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Recipe: Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea

This sweet tea is found in houses, churches, and cafes all over the great state of Alabama. If youre north of the Mason-Dixon, youve NEVER had tea this good Fresh-squeezed lemon, lime, or orange juice can be added for an extra flavor.

Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea Ingredients

  • 2 cups sugar

  • gallon water

  • 1 tray ice cubes

  • 3 family sized teabags of orange pekoe tea

  • 3 cups cold water, or as needed

How to Make Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea

  1. Pour the sugar into a large pitcher. Bring water to a boil in a large pan. When the water begins to boil, remove from the heat, and place the teabags in. Let steep for 5 to 6 minutes.

  2. Remove tea bags, and return tea to the heat. Bring just to a boil, then pour into the pitcher, and stir until the sugar is dissolved. Fill the pitcher half way with ice, and stir until most of it melts. Then fill the pitcher the rest of the way with cold water, and stir until blended.

Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea Nutritions

  • Calories: 96.8 calories

  • Carbohydrate: 25 g

  • Cholesterol:

  • Fat:

  • Fiber:

  • Protein:

  • SaturatedFat:

  • ServingSize:

  • Sodium: 4.2 mg

  • Sugar: 25 g

  • TransFat:

  • UnsaturatedFat:

Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea Reviews

  • This tea was wonderful but I did cut the sugar to a little over one cup. The only problem I had was when I poured the boiling water into the glass pitcher it cracked. Thinking it was an old pitcher I bought a new one and the same thing happen again. So I now disolve the sugar in the pan of hot tea and when that cools I pour it into a glass pitcher. NOTE: I only use a stainless steel pan to make my tea.

  • Im a southern girl through and through and I loved this tea My husband thought it was too sweet for him though. Thanks.

  • Would be 5 stars if the recipe toned down the sugar a bit. I used 1-1/2 cups and even think I can get away with making it with 1-1/4 cups. 2 cups to me would be way too sweet. I didnt have family size tea bags and used 4 regular size. UPDATE- My Bf is in love with this tea he said its the best.

  • Anyone in the Souoth knows that sweet tea is the ONLY tea However 2 cups of sugar for 1/2 gallon of tea is TOO much.(You dont want syrup)Cut the sugar by half, at least and you will have good tea.

  • This was so good I only made a 2-quart pitcher, so I used 2 tea bags and 1 cup of sugar and it was perfect Thanks

  • My daughter and I love this tea. Make no mistake, this tea is heavy on the sweet Ive cut the sugar down to 1 1/2 cups and *still* get a very sweet, tasty tea. Dont worry if you dont have orange-pekoe tea on hand - Ive made this using 7 regular sized Liptons Natural Tea and the results were very still very good.

  • Thank GOODNESS for this recipe My husband and I moved from Tennessee to Illinois 3 years ago and cant get a glass of sweet tea ANYWHERE up here If we take a sip of this sweet tea and close our eyes, we could almost believe we were back in Knoxville I did cut back the sugar to 1 1/2 C, maybe because Ive been living above the Mason-Dixon too long :)

  • This makes authentic, southern iced tea...so authentic I had to cut the sugar down to one cup. For the best results, use Luzianne brand tea bags and add a wedge of lemon.

  • This was a God sent .....We lived in ,Wiconsin. A person cant find a great glass of tea anywhere.This recipe was an everyday thing...No wonder why Wisconsonites drink so much beer. Were back in the South and well continue this recipe

  • I wanted to drop a helpful hint in regards to the reviewer that cracked two pitchers with hot tea.i do not remember who told me this i just remember after cracking my first tea pitcher so many years ago,someone told me to put a butter knife into the pitcher before pouring in the hot tea. the metal attracts the heat and keeps it from cracking the glass.and i have not cracked one since. hope this helps yall too.

  • VERY GOOD I am from the mountains of North Carolina and we LOVE sweet tea here This is the best sweet tea that I have ever had Thank you SO MUCH for this recipe I will be making this again and again:)

  • This how Ive been making my swet tea for years. 3-2-1. 3 family size tea bags, 2c sugar, 1 quart water. I bring the water just to a boil turn off the heat and add tea bags. After removing I dissolve the sugar in the hot tea and pour the 1 quart of liquid into a 1/2 gallon or gallon container filled with ice. Those who say its too sweet; you serve iced tea over a glasss full of ice so it dilutes it quite a bit. If you cut the sugar too much in the beginning it will be very diluted by the time it gets to the glass

  • I give it a 5 because there just isnt any substitute for good, ol Southern sweet tea As with other reviewers, I also dont like mine quite this sweet, and a good bit stronger, so I use 8 regular sized Lipton tea bags and 1 cup sugar, to make 1 gallon of tea. If I have folks coming over that dont do sugar, I will make it without, but have a container of simple syrup made and ready (2 cups sugar dissolved in 1 cup hot/boiling water) so that each person who wants can then sweeten to their individual tastes.

