had to spit out my first sip! Whoa, too sweet. If I didn't have to dilute my tea with 2 other batches, this recipe would have earned 5 stars.
    This is some mighty fine sweet tea... I read all the reviews with all these people asking what was Alton thinking with all the simple syrup going in the tea... if you can READ, he tells you to use the syrup to sweeten the tea as DESIRED, not dump it all in. Anyways... READ directions and don't use all the syrup...

    Enjoy... I did.
    The simple syrup is really quite good.
    A good, solid recipe for making ice tea. Instead of using a quart of room-temp water, I weigh 2 pounds of water and ice (which comes out to a quart) so it cools down faster.

    @"Way too sweet": You should think before dumping 5 CUPS OF SUGAR into 2 quarts of tea. What were you thinking!!! The 5c. sugar/3c. water is a formula for a large batch of simple syrup, some of which you will use to sweeten the tea. Add as much sugar as you like, but for heaven's sake, don't add all of it!

    @"WHAT???": Too many ingredients? What are you smoking? The ingredients are water, tea, and sugar. Add lemon and mint if you like. What's complicated about that? Your recipe is just as complicated. The fact that you use tea bags shows you're not the tea expert you think you are. Orange Pekoe or better grade loose tea leaves is far superior to the fannings and dust put into tea bags. Just boil water, add tea leaves, remove tea leaves, add cool water/ice and sugar. How hard is that? In fact it's the SAME METHOD as yours except this one uses loose leaves and sugar syrup. You could add the sugar straight to the hot tea (like your recipe) with the same exact result, but the syrup allows guests to sweeten their own tea to taste. We like to keep lots of sugar syrup on hand, it allows us to sweeten all sorts of cold drinks (tea, coffee, mixed drinks, etc.) and the syrup will dissolve into the drink (unlike sugar).
    why on earth does it take so many ingredients to make a pitcher of tea?
    I live in Georgia, and have lived all over the south for my entire life. NEVER EVER in my life have I seen someone put so much mess in their tea. It's ridiculous.

    Take 2 family sized tea bags.
    Place them in small sauce pan.
    add about 3 cups of water.
    Bring to simmer then turn it off.
    Add 1 to 2 cups of sugar, depending on taste.
    Pour into serving pitcher over ice.
    Add water to fill the pitcher.
    Add more ice and stir.

    Then pour it into your cup and drink.

    SIMPLE. No fuss, no muss.

    Alton...darlin', I think you just went a little too crazy on this one. I normally love your recipes...but I'm just not sure what to think at this point.
    This is just like the Sweet Tea that my Grandmother used to make all of my life. She was from Kentucky and Iced Tea was a staple of the dinner table year around.
    This recipe says it makes about 8 to 10 servings and has 5 cups of sugar. That would be like drinking syrup. I have lived in the south for over ten years and I love the sweet tea! But this recipe was way out of proportion. I was so embarrassed when my southern friends tried my tea and almost gagged by the syruppy texture. I had to make 3 1/2 more gallons of unsweetened tea so this could taste right. Big Disaster. I would recommend using just 1 cup of the simple syrup per gallon. You can always add but not take away.
    It makes the summer worth the humidity and heat ;)
    This is the best sweet tea I have found. Its just laike my grandmother used to make it. Its "summers day on the front porch swing" good. Definentally a keeper!
    I like the mint and lime
    Best sweet tea recipe I've encountered. Mint leaves are optional. Without the mint leaves, it tastes just like my mom made growing up.
    I am originally from Alabama but live in Florida (not so southern) now, and have been looking for a recipe that tastes like home. This is definitely it! I used 1 3/4 cups of the simple syrup with the tea, and it came out perfect! If it didn't taste right to some of the other people, it may be the type of tea they are using. I used 12 regular bags of Luzianne tea (which amounts to 1 oz.), and it worked better than the brand I had tried previously, i.e Lipton, etc.... I didn't try loose tea, but this batch turned out so well I don't think I need to!
    This should be called the "Perfect Cup of Iced Tea" to go along with the "Perfect Cup of Tea". It's the perfect mixture, I myself prefer to drink it without the syrup.
    It takes a lot of time to make versus the quick easy tea bags.But i'm sure it would taste really good.
    This was really sweet tea, with a lot of lemon.
    This Sweet Tea is wonderful! Easy to create and a winner for our Women's Group meetings.
    This tea is sooo yummy. Thank you Mr. Brown. And my Fiance and i love your show.
    ardnek in MI
    The first time I tried Sweet Tea was when I was in Georgia 3 years back. This recipe is very simple and produces a very tasty iced tea. Kudos To Alton.....

    Yes and don't forget using the mint!
    pretty good for tea
    It was ok not good not bad ok
    I agree with the other reviewers in that this is an awesome recipe. My only advice is - don't forget the mint. Mint is the key to this one, it's just not the same without it. Lately I've crushed the mint stems slightly and the flavor has only gotten better. Too bad there are only five stars!
    Probably the best sweet tea I have every had
    very gooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooood
    Living in the south where sweet tea is the norm, I found this sweet syrup to be different and delicious.
    I want to use this tea and make a mint julep-like drink.
    I loved this recipe. I keep a bottle of the syrup on hand. Since i am on a diet, i used splenda and it turned out just as good. I make 2 syrups, regular sugar and splenda, and have them on hand for company and parties.
    Oh my this is wonderfull-I don"teven sweeten my tea !
    Very easy recipe
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