Happy Iced Tea Day!

Fellow-sweet tea drinkers rejoice: today is National Iced Tea Day! Yes, it’s pretty true … there is a “day” for everything. But this is one day that I am excited about! I mean, I clearly love sweet tea, so any day to celebrate it I am all for. After all, sweet tea is a way of life down here in the south, so it only makes sense to have a designated day to this southern staple.

tea 1Now that you know what a glorious day today is, I can’t have a blog with “sweet tea” in the title and not post some sort of tea-related post now, could I? I mean, what kind of person would I be if I withheld my passion for this fabulous summertime concoction?

So in honor of this holiday (yes, holiday), I have decided to share some of my favorite sweet iced tea recipes. If you’re boring, weird, sick, lack taste buds, or just have poor taste and prefer to drink your tea unsweetened (like my hubby. Yes, I am ashamed), please click the little X on the upper corner of your browser. (J/k, you don’t have to do that. You can just omit the sugar from these recipes. But be warned, they may not taste good. Just sayin’.)

tea 4Get ready for some front porch sippin’ and get to fixin’ the goods. Here we gooooo!

Sweet Mint Tea

Mint tea is one of my all-time favorites. There’s just something about the combination of mint and tea that is so refreshing! It’s absolute perfection on a hot summer day.

2 family size tea bags
2 quarts boiling water
10 sprigs mint
1 cup sugar (or to taste)
2 lemons, sliced

1. In large tea pot, pour boiling water over tea bags and mint and allow to steep for 20 minutes.
2. Place sugar in 2-quart pitcher (that will tolerate some heat).
3. Pour freshly brewed tea (minus mint and tea bags) into sugar and stir until sugar is dissolved.
4. Place in refrigerator until ready to serve.
5. To serve, pour into tall glasses over ice.
6. Serve with lemon slices.
Serves 8.
Recipe source.

Classic Southern Sweet Tea (my grandmama’s recipe)

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This is what I grew up on in Savannah. My grandma made it, my aunt makes it, my mom makes it, and now I make it. It’s what my dad likes to call “syrup.” (P.s. Sorry the directions aren’t more specific. This is how we share recipes in my family. Measurements, what?)

2 family size tea bags (Tetly or Lipton)
1 1/2 c. sugar

1. In a pot or microwave-safe bowl, heat tea bags and about 4 cups of water to boiling.
2. Add sugar to a one-gallon pitcher, then pour hot tea mixture over (minus the tea bags). Stir until sugar is devolved.
3. Fill pitcher with cool water and stir.
4. Pour over ice and serve with lemon, if desired.

Sparkling Sweet Tea

The recipe came from The Loveless Cafe’s website (the most amazing southern restaurant in Nashville), so it has to be good, right? Yep, right.

A twist on the classic- Sweet tea with a little fizz!

2 cups sugar
2 cups water
1 large family size tea bag
Club soda or sparkling water
Ice and lemon

1. Bring water to a boil and add tea bag. Reduce to simmer and let simmer for one minute before removing from heat. Let sit for five minutes.
2. Remove tea bag, add sugar and return to medium heat to help dissolve sugar. Once dissolved, transfer to a glass bottle or jar and cool the concentrated tea syrup completely.
3. To serve, add a few tablespoons of syrup to a glass, add a splash of club soda and stir to combine. Add ice, top with more club soda and lightly stir as to not lose carbonation.
4. Garnish with fresh lemon and enjoy.
Photo and recipe source.

Sweet Tea Julep

Is it Friday night yet? This is another one I can’t wait to try! Sweet tea vodka is my summertime go-to, and you can’t beat a good mint julep.  But here, a combination of sweet tea AND a mint julep? I think I’ve died and gone to cocktail heaven.

Sweet Tea Julep ~ A Tennessee take on the classic bourbon-based cocktail. Delicious!

½ gallon Classic Sweet Tea
12-15 sprigs fresh mint
Tennessee whiskey

1. In a glass, muddle 2-3 sprigs of fresh mint. Add 1.5 ounces of whiskey (more or less to taste).
2. Fill glass with ice and top with cold sweet tea.
3. Garnish with a mint sprig and enjoy!
Photo and recipe source.

Sweet Peach Tea
Sweet tea, ginger, peach, mint … what’s not to love about this recipe? It just screams southern deliciousness!

Sweet Peach Tea recipe

1 ounce tea leaves (Earl Grey or Darjeeling, about 1/3 cup loose tea or 7 bags)
1 lemon, sliced
1 piece ginger (about 2 inches), peeled and smashed
1 quart boiling water
8 cups ice cubes
2 peaches, peeled, pitted and diced
1/2 cup sugar
8 sprigs mint
1 peach, pitted and sliced

1. Place tea, lemon and ginger in a heat-proof container and add boiling water. Let tea steep 7 to 8 minutes.
2. Place 4 cups of the ice in a pitcher, then pour in tea.
3. Blend diced peaches and sugar in a blender until smooth; mix into tea.
4. Serve in glasses over remaining ice and garnish with mint and peach slices.
Photo and recipe source.

Sun Tea

Nothing like a glass of classic sun tea. This one takes some time, but it’s well worth the wait. Just stick it outside in the sun in the morning before work and you’ll have a perfect pitcher of tea in time for dinner.

Sun Tea. Photo by Chef*Lee

4 family size tea bags
1 1/4 cups sugar or sugar substitute
Water, to fill container
Lemon wedge, for garnish
You will also need a 1 gallon container or jug with lid.

1. Fill your pitcher with the water, and tea bags.
2. Let the tea sit in the sun for most of the day, a prime full sun location is best. (It usually takes 4-6 hours of being in the sun in order to steep.)
3. When bringing the tea in, boil one cup, and then mix it with the sugar (in the summer, the heat from outside can often times be enough to dissolve the sugar). Boiling the cup of tea only helps to make dissolving the sugar easier.
4. Combine the sugar, tea, and more water to make one gallon.
5. Pour over ice and serve with a lemon wedge.
Note: You can eye ball the tea, and bring it in after the tea looks dark enough.
Photo and recipe source.

There you have it! A few delicious sweet tea recipes to try this summer.

Oh, and if you’re anything like most of us southerners and you like your tea extra sweet, don’t be afraid to add more sugar. Sweet tea calories don’t count! (Shh … don’t tell my trainer I said that.) Maybe I should start experimenting with honey and agave nectar recipes … hmmm.)

Anyhoo … What’s your favorite way to drink tea? Do you have any super-yummy sweet tea recipes that you swear by? If so, leave the recipe in the comments below! I am always down to try new recipes.

Thanks for stopping by, happy sweet tea drinking, and always remember …
tea 5

Still thirsty? Check out even more delicious sweet tea recipes from The Loveless Cafe!

tea 6


Leave a comment

  1. June 10, 2014 / 3:21 pm

    You forgot the other favorite kind of sweet tea! The vodka kind!!

    • Blakeley
      June 10, 2014 / 3:23 pm

      Oh no girl, there’s a mention of it in there! In the Julep section :). I could NEVER forget our fave!

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