Sweet Tea: the Honey Content Is a Secret Between You and Me, Shug

Nearly twenty years ago, in a little Tennessee town, I drank the best “sweet tea” of my life. I remember asking the waitress what made it so good.

“We make it with honey, shug,” she crooned.

Almost two decades on, in my flat in London, I may have re-created that Tennessee cafe special.


Here’s what you do:

BRING 2 cups of water to a boil in a pot

REMOVE from heat

ADD three round tea bags

BREW for 15 minutes (dunk and squeeze every 5 minutes)

STIR in 3/4 cup of honey

STIR in an extra 2 tablespoons of honey (because I said so)

STIR in 6 cups of water

SERVE in an ice filled glass with a squeeze of lemon

Serves about 8.

I know what you’re thinking. That is a lot of honey. And it is. But it’s worth it. If you follow my recipe, you will taste a kiss of syrup and lemon with each sip.

This drink is not for dieters, but don’t worry. Just pretend you’re on vacation in a little ol’ southern town. I have a theory that anything Yankees eat or drink south of the Mason-Dixon line doesn’t have calories.

And anyway, a lil’ bit of sweet tea ain’t never hurt anybody.

Enjoy yourself, shug.