Iced tea makes for the best summer drink, especially on a hot summer’s day! Luckily, it’s an easy homemade refreshment that can be made from scratch with only a few simple steps. You can make our iced tea recipe with hot brewed or cold brew tea. You can also add flavors, or keep it simple. Either way, it’s sure to be good!
Looking for some other refreshing drinks to serve with your summer meals? This Sweet Peach Iced Tea and Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea are two of our favorite easy recipes. If you’re a fan of Iced Tea, we think you’ll like them! Or try our Iced Caramel Macchiato for a cold specialty coffee.
ICED TEA INGREDIENTS
● 8 cups water (divided for hot brewed tea). For cold brewed tea, you will need ½ cup more.
● 6 family size tea bags, tea tags only removed (Orange & Black Pekoe blend)
● 1 cup sugar (if Southern tea is desired, add an extra ½ cup)
● Lemon slices for garnish
PRO TIP: If you want to reduce the amount of sugar, adding baking soda to the unsweetened tea removes any bitterness without needing lots of extra sugar.
SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS
TEA: You could use just about any type of tea you like for this iced tea recipe. If you have a favorite loose-leaf tea, you can use that instead. However, bagged teas tend to be a bit easier than loose tea as well as less mess. You could also try green tea, white tea or herbal teas in place of black tea for a different great flavor.
LEMONS: The lemons in this iced tea recipe are completely optional. The lemon juice adds a nice bit of flavor. You could use other varieties of fruit as a garnish as well. Try adding peaches, strawberries, raspberries, or oranges. You could also try mint leaves for a fun and simple flavor.
SYRUP AND OTHER SWEETENERS: You can have some fun here. If you like flavored iced tea, you can add a variety of homemade syrups. You can also simply add honey for some sweetness and flavor. As mentioned in the ingredients list, the amount of sugar you add is up to your discretion (and sweet tooth!).
HOW TO MAKE THIS ICED TEA RECIPE
For Cold Brewed Tea:
STEP ONE: Pour 8 cups of cold water into a pitcher with a lid.
STEP TWO: Place tea bags inside the pitcher of water, with tea tags hanging out of the pitcher.
STEP THREE: Place the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight or up to 12 hours.
PRO TIP: The amount of time you steep your tea depends on how strong you like it. Let it steep longer for a stronger tea.
STEP FOUR: Remove tea bags and discard. If tea bags burst, strain tea mixture through a screen sieve.
PRO TIP: If you have a French press, you could brew your tea in the press and when it comes time to strain loose leaf tea or if your tea bags burst, you can push the plunger down to strain the tea leaves.
STEP FIVE: Heat the remaining ½ cup of water to a simmer, and remove from heat.
STEP SIX: Pour sugar into heated water, stir to dissolve.
STEP SEVEN: Pour sugar mixture into cold tea. Stir to incorporate sugar mixture.
STEP EIGHT: Serve your tea by pouring it over ice cubes and serving with lemon slices.
For Hot Brewed Tea:
STEP ONE: Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
PRO TIP: For the best results, filtered water will make the clearest tea.
STEP TWO: Add tea bags to water. Remove from heat and let them steep for 10-12 minutes, depending on how strong you’d like your tea to be.
STEP THREE: Carefully remove the tea bags from the hot water.
STEP FOUR: Add sugar to the hot tea mixture. Stir to completely dissolve the sugar.
STEP FIVE: Add the hot tea mixture to the remaining 4 cups of cold water.
STEP SIX: Refrigerate until cooled.
STEP SEVEN: Serve your tea by pouring it over ice and serving with lemon slices.
HOW TO SERVE
Serve up the perfect iced tea with any meal or snack you are enjoying. It would be fantastic to wash down a grilled meal such as grilled chicken, bacon-wrapped corn on the cob and broccoli salad. Finish your delicious meal off with a pan of our heaven on earth cake.
IN THE FRIDGE: Be sure to use any leftover iced tea in the refrigerator. Generally speaking, for the best flavor, you’ll want to drink your homemade iced tea within one day. But, it will stay good in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. If you have extra of your simple syrup from your cold brew tea, you can store it in the fridge and it lasts for several weeks.
You can’t go wrong with a refreshing glass of iced tea on a hot day. Now, you can cross the store-bought teas off your list on your next trip to the grocery store. Making delicious iced tea at home has never been so easy. With this iced tea recipe, you will have delicious, refreshing iced tea in no time!
A family-sized tea bag equals 3 regular tea bags. This recipe would use 9 regular-sized bags.
The steep time depends on your personal preference. If you like a strong tea, leave it to steep longer. If you like your tea milder, you only need to steep it for a short time.
The kind of tea you use is up to you. If you don’t like black tea or want to try something different, you can use virtually any kind of tea.
MORE RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE
- 8 1/2 cups water
- 8 family size tea bags
- 1 cup sugar
- Lemon wedges to garnish (optional)
- Pour 8 cups of cold water into a pitcher with a lid.
- Place tea bags inside the pitcher, with tea tags hanging out of the pitcher.
- Place the pitcher in the refrigerator overnight or up to 12 hours.
- Remove tea bags and discard. If tea bags burst, strain tea mixture through a screen sieve.
- Heat the remaining ½ cup of water to a simmer, and remove from heat.
- Pour sugar into heated water, stir to dissolve.
- Pour sugar mixture into cold tea. Stir to incorporate sugar mixture
- Serve over ice.
- Garnish with lemon wedges if desired.
- Bring 4 cups of water to a boil.
- Add tea bags to water. Remove from heat and steep 10-12 min., depending on desired strength.
- Carefully remove tea bags.
- Add sugar to the hot tea mixture. Stir to completely dissolve sugar.
- Add the hot tea mixture to the remaining 4 cups of cold water.
- Refrigerate until cooled.