  • Excellent tea with less sugar. Easier to steep the tea in a tea pot with a lid. Fewer tea bags are needed with this method. Steeping with a lid on makes a stronger tea. The best way to prevent a glass pitcher from breaking when adding the boiling water, is to put a metal knife or other metal utensil in the pitcher first. My mother always did this and the pitcher will not break. Or, you could use a pyrex pitcher.

  • This is some awesome sweet tea But you comment bout not finding something this "GOOD" north of the mason dixion is a joke i am a proud Iowa girl & my sweet tea is better than this :)

  • Im from the South and this is a good recipe. However, I would recommend cutting back on the sugar. I use 1 and 1/2 cups at the very most. If you get cloudy tea, try letting the steeped tea cool for about 30 minutes before stirring it into the sugar.

  • Note: this recipe is for a gallon not a 1/2 gallon...married to an Alabama boy and this ratio is right for Alabama Sweet Tea. (2c to the gallon). Interestingly, this is the same ratio for Kool-Aid and McDonalds Sweet Tea. Another thing is the importance of mixing the sugar in with the HOT tea then chilling.

  • Just like my Maw-maws sweet tea Use Luzianne tea bags for the best sweet tea ever

  • Oh my...Im from Mississippi and I even think this is way too much sugar. It tastes great with one cup Other than that, its a great recipe

  • I made this for a friends wedding and her new in-laws were from Tennesse. They were all impressed and said it tasted very authentic.

  • I cut the sugar to 1 and 1/4 cup and added it to the tea in the pot, then added 2 caps of lemon juice. I let it come to room temp, then poured the mixture over lemon slices and chilled in the fridge for 1 hour. I served at a party and everyone loved it

  • Someone said it was too much sugar for 1/2 gallon of tea. It isnt supposed to be just 1/2 gal when finished. You are supposed to make the tea with 1/2 gallon water and THEN once the tea is done, fill it up the rest of the way---to one gallon--- with water.

  • Great tea I make this every week and take a couple of bottles to wok with me. I did however cut down on the sugar to 1-1/4 cups

  • This tea is great but I tweaked it a little, I took the 2 cups of sugar put it in a sauce pan and added 2 cups of water to it. Then brought it to a boil, stir until the sugar dissolves, let it cool and you have simple syrup. I store mine in a quart jar, it doesnt have to be refrigerated. Make the awesome tea as directed, chill and when you are ready to serve let everyone add their own simple syrup to their liking with some lemon. You dont have to worry about the sugar being too sweet or not enough. I make lemonade by the glass and use the ss, it works very well. A northern girl born and bred who now lives in Tennessee and loves it. Its a 5 star.

  • I love iced tea. I made the recipe as directed and no one could drink it due to sweetness. Next time, I used 1 cup of sugar, 8 regular sized tea bads, and a gallon of water and thought it was still alittle sweeter than it should be. I think I will cut it to 3/4 of sugar to a gallon.

  • For those of you giving lesser ratings because of the sweetness, did you miss the part where it said "Southern" sweet tea? As a Southern girl, born and raised, I EXPECT it to me almost unbearably sweet. This tea was perfect. Thank you, poster.

  • My husband is very appreciative of this recipe. He is from Georgia and loves his sweet tea. I, on the other hand, put almost no sugar in my iced tea... So he asked me to make this for him. I did a half-batch as I dont have a huge pitcher, and I used 3/4 cup sugar instead of a cup. At first he said it wasnt sweet enough, but after it sat in the fridge for an hour or two, he said it was much better. I tried it... and almost went into sugar-shock. And I love my sweets Well, he can enjoy it, and Ill enjoy my hot tea. :) Thanks for sharing, LoveCats2001

  • I have been searching for a sweet tea recipe. This one is wonderful...we got hooked on sweet tea living in TN. Now in TX can only find it at Chick fil a. This recipe tastes sooo very good I easily found the pekoe tea at Kroger.thanks for a good memory

