Southern Recipes & Friends + The Perfect Sweet Tea Recipe

Born and bred a Southern woman, I appreciate the generations of women who have passed down hospitality, traditions, and recipes. My twenty years as a cake designer, have afforded me my own tribe of Southern food experts including my dear friend, Southern Author, Pat Branning.

If you are ever looking for the perfect Sweet Tea Recipe, Pat’s is the best and it goes quite well with my Chantilly cake.

Pat Branning and me with my Pistachio Cake at one of our photoshoots

You can find several of our collaborations on her blog including peach shortcake and coming up soon, cream cheese pound cake.

Pat is an entertaining expert and author of several Southern Lifestyle Books. Each coffee-table book is museum-quality, and highlights Southern Artists and Storytellers as well as the traditions of a Southern table. Even though I love them all, my current obsession is the Shrimp, Collards and Grits Series. Be sure to get yourself one. Make yourself some sweet tea and peruse one on a summer evening. They make perfect hostess gifts, too.

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Pat Branning’s Sweet Tea


  1. 6 individual tea bags
  2. 2 quarts filtered cool water
  3. Pinch of baking soda
  4. For the sugar syrup:
  5.  1 cup granulated sugar
  6. 1 cup water
  7. Fresh lemon
  8. Fresh mint, if desired


  • Boil 2 quarts of cool filtered water, bringing it just to a boil, then turn it off.
  • Steep tea bags in this hot water for as long as you can – several hours is good.  Gently squeeze bags of excess water and remove. 
  • Add a pinch of baking soda to keep it from turning cloudy. Next add lemon, or ginger or mint.

For the sugar water:

  • Bring the cup of sugar and the cup of water just to a boil and stir until sugar is dissolved.  Set aside to cool.
  • Add this to the hot tea.  Once cooled down, add to a lovely pitcher and stir. Pour into ice-filled glasses.

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