There is nothing more Southern than classic sweet tea and you can make it a lot of different ways but most classic sweet tea is made with simple syrup. A lot of alcoholic beverages are made with simple syrup, too. You can make this syrup up and store it in the refrigerator for up to a month to use in your favorite drinks.

Simple Syrup:

2 cups white granulated sugar

2 cups water

Combine and heat on medium on stove until sugar is dissolved.  Store in refrigerator.  Makes about 3 cups. You can double this or make as much as you like.

Classic Sweet Tea:

2 family sized tea bags

7 cups water, divided

1 cup simple syrup (you can add more or less to suit your taste)


Bring 4 cups water to boil on stove. Remove and pour over 2 family sized tea bags. Let steep for 5 to 7 minutes.  Remove tea bags and add 3 more cups water and 1 cup simple syrup.  Pour over ice and enjoy classic sweet tea.  Makes 8 cups

Kentucky Mint Julep:

Mint leaves

Simple Syrup

Kentucky bourbon


Place 3 or 4 mint leave in bottom of glass and add an ounce of simple syrup.  Use a wooden spoon handle to crush or mash the leaves into the syrup. Fill glass with crushed ice and add 2 ounces of Kentucky bourbon. Can add a little water if you want to cut it some. Garnish with mint and Enjoy! Makes 1 mint julep.

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  1. Another option would be xylitol or erythritol. Neither have the after taste of stevia. Neither impact glucose or insulin. You use them in the same ratio as sugar (so 1 cup of sugar would be substituted for one cup of one of these). I prefer Erythritol because it doesn’t have the GI upset some people experience with Xylitol. Both are “natural”….unlike aspartame/Splenda. I was buying my erythritol on-line as the brand Swerve (comes in granulated and powdered) ; but now my local HEB grocery store carries Swerve 🙂 Hooray.

  2. Both spouse & I are type 2 diabetic. I use stevia and really can’t tell difference. But, can’t get him to use a substitute and he loves Sweet Tea. Can the Stevia be used instead without much noticeable taste difference? Will try to get it pass him today.

    1. Hi Michele, I use stevia myself sometimes. It may be just me but I think I can tell a difference in stevia and sugar but if he loves the sweet tea, he should definitely try it with stevia. I make the 8 cups and use 8 packages of stevia when I make it with it instead of sugar. You might try using a little more than 1 package per cup or glass if you are going to fool him. lol. This brought back memories for me as my mother gave my father 2% milk for years and he thought he was drinking whole milk. She switched the caps from the blue cap that is on the 2% to a red cap like the one on the whole milk. He never knew the difference. Have a wonderful new week ahead and thank you for being a part of our community.

    1. The simple syrup is only sugar and water so I don’t know why
      it wouldnt last more then a week in the refrigerator. Just wondering if anyone else has kept it in the refrigerator longer then a week.

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