7. Sweet Tea, in the Biggest Glass You Can Find

1 Dec

A Southern friend was dining with me in Seattle and made the following observation: “If you ask for ‘sweet tea,’ they look at you like you’re retarded, but whenever you order iced tea they bring sugar.” Conversely, if you order “tea” in the South, be prepared to answer this question: “Sweet or unsweet?” (sometimes shortened to “Sweet or un”) Note that “sweet” is always the first option.

So why do Southerners prefer pre-sweetened tea? Duh!

When you add sugar to hot tea, it dissolves. Which means the sugary goodness is evenly dispersed throughout the beverage. When you add sugar to iced tea, you can stir it all day long and never get the stuff melted. This is why Southerners who would normally eschew artificial sweeteners will resort to using them in unsweetened iced tea. It’s the only way to ensure even sweetness throughout.

I should note that if you order tea in the South, expect it to arrive in a tall glass (or mason jar) filled with ice. If you prefer a hot beverage, order coffee.

2 Responses to “7. Sweet Tea, in the Biggest Glass You Can Find”


  1. 31. Meat-flavored vegetables « stuff southern people like - March 10, 2010

    […] salads, appetizers, and desserts and you should do fine. I’ve never once heard of meat-tainted sweet tea. So drink […]

  2. 79. Butter my butt and call me a biscuit (and other Colorful Expressions). « stuff southern people like - February 25, 2011

    […] If the array of casseroles and cakes at the family reunion makes you happier than a pig in slop, don’t go overboard or you’re liable to end up full as a tick on a hound dog. Oh, I know you want just one more slice of red velvet cake, but people in hell want ice water. (Unless they’re Southerners; they want sweet tea.) […]

Pull up a chair and join the conversation...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: