Nothing cools off the dog days of summer like a tall, frosty glass of sweet tea. A staple on Southern front porches, sweet tea is simple to prepare, inexpensive and versatile.
Stir a tablespoon or two of pureed fruit into your glass, experiment with different tea flavors or follow my lead and add a little tartness with the addition of thawed limeade concentrate for a Lime Sweet Tea.
The key to great sweet tea is simple syrup—equal amounts of sugar and water boiled until the sugar melts. Adding it to your brewed tea sweetens it—add a little or a lot depending on your tastes—without leaving that pile of un-dissolved granulated sugar settling at the bottom of your glass.
Chill your iced tea glasses by placing them in the freezer for 20-25 minutes. A chilled glass will keep your sweet tea cold longer and a glass covered with tiny beads of condensation is part of the charm of enjoying this Southern treat.
If you’d like to let your guests sweeten their tea to suit their palates, place the simple syrup in a small pitcher and serve it alongside the unsweetened tea.
Small Pot for making simple syrup
Medium Pot for brewing tea
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 4 tea bags, regular size
- 4 cups water
- 1-2 tablespoons frozen limeade concentrate, thawed
- Combine sugar and water in a small pan and bring to a boil, stirring until the sugar dissolves. Set aside to cool to room temperature.
- Place tea bags and water in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and let tea steep for 5-10 minutes. (Steep longer for a stronger tea.) Discard tea bags and pour tea into a pitcher. Stir in the simple syrup then add the limeade concentrate to taste.
- Serve over ice and garnish with a lime wedge.