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These sweet tea recipes prove there’s more than one way to get your sugar fix.

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.

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.

Related Reading: 16 Perfect Peach Recipes for Summer

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.

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Joey is a NYC-based writer/editor, TV/radio personality, editor-at-large for Chowhound, author of "Basic Bitchen," and host of "Dish This." His work has been featured in outlets like Food & Wine, People, InStyle, Travel+Leisure, and BuzzFeed. Prior to a career in editorial, he served as the lead publicist for hit TLC shows like "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo," "My Strange Addiction," and "My Crazy Obsession." In his spare time, he enjoys volleyball, visiting the beaches of Naples, Fla. (his hometown), worshipping Beyoncé, eating sour candy, writing depressing poetry, interior design, and perfecting his stand-up comedy routine. He's also been struck by lightning—quite the shocking experience.
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