  • Just like I remember

  • This is Alabama diabetic coma tea... the best anyone can have... no where in the world can touch the sweet tea makin from Bama... good recipe... not for the faint of heart

  • I am a student at bennett and I have to do a how to paper meaning I have to do a paper saying how to make something. And I have to make it So thankyou so much for having this recipe

  • This is a good recipe, however, you forgot the LEMON add the juice of about 6 good lemons and thats will make it better. also, i dont put ice in the pitcher - it dilutes it too much. if you pour the hot tea into a glass full of ice cubes, its not too sweet - its JUST right. add a sprig of mint, and youre really cooking with hot grease

  • Good, but too sweet

  • I did not add 2 cups of sugar. I added about 1 1/2. It was excellent

  • Being from the south myself, a lot of people dont know that TRUE southern sweet tea, is just that, sweet...and thats just way it should be....this recipe is absolutely perfect

  • LoVe it...best of all everyone always compliments me on this on. Great tastin Southern Ice Tea at its best.

  • Maybe its because Im Canadian, but Id never heard of sweet tea. Id been looking for an iced tea recipe and came across the excellent ratings on this one. I put a sprig of mint in with Ginger Green tea and some lemon slices and this was a hit Ive never heard of family sized tea bags so Ill add more bags next time and maybe use splenda because I could drink the whole pitcher to myself :)

  • I am from Texas and you can get the same excellent results by boiling 3 cups of water in the microwave with 4 (Luzianne is the best tea) family size tea bags. Let steep for a few minutes, longer if you like your tea strong. Put 1 - 1 1/2 cups of sugar per gallon of tea in a pitcher (More if you like it really sweet). Remove and squeeze tea bags. Pour hot tea over sugar and stir until dissolved. Add water to fill pitcher. I add cold water from my fridge, not from the tap, as it will make it too frothy. Everyone LOVES this tea.

  • I use Splenda instead of sugar and also cut it to 1 cup. I also use decaf tea. This is great for the grandkids who think they are special to have "Sweet Tea"

  • My boyfriend is a NC native and loves his sweet tea. The only change I made was I added less cold water to the final step, about 1.5 cups instead of 3. I only get about 3 qts of sweet tea total. As soon as I am finished making it I put it immediately in the fridge. This is also very good with lemonade to make awesome Arnold Palmers The niece and nephews love those.

  • I grew up in Texas and now that I live in New Mexico realize how difficult it is to get a great cup of sweet tea. This recipe took me back to many a hot day spent sipping on just such a cup. Very refreshing and easy

  • I live in Colorado, and have loved sweet tea ever since my friend from Tennessee made me try some of hers. She moved back recently and I have been craving some real southern style sweet tea, and this was exactly what I have been looking for thank you

  • Absolutely delicious, teeth-hurting, tastes-like-home, sweet-tea. Just like my great-grandmother made it. Ive cut down on the sugar these days and have even adulterated the holy brew with splenda, but this is the real thing bless your heart

  • Having been born and raised in Alabama I have always considered my mothers sweet tea to be the best in the world. But she does not re-boil her tea, after steeping, and only uses one cup of sugar per half gallon. And her tea is plenty sweet...in more ways than one She also says that chilling the tea, before it has cooled to room temperature, will make it cloudy. So, I would not want to add the ice to the pitcher. Give it a little while to cool, then pour over ice. Perfect

  • Ok, I dont know what Alabama the reviewer Samantha is from, but Im also an Alabama girl and this truly is how sweet tea is supposed to taste Good job on coming up with a recipe. We never had to use one *smile*

  • I used 1/2 cup of Splenda (I haven not used sugar for years) and added lemon juice, about four lemons. My cousin warned me never to order iced tea if I travel south because they serve it unsweetened and without lemon. Weird. Ive never met anyone that drinks it without sugar and lemon. ;-)

  • I made this recipe with using only 1 1/4 cups of sugar and it didnt last long. Everyone couldnt stop drinking it.

  • Very good tea. As for all the complaints about too much sugar, I think thats more just a matter of taste. I was practically raised on VERY sweet tea, and this was just right.

  • Exactly what I was looking for in a sweet tea.

  • This tea is awesome I made it with the 2-cups but found it to be too sweet for me. But, if you like the Bojangles super-sweet tea --- this is your recipe After using just 1-1/2 cups of sugar, it turned out awesome for us. My mom made the best sweet tea in the world. Shes gone now and this recipe tastes just like hers. Thanks for sharing.

