My mother's sweet tea was not the best. Perhaps this is because she was from West Virginia, a place where people drink sweet tea with some ambivalence. Or maybe because in Jacksonville, Florida, where I was raised, delicious sweet tea could be found for $1.99 at the local supermarket in sweaty gallon jugs with nothing but the word sweet and the date stamped on the plastic.
She still made sweet tea, of course, being a Southern woman of whom having iced tea on hand is expected. But instead of sugar, my mother used Sweet'N Low, which is kind of like making chocolate cake with dirt. She insisted no one could tell the difference: "They're both sweet."