The Sugar Mistake You Must Avoid At All Cost For Southern Sweet Tea

With its signature warmth, delicious cuisine, lengthy beaches, and friendly dispositions, there's a whole lot that the Southern United States has to offer. One of the best, and certainly the most refreshing of these offerings, is the region's sweet tea. Simply put, it's some of the best in the world. Whether you're a longtime resident of the South or a visitor from elsewhere, you know this to be true. The sweet beverage graces the presence of almost any restaurant menu in the region for a reason.

So, what's the secret? Well, a lot of people make this one big mistake when they try to make tea themselves, and it's that they add sugar at the wrong time. To make truly authentic Southern sweet tea, you have to add in sugar while the tea's still hot.

Mixing in the sweetener at this stage is key to getting a glass void of any excess sweetener or grains. The whole drink just ends up melting together in a harmonious way. So for all those up north that might add in sugar after your tea's in a glass filled with ice, we forgive you. (But don't let it happen again.)

Other tea making tips from the South

Adding sugar to your tea while it's hot is so important because sugar dissolves much better in higher temperatures than in cold. But that's not the only thing to remember when making sweet tea.

Another aspect to consider when making tea is temperature. When you're done making your tea, never opt to store the pitcher with ice in it. This is a problem because the ice will water down the mixture as the cubes melt. Simply keep your tea cool by storing it in a pitcher in the fridge, then you can serve it over ice later. If you're someone that will want that tea straight away, remember that patience is key in this process so opt to make a batch the night before you serve it.

Another tip to get the absolute best sweet tea is to keep your recipe simple. Don't try to overcomplicate things with excess ingredients — some water, tea bags, and a healthy serving of sugar are all you need. The simplicity is its power. Lastly, making your tea in large batches is a must. You never know who will want a glass, and having that Southern hospitality is just as important as any other step in this process.

How to make yourself a cup of the best sweet tea

Now, enough with the hints and tidbits. Let's tackle exactly how to make the best Southern sweet tea. To start, you're gonna want to grab a large gallon-sized pitcher. Throw in a few family-sized tea bags. (We recommend three bags per gallon.) Now boil a pot of water and pour it over the tea bags until the pitcher is full. Now steep it like this for a few minutes, then remove the tea bags.

Then comes the time to add in your sugar. We recommended adding in at least a cup, but you can adjust the sweetness level to your liking. Stir the drink thoroughly with a tall spoon, then stick it in the fridge to chill. Once it's cold, you can remove and pour the sweet nectar into a tall glass with ice. Yes, it's really that easy. To us, this is one of the perfect drinks to indulge in on a hot summer day.

Everyone prefers their tea a little differently, so adjust the sweetness levels and the strength of your brew as you please, to find out the combination that works best for you. Just remember to trust the process.