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Mary Mac’s Sweet Tea

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Cuisine: Drink Southern

From the Menu of ... Mary Mac’s Tea Room
224 Ponce de Leon Ave. N.E., Atlanta

Q: Any time that I dine at Mary Mac’s Tea Room, I order their iced tea. It is absolutely the best tea around, in my opinion. When I leave the restaurant, the flavor still lingers on my tongue. It is as if they make it with a syrup or something, always sweet, always just right. Can I be told exactly how they make it? My husband has asked me if I could make tea like theirs. -- Andrea Tomblin, Dacula

A: Yes, you can make tea just like Mary Mac’s. But unless you’re sitting elbow-to-elbow at a cloth-covered table in the fabled dining room with a plate of fried chicken or fried green tomatoes in front of you, it probably won’t taste the same, admits general manager Michael Fuhrman.
Although their preparation is pretty standard, there is one distinguishing feature, Fuhrman said. “Ours is the sweetest sweet tea that I’ve tasted,” he said. “We actually tried to cut back a little, but people complained.”
-- Deborah Geering, for the Journal-Constitution

This Mary Mac’s formula appears in “Mary Mac’s Tea Room: Stories and Recipes from Atlanta’s Classic Southern Kitchen” (Looking Glass Books, 2005) by Rebecca Lang, with recipes by original owner Margaret Lupo and current owner John Ferrell.

Hands on time: 2 minutes  Total time: 10 minutes  Serves: 4


    4 cups water, divided use
    1 family-size tea bag
    1/2 cup granulated sugar
    Mint sprigs to garnish
    Lemon slices to garnish


Bring 3 cups water to boil. Remove from heat, add the tea bag and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bag and add the sugar; stir until dissolved. Add 1 cup cold water. Chill.
Serve the tea over ice, garnished with mint and lemon.


If the tea gets cloudy in the refrigerator, add a little boiling water and stir.


Per serving: 106 calories (percent of calories from fat, 0), trace protein, 26 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, no fat, no cholesterol, 10 milligrams sodium.

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