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Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe {Honey Iced Tea}

Delicious and low carb, this Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe uses honey instead of buckets of sugar. Sweet tea with honey is refreshing and better for you than other sweet tea recipes. Learn how simple it is to make sweet tea without sugar. This healthy iced tea recipe will be your new favorite sip!

Glasses of healthy sweet tea with lemon and mint on a wooden board

A Healthy Sweet Tea recipe is here my friends! It’s healthified. And bonafied. and gasp made by a Yankee?

I have learned that one thing that all southern boys love is sweet tea. And southern boys demand it SWEET. My wonderful brother-in-law Scott, is from Huntington, West Virginia. Scott has been vocal that sweet tea in the Seattle area is neither sweet enough, or “tea-y” enough.

I set out to prove that not only can a crunchy granola Yankee chick make sweet tea, she can make it healthier and still taste great!

I started by consulting the internet. Two cups of sugar per pitcher were pretty standard. Uh, no thanks.

And if you love healthy and refreshing drinks, check out this Cucumber and Mint Water Recipe. Cucumber infused water is the best!

How Can I Sweeten Tea Without Sugar?

It rhymes with sunny, money, funny, and runny.

It’s a bunny. Obviously. Bunnies are the secret ingredient.

Ok, you got me, it’s honey. Traditional sweet tea recipes call for sugar. Lots and lots of sugar.

We prefer to use honey and add it while the water is still hot enough to allow the honey to incorporate but not so hot that it kills the awesome beneficial properties.

You can also use Honey Simple Syrup to flavor each serving so that people can flavor theirs to taste.

Why Do You Add Baking Soda to Iced Tea, Ya Big Freak?

I let the tea bags (:snicker:) steep for a long time to get a strong tea flavor, but that can cause the tea to become bitter. The baking soda neutralizes that and just gives you the perfect tea flavor without a funky aftertaste.

Baking soda is my secret ingredient for cutting the acidity or bitterness out of lots of foods and drinks. Many people add sugar to balance out bitterness, but baking soda gets the job done like a baller (shot caller).

Don’t believe me? See it in action in Whole30 Tomato Soup, Homemade Pizza Sauce, and Instant Pot Orange Chicken.

How Long Will Sweet Tea With Honey Last in the Fridge?

This honey sweetened tea is best consumed within 7-10 days if stored in the fridge.

How to Make Healthy Sweet Tea – Step by Step

  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a near boil.
  2. Add tea bag(s) and baking soda, and cover the pan. Remove from heat, and let steep for 15 minutes.
  3. Remove tea bags, pour into a pitcher, add the honey and stir. Add 4 cups of cold water and place in the fridge. Pro tip: if you would like to serve immediately, add 2 cups of cold water and 2 cups of ice.Process shots for making healthy sweet tea

Pro Tips/Recipe Notes:

  • Need to make more or less of the recipe? Click and slide the “servings” number on the recipe card and the ingredients will adjust as needed. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
  • Don’t have family style bags? Use 7 small tea bags instead.
  • Adding honey to cold iced tea just does not work. Make sure you add it after the 15-minute steeping process.Glasses of healthy sweet tea and lemonade on a board board with mint, lemons, and a lime

Variations on this Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe:

  • Our preferred way of enjoying this healthy sweet tea is 3/4 tea, and 1/4 lemonade – ‘Palmer style!
    • Pro tip: use lemon flavored sparkling water to make it a sparkling Arnold Palmer with less sugar.
  • Try experimenting with flavored teas like fruity or tropical teas.
  • Add lemon or lime wedges or add fresh fruit.

Do you love healthier drinks that taste amazing? Check out my Mojito Mocktails and Mocktails For Kids and Grown Ups!

I won’t even compare this Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe to “real” sweet tea in terms of sugar consumption. But, let’s just say this version won’t give you the crazy energy rush that would allow you to tie a rope around your waist and tow your car home.

More Healthy Drink Recipes Like This

Healthy Sweet Tea WEIGHT WATCHERS POINTS

One serving of Healthy Sweet Tea has 2 WW Freestyle SmartPoints.

Making this recipe or others?

Post a photo on my Facebook page, share it on Instagram, or save it to Pinterest with the tag #sustainablecooks. I can't wait to see your take on it!

Two glasses of healthy sweet tea with mint and lemons
Print
4.78 from 9 votes
Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe {Honey Iced Tea}
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
20 mins
Total Time
25 mins
 

Delicious and low carb, this Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe uses honey instead of buckets of sugar. Learn how simple it is to make sweet tea without sugar.

Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Keyword: healthy sun tea, healthy sweet tea, sweet tea with honey
Servings: 10 people
Calories: 34 kcal
Ingredients
  • 1 family style black or green tea bag
  • 1/3 cup raw honey
  • 4 cups water, boiling
  • 4 cups water, cold or ice cubes
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
Instructions
Stovetop Instructions
  1. Bring 4 cups of water to a near boil.

  2. Add tea bag(s) and baking soda, and cover the pan. Remove from heat, and let steep for 15 minutes.

  3. Remove tea bags, pour into a pitcher, add the honey and stir. Add 4 cups of cold water and place in the fridge. Pro tip: if you would like to serve immediately, add 2 cups of cold water and 2 cups of ice.