  • I like this recipe but I had to make a couple of changes for my crew. I run ten cups of water through the coffee maker drop the tea bags in, shut the coffee maker off and let the tea brew for about an hour and a half. We like the stronger tea flavor. I also cut the sugar down to one and a half cups. Other than that I follow the rest of the directions.

  • I am southern also and used to make my tea with 2 cups, but I have reduced my sugar to 1 cup and make a full gal. with 5 regular or 3 family size tea bags. I always get compliments on my tea. I sometimes drink it with no sugar. It is simply your choice on the sweetness.

  • Personally i like Luzianne(maybe because that is what my Grandmother uses in Mississippi) but i like to add an orange slice, it gives it a little different flavor to mix things up from time to time.

  • Great recipe I followed other reviewers advice and reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups--I might reduce it a little more next time. I love the sweet tea at Cracker Barrel, and this tastes very close. Thanks

  • Love super sweet tea so I did use the amount of sugar called for..yum

  • Its a good tea but that isnt Alabama tea. Im a southern girl from Alabama and I can tell you weve never had tea like that.

  • Just like mine but,with one more cup of sugar. My husband loves this stuff(try adding some ginger ale to it)

  • Very good and Id rate 5 stars except it was a titch too sweet. I changed the sugar to 1-1/2 cups and it was perfect Thank you

  • Great recipe

  • I love sweet tea, but this recipe is just a little too sweet. Tone down on the sugar about a 1/4Cup-1/3Cup and its perfecto

  • This is so simple and so refreshing. I used Splenda instead of sugar and had wonderful results This is definately a keeper.

  • Scaled it down a bit... very delicious

  • All my family loved this tea sure i will be making this again added a little less sugar though. Thanx for the recipe

  • I find this tea to sweet I used 1 cup sugar and it turned out just the right sweetness and I used a tea made for iced tea that does not cloud up a day after it was made.I make mine with a Mr. Coffee ice tea maker and put the sugar in the pitcher that the tea is making in then stir, add to another picture and add water.

  • The whole family loved it Didnt think it was too sweet. Just skipped boiling the second time to avoid cracking the glass, after reading other reviews, and it turned out great Will definately make again and again

  • This is the only way I can make tea now. I LOVE it

  • I use 1 1/2 cups sugar to 2 gallons of tea and it is plenty sweet.

  • Sweet Tea the way it was meant to be I noticed some of the other reviewers mentioned that they had trouble when pouring the hot tea into a glass pitcher. To avoid this, there are a few different things one can try. My Mom and Grandma both use ceramic pitchers that they bought in the NC mountains...the glazed clay pitchers dont break as easily as their glass counterparts, and can be ordered online these days (though a trip to the mountains to go pottery shopping is always fun) Or, if you prefer, you can add the sugar during the boiling process, and then SLOWLY pour the tea over a pitcher full of ice, thus cooling it as it goes in, and eliminate the need for the extra water Such a fantastic recipe Thanks

  • I tried it with apple cinnamon spice tea (its all i had on hand) and it still came out amazing cant wait to try it with orange pekoe next time, thanks for the recipe

  • THIS IS SIMPLY THE BEST SWEET TEA THIS SIDE OF THE SOUTH I MAKE THIS FOR ALL MY FAMILY GET-TO-GETHERS WE ALL LOVE ITVERY SIMPLE TO MAKE.THANKS

  • THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOUi have been searching and searching for a sweet tea recipe. This one is GREAT.I do agree with some of the others, you might need to experment with the amount of sugar. For me probabley 1/2. I got adicted to Red Diamond, and this is every bit as good, and its avalible anytime.

  • Add a pinch of baking soda to make the tea extra smooth it really works

  • This tea is awesome. My 5 yr old always adds so much sugar so I tried this out and I am so glad I did. I only added 1 1/4 cup of sugar and I used 3 family size tea bags of regular tea. I then threw in 3 bags of raspberry zinger celestial seasonings and the hint of raspberry is awesome. Next time I will try it with the orange tangerine and the balck cherry flavors. But, even without the flavorings I know that this is a bomb tea.

