6 New Ways to Spice Up Your Sweet Tea

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Sweet iced tea has been a Southern staple for generations and is the preferred summertime drink. On any given summer night you can see neighbors sitting on porches while chatting over tall glasses of the liquid gold.

Sometimes though,  you just want to add a little spice to your sweet tea for something different. So whether you are making tea for yourself or for a crowd, these sweet tea recipes are sure to please!

1. Mint Julep Sweet Tea

Ingredients: 

1/2 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 lemon, sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

3 cups cold sweetened tea

1 cup bourbon

Crushed ice

Garnish: fresh mint sprigs

Directions: 

Combine first 3 ingredients in a 2-qt. pitcher. Press mint leaves against sides of pitcher with back of spoon to release flavors. Stir in tea and bourbon. Serve over crushed ice. Garnish, if desired.

2. Ginger and Honey Sweet Tea

Ingredients: 

3 cups water

2 family-size tea bags

1/2 cup honey

1 tablespoon grated fresh ginger

7 cups cold water

Garnish: lemon slices

Directions:

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a saucepan; add tea bags. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags. Stir in honey and ginger. Pour into a 1-gal. container, and add 7 cups cold water. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

3. Sweet Tea Peach Punch

Ingredients: 

3 family-size tea bags

2 cups loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1 (33.8-oz.) bottle peach nectar

1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

1/2 cup simple sugar syrup

1 (1-liter) bottle ginger ale, chilled

1 (1-liter) bottle club soda, chilled

Garnish: fresh peach wedges

Directions:

Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; add tea bags and mint leaves. Boil 1 minute; remove from heat. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags and mint. Pour into a 1-gal. container; add peach nectar, lemonade concentrate, and Simple Sugar Syrup. Cover and chill 8 to 24 hours.

Pour chilled tea mixture into a punch bowl or pitcher. Stir in ginger ale and club soda

just before serving. Garnish, if desired.

4. Lemonade Sweet Tea

Ingredients: 

3 cups water

2 family-size tea bags

1 cup loosely packed fresh mint leaves

1/2 cup sugar

4 cups cold water

1/2 (12-oz.) can frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed

Directions: 

Bring 3 cups water to a boil in a 2-qt. saucepan. Remove from heat, add tea bags, and stir in fresh mint. Cover and steep 10 minutes.

Discard tea bags and mint. Stir in sugar until dissolved. Pour tea into a 3-qt. container, and stir in 4 cups cold water and lemonade concentrate. Serve over ice. Garnish, if desired.

5. Citrus Sweet Tea

Ingredients: 

1 cup white sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup hot water

6 cups brewed black tea, cold

2 cups orange juice

1/2 cup lemon juice

1 orange, sliced into rounds

1 lemon, sliced into rounds

1 lime, sliced into rounds

Directions: 

In a large pitcher, combine sugar, salt and hot water. Stir until completely dissolved. Sir in the tea, orange juice and lemon juice. Serve in tall glasses with ice and slices of citrus fruit.

6. Blackberry Sweet Tea

Ingredients: 

5 black tea bags

1/4 cups mint leaves, crushed, 1 leaf per serving reserved for garnish

4 cups boiling water

1/2 cup sugar

6 packages (6 ounces each)blackberries, reserve 2 to 3 per serving

Directions:

Place tea bags and mint in a heat-proof pitcher. Add boiling water. Steep at least 10 minutes. Strain into another pitcher and discard mint and tea bags. Stir in sugar. Purée blackberries in a blender or food processor; strain through a fine sieve. Discard pulp and seeds. Stir blackberry purée into tea. Taste and adjust sugar as desired. Chill.

Serve over ice garnished with mint leaf and 2 or 3 blackberries.

Photo Credit: Big Stock