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You’re not considered a real Southerner unless you take your tea extra sweet. We’re not talking three packets of sugar sweet. No, that’s for Northerners and amateurs. This is sweet tea and authentic sweet tea is so sweet, it gives the Kool-Aid man a run for his money.

As a way to enjoy the dessert beverage (because let’s be honest, you’re essentially sipping on sugar water with a hint of tea), we’ve rounded up nine creative and unconventional sweet tea recipes and ways to incorporate sweet tea into your cooking. From fried chicken to pie, there’s a way to use iconic sweet tea in every meal. Got your insulin pen ready? Good, now scroll down to check out some of the best sweet tea recipes for summer!

Sweet Tea and Vodka Slushies

The best thing about this drink is that the sugar can mask any amount of vodka. That also happens to be the worst part of this drink. Hello, hangover. Get the Sweet Tea and Vodka Slushies recipe.

Sweet Tea Fried Chicken

Beat it, buttermilk. Sweet tea is not only incorporated into this succulent recipe’s brine, but it also serves as a finishing glaze. Get the Sweet Tea Fried Chicken recipe.

Sweet Tea Scones

Scones may be a British tea tradition, but these exude Southern charm thanks to the sweet tea flavor infused into the dough and the icing on top. Get the Sweet Tea Scones recipe.

Related Reading: Friday Food Finds: The Newest Drinks for Summer

Sweet Tea Ribs

Brining baby back ribs in sweet tea is a brilliant move, and makes for a crowd-pleasing summer barbecue centerpiece. Get the Sweet Tea Ribs recipe.

Sweet Tea Ice Cream

Think of this as iced tea with a little bit of cream. And by a little bit, we really mean a lot. Frankly, who’s complaining? This summertime treat is just what the doctor lifeguard ordered. Get the Sweet Tea Ice Cream recipe.

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Sweet Tea Pork Jerky

It’s an undisputed fact that sweet pork jerky is one of the best high protein snacks you can find. Grill up a batch in your own backyard or force a good friend to make it for you. Get the Sweet Tea Pork Jerky recipe.

Sweet Tea Sangria with Peaches

Frankly, if you mix white wine with anything, it’s still bound to taste good. Peaches and sweet tea are obviously no exception. Consider this Paula Deen’s idea of a sangria. Get the Sweet Tea Sangria recipe.

Sweet Tea Turkey

The Thanksgiving bird gets a Southern upgrade with this sweet tea breast that’s heavy on the citrus. Tea time has never sounded more delicious. Get the Sweet Tea Turkey recipe.

Related Reading: Low and Steady: Low-Alcohol Cocktails for Summer Day Drinking

Sweet Tea Vodka Cupcakes

We’re not always a fan of liquor interfering with our dessert, but for these we’ll make an exception. Vodka and sweet tea go together like Georgia peaches and cream. Get the Sweet Tea Vodka Cupcakes recipe.

Sweet Tea Popsicles

If you’re tired of sipping, freeze your tea and opt for licking. It’s our favorite way to combat the dog days of summer. Get the Sweet Tea Popsicles recipe.

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Sweet Tea Pie

Some sweet tea pie for your sweetie pie is probably the most adorable thing you can make for your honey’s birthday. You’re welcome for the pun that will most certainly go in the Hallmark card. Get the Sweet Tea Pie recipe.

Keep Reading: Chowhound’s Most Popular BBQ Recipes

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