  • THIS TEA IS WONDERFUL...MY SON LIKES IT SUPER SWEET BUT FOR ME I CUT THE SUGAR TO 1 1/2 CUPS.. I ADDED A SPRIG OF FRESH MINT FROM THE GARDEN AND IT WAS WONDERFUL. ENJOY..... NORTHERNERS DONT KNOW WHAT THEY ARE MISSING

  • If this is what sweet tea tastes like, Im glad I live in Washington state This is tooth curling sweet. If you cut the sugar, then it really cant be called sweet tea, but thats what needs to be done to make this drinkable.

  • Love love love it

  • As a "southern girl" I love some sweet tea I gave this a 4 star because its a little heavy on the sugar. I use about a cup and a quarter of sugar instead and I use lemon and orange slices too, Yum-yum I am so glad that the rest of the country is now enjoying what we "southerners" have always known is a delight......sweet refreshing tea

  • Sweet tea is like water to me; a must have to live. We have a patch of mint that grows in my yard and I love to throw a cutting in the pitcher. Yum

  • This is definitely SWEET tea I am from Boston, but went to college in the South and became addicted to sweet tea while I was studying for exams. I will cut the sugar in half next time. If you like extra super sweet tea though, this recipe is for you

  • WAY too much sugar. Needs to be toned down in a big way.

  • This is the way sweet tea should taste I tried the other sweet tea recipe on this site and this one is much better, although I halved the recipe and still used 3 tea bags

  • Personally, Im not a fan of Iced Tea. But last summer I told some friends who was relocating from another city that I would take care of lunch for their moving crew. I knew that several in the group liked tea, so I thought Id give it a try. Ive made it several times since. Ive always used the non-flavored tea bags, so I slice a lemon and put the lemon slices in the tea to add a little flavor. My Dad is Diabetic and loves Iced Tea - so for our Fathers Day cookout last year I substituted the Sugar with Splenda, so that he could enjoy a glass of Sweet Tea - and it again turned out great. (according to him) I wont use any other recipe or canned mix again.

  • Experiment with the amount of sugar. We were able to cut the sugar in half and it was still sweet enough for our taste.

  • This is a great recipe honest-to-goodness Southern recipe, but as everyone else said - its way too much sugar. With half the amount of sugar it still tastes wonderful. I like to use raw cane sugar (turbinado) instead of white sugar; it tastes better and isnt processed as much. If you add lime instead of lemon it tastes almost exactly like "Arizona Iced Tea."

  • I went ahead and put the sugar in the water and let it boil. Perfect summertime beverage.

  • Super sweet and really good

  • I personally find this to be toothache inducing sweet. Not so good at all. But, I need to dispute the fact you cant get this up north. Im from PA and my family makes this ALL the time. I myself do not like it, but its been a staple at my family reunions since I was a little girl. To make this even remotely appetizing, you need to at **least** half the sugar.

  • I followed the advice of others, and reduced the sugar to 1 1/2c. It was still VERY sweet, but the tea flavor was the perfect strength. Next time I will go with 1 1/4c sugar.

  • I halved the recipe and made it with black currant tea (all I had on hand) and it turned out really well. V. simple to follow directions.

  • I dont like sweet tea so I gave this recipe to my son, he loves it and now makes it all the time. Just the right amount of sugar.

  • I had never tried this type of tea before this recipe. I love it Great for hot summer days

  • Im a North Carolinian myself, and boy do I LOVE my sweet tea This person definitely suceeded in making sweet tea seem more complicated than it really is I throw two Lipton family-sized tea packets in water, let it boil for about five minutes or so, and then pour it in a pitcher. I only add 1.5 cups (true sweet tea is probably around 2 cups) to the pitcher and stir, adding some cold water. When you fill it up, throw it in the fridge and youre done My bf is from South Dakota and he cant get enough of sweet tea

  • Use it all the time

  • The best iced tea around, super easy to make, and a huge hit at BBQS I dont add the ice or second amount of water, just keep the concentrate and mix to taste(55%/45%water).

  • This is great, just like Nanny used to make deep in the heart of Texas. I just need to play with the sugar level a bit.

  • Absolutely perfect Being in New Zealand Ive had such a hankering for sweet tea and this definitely eased my homesickness I definitely plan to make it when I get back home to North Carolina

  • Yummy Used 5 regular sized bags of Lipton, and filled picher with ice instead of water. Added some lime juice also. Turned out perfect

  • Exactly what I was looking for. I did take the advice of others and reduced the sugar to 1 1/2 cups.

  • This was very good. I followed the other reviews and put in 1 1/2 cups of sugar. It was sweet but we liked it.

Source: Good Ol' Alabama Sweet Tea

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