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Sweet Tea Recipe

Nicole Campoy-Leffler

Sweet tea can be as simple or as complicated as you like. It works well for porch sitting on a lazy Sunday just as it does at a BBQ or an afternoon soirée. The best part of making this sweet tea is in the creation of your simple syrup. I infused mine with lemon zest for this recipe, but I also find that berries (strawberries, blueberries), vanilla bean, and cardamom make for great simple syrup flavors. The syrup infusion should depend on what kind of tea you’re using — I like PG Tips black tea, but you could use a favorite flavored tea instead. Note: this tea happens to go very well with vodka, in case you were wondering.

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For the simple syrup:

  • 1 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 cup cold or room temperature water
  • Lemon zest (optional)

For the tea:


For the simple syrup:

Combine the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat. Once the sugar starts to dissolve, add the lemon zest, if using. Once the sugar is totally dissolved and the liquid is clear, remove from heat. Let the syrup cool slightly before removing the lemon zest.

For the tea:

Bring 6 cups of water to a boil. Steep 2 (or 3 depending on how strong you want it) tea bags for 1-2 minutes. Remove the tea bags once the tea has reached a deep, amber color. Pour the tea into a large pitcher and let cool, adding ice cubes to quicken the process, if necessary.

Then add simple syrup to taste. This is when you could (read: should) add a shot or 2 of vodka, again to taste.