Southern Style Sweet Tea Recipe

Just like mom used to make, this Southern Style Sweet Tea Recipe is simple and easy. A staple in my house growing up, this one is as perfect as it gets. Not too sweet and totally refreshing!

Easy to make and ready in minutes, Southern Style Sweet Tea is simple and refreshing. |

Disclaimer: This post is created in partnership with MacKenzie-Childs. All opinions and statements are my own, as always.

There are things in life that can totally take you back to a memory in about half a second….a certain smell…..the sound of an ocean….the taste of your favorite childhood treat. Know what I mean? Like the report cards they handed out in school when I was teeny, tiny had a certain smell, and whether you did well or not in school would determine if this was a good smell or bad. (For me, it depended on the year.) 🙂 Every time I drive to the beach, I put the windows down as I cross the bay bridge because the smell of the ocean immediately transports me back to my childhood summers when our one week trip to the beach each year was the highlight of my life. The smell of the salt air always puts me in a happy place and should be bottled up for the long winters when I start to feel much less beachy.

Easy to make and ready in minutes, Southern Style Sweet Tea is simple and refreshing. |

This Southern Style Sweet Tea recipe has the same effect.  My mom used to make this almost every day, it seemed.  There was never a time, that I remember, our refrigerator being without a gallon of sweet tea.  It was the first recipe I ever remember making from scratch and, to be honest, we didn’t even call it sweet tea.  We just called it Iced Tea….being that we’re not southern in any stretch of the imagination. So, when I started hearing all about Southern Style Sweet Tea I was dying to try it….and on a business trip to Birmingham one swampy summer I finally got to try the real deal Sweet Tea!

Easy to make and ready in minutes, Southern Style Sweet Tea is simple and refreshing. |

One sip and I was instantly reminded of the tea my mom used to make by the bucket full. SHE was making SWEET TEA….ALL
MY LIFE! So, no wonder I have an instant connection with all southern food like Chicken Fried Steak…..or Shrimp and Grits. Well, maybe not the reason but I truly think that I’m supposed to be a southern gal. It’s in my blood….I don’t know how it got there but the whole southern lifestyle is more my speed.

Easy to make and ready in minutes, Southern Style Sweet Tea is simple and refreshing. |

Now I’m making my own Southern Style Sweet Tea this summer and it’s just as good as I remember my mom’s to be.  I like to serve it up at parties on a big tray like this one from MacKenzie Childs along with a bucket of ice (because some people are not as big of an ice fan as I am), some simple syrup (because who wants sugar granules floating around in their tea!), sliced lemons (for those that like a little pucker with their sweet). Kind of a “Build your Own Sweet Tea” bar, if you will. And I love to toast the season with beautiful glassware like these MacKenzie Childs Butterfly Garden Tumblers. The beautiful pattern is speckled with the classic MacKenzie Childs Courtly Check design and is perfect for entertaining friends.

Easy to make and ready in minutes, Southern Style Sweet Tea is simple and refreshing. |

To make your Southern Style Sweet Tea even sweeter, mix in a little bit of Homemade Lemonade for a DIY Arnold Palmer or serve with a splash of your favorite sparkling wine and a handful of fruit for a tea-rific twist on Sangria!

Southern Style Sweet Tea

Course: Beverage
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: sweet tea
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12 -14
Calories: 96 kcal

Classic and refreshing, this is the same sweet tea recipe my mom used to make!



  • 4 cups water plus more for filling pitcher
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 teabags
  • lemon wedges if desired


  1. Bring 4 cups water to a boil over high heat and stir in the sugar until dissolved.
  2. Turn off the heat and add the teabags.
  3. Steep for 15-20 minutes.
  4. Remove the teabags and transfer the tea to a gallon pitcher. 
  5. Fill the pitcher with water and chill. 
  6. Serve with lemon wedges and simple syrup, if desired.

Recipe Notes

Tea can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator for up to 10 days.

Nutrition Facts
Southern Style Sweet Tea
Amount Per Serving
Calories 96
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 4mg 0%
Total Carbohydrates 24g 8%
Sugars 24g
Protein 0g 0%
Calcium 0.3%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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