20 June, 2011

Great Aunt Mary's Sweet Tea

My great Aunt (pronounced "Ont") Mary's Sweet Tea is the only iced tea my maternal side of the family serves. It's perfection has made me quite the sweet tea snob...

Makes 1 Gallon

4 Lipton large iced tea bags (don't use decaf, tastes yucky)
1/3 can lemonade concentrate
1/4 cup sugar
fresh mint sprigs

Boil water in a large stock pot...

Add lemonade concentrate and sugar to bottom of 1 gallon pitcher...

Just as water starts to boil, pour to fill pitcher and add tea bags. Allow to steep for about 10 minutes. Remove tea bags and let pitcher stand, uncovered, on counter til cooled then refrigerate...

I like to transfer mine to a Simon Pearce pitcher for proper serving...

Be sure to add a couple of fresh mint springs once the tea has cooled...

And, when entertaining, I'll fill a bud vase with water and a handful of mint so everyone can add a fresh sprig to their glass. (whispers behind hand) Also, makes you appear très Martha Stewarty...

Kindness of my Great Aunt Mary for theee best sweet tea recipe as well as my first name. And, a VERY special thank you to my father who saved me from also being bequeathed her middle name. Mary Alice is woooorlds better than Mary Olive. That's taking a family name too far...XXOO


  1. Perfect summer refreshment. Mary Olive? Wow. Mary Alice is much better.

  2. Sounds delish. Your flowers are very pretty. Surely they made it back to your house in your new whip and not your bike basket...

  3. I like Mary Olive! But I feel you on the family middle names...luckily I was spared Edna, in favor of Catherine.

  4. Sounds wonderful, altho more on the Arnold Palmer side than traditional sweet tea. It sounds very refreshing!

  5. I had an "Aunt Mary" too and she could make a mean dish of rolled Oysters and some sweet tea too.

  6. I am going to have to try that! I have the worst luck when it comes to making sweet tea and I'm forever trying new recipes!

  7. I always wondered how it was made. Up north we would just call it iced tea :O) I will have to make a jug of this for my guests on Friday!

  8. Have you ever tried American Classic Tea? It's the only tea grown in America now (on the Charleston Tea Plantation) and is now owned by Bigelow. It's so fresh and clean tasting; Lipton is bitter and leaves an after-taste by comparison. I buy a case of it at a time from the Bigelow site but it's also available on Amazon now. The flavored teas are delicious too....especially the peach....

  9. thank you for sharing-sounds beyond delicious!

  10. I'm adding this to the "Allie" section of my recipe box. Right there with the oyster dressing and the honey mustard dressing. Thanks for posting, I'm sure it's going to be good!

  11. Does it need the sugar? Could I use Splenda instead? Trying to watch my (and the kids) sugar intake!! xoxo

  12. I am going to try this tonight. On a side note, I found Wickles Pickles products at The Fresh Market in Westport. Thanks for the idea they have the best taste.

  13. This is an awesome Arnold Palmer recipe and I consider you my new best friend for posting this. I have failed many times at making sweet tea and am so happy to have an actual recipe. Here in the South, such things are closely-guarded secrets with the grand dames never offering specifics on number of teabags or spoonfuls of sugar.

  14. Making sweet tea is like a lot of other things - make it to taste. Experiment. There are only three important rules:

    If the tea is more than 2 days old, throw it out and make a fresh pot.

    Never let the water boil more than about 15 seconds or all the oxygen will disappear.

    And finally, make sure you wash your pitcher and scrub out the tea stains before you use it again. If you don't the tea will be bitter and/or "slick".

  15. For all those who've asked, I have no idea how this works with sugar substitute. I have, however, made it with no sugar at all during strict dieting bends. I've found that the lemonade concentrate goes pretty far in the sweetening category. Plus, you can always just cut back on the sugar. Truth be told, I think the original recipe actually calls for more like 1/2 cup sugar...XXOO