Sweet Tea by the Gallon

Not too long ago, McDonald’s introduced sweet tea in their restaurants (at least here in Charlotte). I haven’t had a chance to try it. Chick-Fil-A has had sweet tea for at least a few years, and it’s pretty good – though as I recall it’s rather pricey. Today, I found out that Aldi has started carrying sweet tea as well. I just had a glass, and it’s pretty good. At $1.39 per gallon jug, the price is right too.

Update: Beth made a good point, that people (even stateside) don’t know what exactly sweet tea is. So, here are a couple of recipes. In a nutshell, sweet tea is iced tea, but it is, well, sweet. No adding of artificial sweetness, and no adding of any sweetness after it’s cold. This process must be done while hot or it just isn’t the same.

Update: It turns out that Food Lion sells their tea in two flavors – sweet, and sweet with lemon – and two sizes – by the gallon and by the half gallon. It’s near the orange juice in the refrigerated section. At $1.49, it’s a bit more than what you’ll find at Aldi, but it tastes pretty good.

14 Replies to “Sweet Tea by the Gallon”

  1. An avid sweet tea drinker myself Arizona comes very close. The What A Burger and Waffle House and Bojangles have the best sweet tea. If you make it at home, melt the sugar in boiling water andthen add it to the tea. Mom calls it “simple syrup”.

  2. Here’s another version of Sweet Tea which is not as time consuming as Kenny’s recipe. Read Sweet Tea – A Southern Thing. It reveals my introduction to sweet tea and experiences when ordering it. Also provides way to make it with Lipton tea bags, Saluda green tea bags or a combination of both.

  3. Born in the South but now in the North, Ive made lots of new friends with my sweet tea recipe (passed from my Mom). After many looks of, “What the heck are you talkin about” after ordering sweet tea I finally decided to start making it again.

    I take 2 Lipton Family Size tea bags (Orange Pekoe) and put them in a cereal bowl. I boil some water and immediately place the water in the bowl and cover with a small plate, make sure it fits good enough to keep the steam in. I let that sit for 20 mins…I them empty the tea into a 2.5 quart pitcher. Now, leaving the tea bags in the bowl I again fill the bowl with the left over hot water, repeating until hot water is gone. Use cold water and repeat until pitcher is filled almost to the top. Add 2/3 cups granulated sugar and stir well. The sugar doesnt desolve the right way unless the tea is hot. Now pour over ice in a tall glass and you have Sweet tea!

  4. To Bev, I agree about the Arizona Sweet Tea. While it is not the same, it does come very close to the real thing. I am in Michigan, I stumbled upon it one day in Walgreens Pharmacy. Check there in the refridgerated pop/juice coolers. I am sure you have seen it since your husband likes it, but if not, look for the big 99cent great value can, it is white. Hope this helps.

  5. My husband LOVES Arizona’s Southern Style Sweet Tea. Unfortunately, you can’t find it in our area.

  6. I picked up a 16 ounce can of Arizona “Southern Style” Sweet Tea the other day, and I would heartily recommend that you do not try it. This stuff was horrible.

    Okay, horrible might be too strong. It probably wasn’t bad. But it certainly was not Southern Style Sweet Tea. I’d take a pass and look elsewhere.

  7. Sweet tea is entirely southern. Restaurants based in the south with northern outlets (Famous Dave’s for example) routinely offer sweet tea based on their southern history. Non-chain restaurants will tell you sweet or un-sweetened also but most of these are in the south. Chain restaurants, if you say sweet tea, bring you the bottled lipton or a flavored rasberry (these don’t count as sweet tea).

  8. It’s regional, based on my business travel. The danger is that, in most restaurants, the “default” for when you order iced tea is one or the other, which may mean you end up with sweet tea when you expect unsweet, or vice-versa.

    Of course, the same is also true of that Abomination, passion fruit tea.

  9. Sweet tea is sort of a Southern thing, isn’t it? We have a Chic-fil-a in our local mall, and they serve sweet tea (and also sell it by the gallon), but that’s the only place I’ve seen it in the Boston area.

  10. For those of us who aren’t stateside, what exactly is sweet tea? How does it differ from, say, Lipton iced tea? Or is it even cold?

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