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Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea

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close up shot of glasses of Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea garnished with strawberry an lemon slices
Juicy strawberries, a bit of sugar, and some lemons—along with just a few simple steps—make this Southern strawberry sweet tea an easy summer favorite.
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Table of Contents
  1. Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea Ingredients
  2. How To Make This Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea Recipe
  3. How To Serve
  4. Storage
  5. More Recipes You’ll Love
  6. JUMP TO RECIPE

Southern strawberry iced tea is a fruity variation on classic iced tea that is a refreshing cold drink to enjoy on hot summer days. Using fresh, ripe strawberries to create a tasty simple syrup, this homemade strawberry iced tea recipe is the perfect drink to serve at a garden party or barbecue.

Want more fruity party drink ideas? How about a refreshing orange sherbet punch? Or a yummy homemade raspberry lemonade?

close up shot of glasses of Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea garnished with strawberry an lemon slices

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea Ingredients

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea raw ingredients that are labeled

You’ll need:

For the Strawberry Simple Syrup

  • 3 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed, then sliced (should measure three cups after they are sliced) 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar

PRO TIP:

This recipe uses 20-ounces of strawberries. You’ll want three cups of sliced strawberries plus 6 to 8 strawberries for garnish.

For the Sweet Tea

  • 3 family-sized Lipton original tea bags (or 9 regular sized tea bags)
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cups cold water, in a large pitcher
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges for garnish in a glass
  • 6 to 8 strawberries, washed but leave stems on, with a cut on the bottom for garnish on the glass
  • Ice cubes

PRO TIP:

For the most intense strawberry flavor, this recipe works best with very ripe strawberries. While you can enjoy it all year round, strawberry iced tea is tastiest in the summer when strawberries are in season and at their juiciest.

SUBSTITUTIONS AND ADDITIONS

TEA: A family-sized tea bag is equal to 3 regular-sized tea bags. For this recipe, if you only have the regular size on hand, you can just substitute a total of 9 tea bags to make this version of sweet tea. You can also use your preferred brand or type of tea as the foundation.

SUGAR: For a lower-calorie version of this strawberry sweet tea, you could swap the two cups of sugar for a ¼ cup of stevia. Another good alternative to sugar is 1½ cups of honey which gives an added layer of flavor.

STRAWBERRIES: If you don’t have enough strawberries, you could add some other soft fruits such as raspberries or blackberries.

ALCOHOL: To turn this sweet tea into a boozy cocktail, simply add a shot of your favorite liquor. Rum, vodka, or bourbon all add complementary flavors and are sure to get your party buzzing.

How To Make This Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea Recipe

STEP ONE: Wash the strawberries. Set 6 to 8 strawberries aside to use as garnish. With the remaining strawberries, remove the stems and slice them. You should now have 3 cups of sliced strawberries.

STEP TWO: In a medium saucepan add 2 cups of water, 1 cup of sugar, and the sliced strawberries. Cook over medium to high heat until the mixture reaches boiling point.

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea process shot of ingredients in a saucepan

STEP THREE: Reduce the heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until the strawberries are soft and the liquid is a deep red color.

STEP FOUR: Using a mesh strainer, strain the strawberry syrup into a large pitcher. Press down on the strawberries gently to get the juice out, but be sure to not press too hard. You don’t want any strawberry chunks in your sweet tea!

PRO TIP:

This recipe makes quite a lot of tea, so you’ll need either a very large pitcher or two medium-sized ones. If you’re not having a party and just want to make a drink to enjoy yourself at home, we suggest using smaller quantities of all the ingredients.

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea process shot of strawberries strained with a mesh strainer

STEP FIVE: Add 3 cups of boiling water to a large jug. Place 3 family-sized tea bags into the hot water and let them steep for 5 minutes before removing the tea bags. Add 1 cup of sugar and stir well.

PRO TIP:

You can adjust the number of tea bags to vary the strength of your tea. For a stronger tea, add an extra tea bag and steep for an extra five minutes. For a lighter-colored tea, use only two tea bags and add extra water.

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea process shutoff tea bags in a bowl with hot water

STEP SIX: Pour the jug of tea into the pitcher with the strawberry syrup and add 8 cups of cold water. Stir well and add the juice from 1 large lemon.

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea process shot of drink poured into a pitcher

STEP SEVEN: Cover the pitcher and refrigerate for 2 to 3 hours until very cold.

How To Serve

Add sliced strawberries, lemons, and ice to the pitcher. Add a slice of lemon to the rim of each glass as garnish and serve with a straw.

This tasty and refreshing drink would be lovely served with a tasty dessert such as our mint chip dessert lasagna or lemon lasagna.

Storage

IN THE FRIDGE: Strawberry iced tea can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 8 hours.

IN THE FREEZER: This drink is best served right away and we don’t recommend freezing it.

close up shot of a glass of Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea garnished with strawberry an lemon slices

Southern strawberry sweet tea is just the thing a lazy summer day, or a fun backyard bash needs. The addition of fresh strawberries to the sweet tea gives this recipe a summer feel that’s perfectly refreshing and begs you to pull up a chair and just relax.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is a family-sized tea bag?

A family-sized tea bag equals 3 regular tea bags. This recipe would use 9 regular-sized bags.

What type of tea should I use?

This recipe uses just regular black tea from Lipton but you could experiment with your favorite tea flavor and brand.

Can you use frozen strawberries?

You can thaw frozen strawberries and they would work just as well in this recipe.

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close up shot of glasses of Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea garnished with strawberry an lemon slices

Southern Strawberry Sweet Tea

5 from 3 votes
Juicy strawberries, a bit of sugar, and some lemons—along with just a few simple steps—make this Southern strawberry sweet tea an easy summer favorite.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 14

Ingredients
  

Strawberry Simple Syrup

  • 3 cups strawberries, washed and stems removed, then sliced (should measure three cups after they are sliced) 
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar

Sweet Tea

  • 3 family-sized Lipton original tea bags
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 8 cups cold water, in a large pitcher
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 lemon, cut into slices or wedges for garnish in glass
  • 6-8 strawberries, washed but leave stems on, with a cut on the bottom for garnish on the glass
  • ice

Instructions
 

  • In a medium saucepan, add 2 cups water, 1 cup sugar, and sliced strawberries. Cook over medium-high and bring to a boil.
  • Reduce heat and let simmer for 30 minutes, or until strawberries are soft and the liquid is a deep red color.
  • Strain the strawberries using a mesh strainer into your pitcher. Press down on the strawberries gently, but make sure to not press too hard. You don’t want any strawberry chunks in your sweet tea.
  • While the strawberry simple syrup is cooling in the pitcher, add 3 cups of hot water to a large bowl. Place 3 family-sized tea bags into the hot water and let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags from the bowl and throw them away.
  • Add 1 cup of sugar into the bowl with the tea and stir well.
  • Dump the sweet tea from the bowl to the pitcher.
  • Add 8 cups cold water to the pitcher and stir well.
  • Add the juice from 1 large lemon to your sweet tea and mix well.
  • Cover the pitcher and refrigerate 2 to 3 hours, or until very cold. Serve over ice and enjoy!

Video

Notes

  • This recipe uses 20-ounces of strawberries. You’ll want three cups of sliced strawberries plus 6 to 8 strawberries for garnish. 
  • For the most intense strawberry flavor, this recipe works best with very ripe strawberries. While you can enjoy it all year round, strawberry iced tea is tastiest in the summer when strawberries are in season and at their juiciest.
  • This recipe makes quite a lot of tea, so you’ll need either a very large pitcher or two medium-sized ones. If you’re not having a party and just want to make a drink to enjoy yourself at home, we suggest using smaller quantities of all the ingredients.
  • You can adjust the number of tea bags to vary the strength of your tea. For a stronger tea, add an extra tea bag and steep for an extra five minutes. For a lighter-colored tea, use only two tea bags and add extra water.

Nutrition

Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 12mg | Potassium: 58mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 30g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 14mg | Iron: 1mg
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  1. Mercedes says

    Hi! I’m wondering what a “family sized tea bag” is? What size is it? Where can I buy them? How many normal sized tea bags can I use to replace the 3 family sized ones?
    Thank you!!

  2. Nim says

    5 stars
    I would say use the leftover strawberry mush as a topping for toast! Just chill it in the fridge till nice and cold!

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