Sun Tea Instructions
  1. Place tea, honey, 8 cups of room temperature water, and baking soda in a sun tea jar or large glass pitcher and place in the sun. Stir occasionally if possible to distribute the honey. Length of time to “cook” will depend on how hot the temperature is in the sun.
  2. Serve over ice if you’d like to serve immediately. Transfer to the refrigerator and cool.
Recipe Notes

Don’t have family style bags? Use 7 small tea bags instead.

Nutrition Facts
Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe {Honey Iced Tea}
Amount Per Serving
Calories 34
% Daily Value*
Fat 0g0%
Saturated Fat 0g0%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 16mg1%
Potassium 5mg0%
Carbohydrates 9g3%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 0g0%
Iron 0.1mg1%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Creamy Berry Party Drinks (Whole30)
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28 comments on “Healthy Sweet Tea Recipe {Honey Iced Tea}”

  1. Pingback: 75+ Healthy Cold Drink Recipes (No Refined Sugar or Junky Ingredients)

  2. I dont understand the measuerments for this sweet ice tea.

    • Hi Norma, what part is confusing you? How can I help?

      From the recipe:
      INGREDIENTS
      1 family style black or green tea bag
      1/3 cup raw honey
      4 cups water, boiling
      4 cups water, cold or ice cubes
      1/8 tsp baking soda

      From the recipe notes:

      Don’t have family style bags? Use 7 small tea bags instead.

  3. Have you tried making it in the Instant Pot?

  4. I was very picky with sweet. I was drinking Gold Peak Sweet tea and wanted something more healther. This was amazing! I do have a question, how long would it last in the fridge?

    • Hi Chris! So glad you liked our healthy sweet tea recipe. It’s a family favorite!

      Honey has an infinite shelf-life, but I found that 7-10 days in the fridge was about the max for optimal taste.

  5. Thank you so much for sharing your recipe of sweet tea I’ve been drinking sweet tea since I was 16 and I’m 50 now just found out I have a bad liver due to all the sugar that I’ve been drinking all these years trying to find out different ways to enjoy sweet tea without all the sugar I would definitely try this

    • You’re so welcome Eva, and I do hope you enjoy this tea.

      I’m not a dietician or anything but I know there are a lot of food plans out there that are supposed to help a body recover from liver damage. I would speak with a professional if you haven’t already consulted one. I’m sure there are many yummy and healthy ways you may be able to bring yourself back to better health. Good luck to you!

  6. Ya big freak 

  7. I’ve read that making tea in the Instant Pot also makes it smoother tasting. I haven’t tried it yet though.

    • That would be great for larger batches too! I think my 8 quart has a max fill line of about 6.5/7 quarts. If you have one of those huge drink dispensers it would be nice to brew a huge batch. I must investigate.

  8. I worked at Arby’s a bit over a decade ago in South Carolina and they use 10oz of sugar per gallon (1x 32 oz cup filled up to the top for a 3gal container was normal, then a 21oz cup and a 32oz cup filled for a 5gal container).

    I’ve done honey before and while good, I could definitely tell the difference (almost every Mexican restaurant in the south has super sweet tea and I use that as a comparison when I make tea). I just switched to raw blue agave in my coffee 12 months ago and will try that in my tea next time I brew.

    Thanks for the baking soda idea! Have not heard or thought of that!

  9. I was in the drive-thru line at Wendy’s and happened to see them mixing up the sweet tea there (in WV) and they were pouring a five pound bag of sugar into a five gallon bucket of tea. No wonder it tastes like syrup to me!

  10. I read elsewhere about the baking soda too 🙂 I love sweet tea, especially in the summer! Thanks for posting and reminding how easy it is to make!! I know my kids should love to help with this!

  11. I squeeze a small amount of organic agave syrup in ours. We prefer our tea just a little sweet. I will try the baking powder for sure. I’m guilty of adding a tiny sprinkle of salt to coffee or the grounds to “reduce” the bitter taste.

  12. Why not just steep the tea for a shorter amount of time and avoid the bitterness altogether? 15 minutes is a very long time and I have never steeped it longer than 5. Just curious, I’ve been making sweet tea all my life and came across your blog looking for a less sugary method. Kudos and thanks in advance.

  13. I thought the point of raw honey was not to heat it. Are we killing the benefits? Hope not, cause it sounds delish!

  14. I thought the point of raw honey was not to heat it. Are we killing the benefits? Hope not, cause it sounds delish!

    • It kills the health benefits if you hate it too rapidly. My advice would be to make the tea without the honey and then once it’s done boiling, let it steep. Once it’s cooled down to a semi drinkable temperature maybe just a little hotter than drinkable, add your honey and then mix with cold water. That way you’re not killing the benefits of the honey, and you’re still getting the same great taste and sweetness etc.

  15. Thank you so much for posting this that! Being that I am from the south and a true southern gal I LOVE sweet tea and probably drink a pitcher every other day by myself. I just found your blog this weekend and look forward to trying this and many other of your recipes.

  16. Im just curious do you have any home made hippy lemonade recipes! this Bitch loves Palmers style

  17. Baking soda…I never would have thought of that. I just happen to have an over baked batch of sun tea going…it DOES work to cut the bitter. Cool!