Watered-down sweet tea? Mama would never.
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Sweet Tea on Table Cloth
Credit: bhofack2/Getty Images

If there is one thing about Southerners when it comes to things like pimiento cheese, banana pudding, and sweet tea, it's that we know what we like. We shake our heads at the sorry excuses seen at the drive-thrus or potlucks that mimic without having the magic touch (or Nana's recipe card). Sweet tea, for example, should be made strong enough to keep our mood from swinging low come 3 p.m., sweet enough to wake up the taste buds, and cold enough to stay iced down for at least a couple hours. We're too talkative of a bunch to have the pitcher melt down before we've even broached the topic of what's new at HomeGoods that week.

Keeping a pitcher of sweet tea cold all day long requires something that our grandmothers didn't have at their disposal: an insulated tea pitcher. Typically used for hot coffee, insulated carafes are actually genius when it comes to keeping homemade sweet tea cold for as long as we need. Up to 24 hours, to be exact. (For hot beverages, bank on about 12 hours.) It's the kind of hack you don't think you need until you give it a whirl and see the world of difference. Because ice-cold sweet tea just hits differently than any watered-down counterpart. 

Amazon Insulated Pitcher
Credit: Amazon

Simply add one of these best-selling stainless steel carafes from Amazon and never settle for lukewarm again. It's double-walled with vacuum insulation, made from stainless steel, holds over eight cups of tea (or any other drink you'd like to keep cold or hot), has a leak-free lid, and comes in four fun colors. We're fans of the pretty rose gold. Shop the carafe here.

WATCH: Classic Sweet Tea

Taking a sip of watered-down sweet tea isn't something we would wish on our worst enemy, unless it was someone who backtalked our mother in public. In that case, we're popping that glass in the microwave. Get ready for your coldest iced tea yet.