This sweet tea toes the line between just right and puckery sweet. The formula reflects the way my grandmother Leona Johnson made sweet tea: strong tea, lots of lemon juice and even more sugar. Start by adding half a cup of sugar to the batch, then add up to 4 more tablespoons to your preference. By making it extra potent, tart and sweet, this brew still tastes good even after the ice starts to melt.
- Serves: 8 persons
- 8black tea bags, preferably Lipton
- ½cup granulated sugar, preferably pure cane, plus more to taste
- 6tablespoons lemon juice (from about 2 lemons)
- Ice cubes, for chilling and serving
- Lemon slices, for garnish (optional)
Step 1In a tea kettle or medium saucepan, heat 4 cups water until boiling. Remove from the heat and add the tea bags. Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Gently squeeze the bags to release their concentrated tea, then discard the bags. Transfer the tea to a pitcher.
Step 2Stir 1/2 cup sugar into the hot tea until it has dissolved. Stir in the lemon juice. Add 4 cups water, then fill the pitcher with 2 cups ice.
Step 3Taste the tea to determine if you’d like to add up to 4 tablespoons more sugar. If adding sugar, stir until it dissolves.
Step 4Cover and refrigerate until the sweet tea is chilled throughout or up to 2 days. Serve in a large glass filled with ice, and garnish with a lemon slice if you’d like.