Autumn Recipes

Recipe: Sweet Iced Tea

The South's best invention

By Russell van Kraayenburg October 3, 2014

Have you ever been with a group of Texans in a city up north, ordered a round of iced tea, and had your waiter simply befuddled? It’s almost as off-putting as trying to order queso up there. Southerners (and Texans alike) really do just love our iced tea—and our queso. 

And any self-respecting Texan or Southerner should know how to make their own iced tea at home—I always have a pitcher in my fridge—though the process isn't quite as straightforward as putting some tea bags in water. The best iced tea calls for baking soda, which helps neutralize the tannins in the tea, removes some of the bitterness, and makes it all the easier to sweeten things up. Of course, if you prefer your tea unsweetened, just leave out the sugar and honey from the recipe below.

Sweet iced tea


  • 12 black tea bags
  • 8 chamomile tea bags
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 quart ice


  1. Place the tea bags in a large pitcher. Set aside.
  2. Boil the water. Remove from the heat for a few seconds before pouring water into the pitcher. Add the baking soda and steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove the tea bags. Add the sugar and honey and stir until it is completely dissovled. Add the ice and refridgerate.
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