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Spiked Sweet Tea

spiked sweet tea
Claudia Amato/TODAY
Cook Time:
20 mins
Prep Time:
5 mins

Chef notes

Sweet tea just screams Southern cooking and summer to me. It's perfectly cold and refreshing for a hot day. I like to turn it into a cocktail by adding a few healthy glugs of bourbon.

Technique tip: The baking soda helps mellow the tannins and make it a smoother drink.

Swap option: For a fun twist, replace the ice cubes with frozen peach slices for a delicious sweet peach tea and edible garnish.


Sweet Tea (makes 1 gallon)
  • 1 gallon (4 quarts) water
  • 16 black tea bags
  • 3 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 lemon, sliced
Spiked Sweet Tea
  • 1 gallon sweet tea (recipe above)
  • cups bourbon
  • 8 cups ice cubes


For the sweet tea:

In a pot, bring the water to a boil. Turn off the heat and add tea bags, dunking until they are fully submerged. Allow the tea to steep for 12-15 Minutes, then remove the tea bags and squeeze out remaining liquid in the tea bags into the pot. While the tea is still hot, Whisk in the granulated sugar until fully dissolved. Allow the tea to cool then transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate until ready to use. Once the tea is fully chilled pour into an ice tea glass filled with ice. Garnish with a slice of fresh lemon and serve.

For the spiked sweet tea:

Combine all ingredients in a large pitcher, stir and serve.