There is no better way to cool down on a hot summer day in the South than with an ice cold glass of sweet tea, and by sweet, southerners mean sweet! This drink was coined, “the house wine of the South,” by Dolly Parton’s character in the popular film, Steel Magnolias, and grows locally on Wadamalaw Island, the site of America’s ONLY working tea plantation. Visitors may tour The Charleston Tea Plantation and enjoy factory and trolley tours of the grounds. For more info, visit

Ingredients (1 Gallon)
  • 6 cups boiling water
  • 4 family-size tea bags
  • 1 to 1½ cups sugar

In order to make a gallon of this southern delight, bring 6 cups of water to a boil, remove it from the heat and add 4 family-size tea bags to the water to steep. Next pour the warm tea in a pitcher and add 1 to 1½ cups of sugar. Stir until the sugar has dissolved and fill the rest of the pitcher with cold water or ice cubes and your “southern house wine” is ready! For an even more refreshing drink, gather a few mint leaves out of your garden and add them to your glass of Southern Sweet Tea. Remember, the sweeter the tea, the better!