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8 Iced Tea Recipes

Updated on October 10, 2016
Iced Tea
Iced Tea | Source

Making your own iced tea can be as simple or complicated as you choose. From ready-made cold tea mixtures infused with fruits or spicy flavors and the time consuming preparation already taken care of, to starting from scratch with fresh fruity ingredients or piquant preparations. Although it may be far more straightforward to use one all singing, all dancing flavored teabag and a bit of water, by perfecting your own iced tea recipe you can control the added sugar content to suit the personal taste of yourself and alter the proportions for friends if needs be, plus it’s fun to experiment with types of teas and added flavors to see what works for you. The possibilities are quite literally endless! Read on for a few suggestions to get you started!

Sugar
Sugar | Source

Tips and Sweeteners

Before we start with the iced tea recipes here are some useful ice tea making tips:

  1. Use enough tea bags. The cooler something is the more the flavor is subdued and on top of this, the hotter a person is the less they can taste. Use a good, strong tea and aim for about 2 tea bags per 24 ounces or 3 cups or 240 ml.
  2. Don’t over stew! Brewing for too long brings out the tannin's in the tea and can make the tea taste bitter. Use more tea bags if your preference is a stronger flavor.
  3. Add sugar granules to hot tea to sweeten so the grains dissolve easily. If you want to sweeten tea on an individual basis then use a syrup rather than granulated sugar that will take a lot longer to dissolve in cold tea.
  4. Use freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice with a little of the pulp for best fresh results where the recipe requires citrus.
  5. Baking soda is a helpful ingredient that will reduce bitterness in case of burning tea/stewing for too long.

Tea Sweeteners:

  • Honey syrup (use equal parts honey and hot water)
  • Honey into hot tea
  • Agave nectar (into hot or cold tea)
  • Sugar syrup
  • Sugar dissolved into hot tea
  • Stevie sweetener

Peach Iced Tea
Peach Iced Tea | Source
5 stars from 2 ratings of Perfect Peach Iced Tea

Tips:

  • If using whole, unpeeled peaches it is easier to first cut into slices and then remove the skin.
  • For those that are not worried about clear iced tea or perhaps even prefer to have some of the pulpy goodness try adding the mixture to a blender making an iced tea smoothie.

1. Peach Iced Tea

Peaches perfectly lend themselves to tea to produce a frankly fabulous infusion, in my opinion anyway! If you prefer to go green or even white then substitute the black tea bags but you may find they overpower the subtle peach flavors.

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 5 black tea bags
  • 4 cups (nearly 1 L) sliced peeled peaches, fresh or thawed
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml/67 g granulated sugar
  • 8 cups (1.9 L) boiling water

Instructions:

  1. Steep tea in 8 cups of boiling water for about 3-4 minutes.
  2. Simultaneously add the peaches, sugar and 1 cup (~240 ml) of water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce the heat to low/medium and simmer, stirring regularly, until the peaches are very soft. This should take approximately 12 minutes.
  4. Combine the tea and mushy peaches and leave to cool until at room temperature, about 45 minutes.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, around 2 or so hours.
  6. Strain the mixture through a cheesecloth-lined sieve and into a jug or a pitcher. You can add a little of the pulp in or just let the liquid seep through to keep the final drink clear.
  7. Serve with plenty of ice.

The photo shown below uses all of the peach pulp blended together with the tea.

Peach Iced Tea
Peach Iced Tea | Source
Nectarine and Basil Iced Tea
Nectarine and Basil Iced Tea | Source

2. Nectarine and Basil Iced Tea

Basil is perhaps not an obvious ingredient to add to an iced tea but definitely worth a try if you love the fresh, fragrant herb as I do.

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 bags black tea
  • 4 nectarines, sliced
  • 1/3 cup/75 ml/67 g granulated sugar
  • 5-10 basil leaves
  • 8 cups (1.9 L) boiling water divides into 7 cups and 1 cup)

Instructions:

  1. Steep tea in 7 cups boiling water for about 3-4 minutes and remove tea bags.
  2. Simultaneously add most of the nectarine plus sugar to a saucepan and boil with 1 cup of water. Keep back a handful of nectarine for serving.
  3. Simmer for about 15 minutes and then turn off the heat.
  4. Add the basil leaves to the pan for 5 minutes to allow the flavors to infuse into the nectarine syrup.
  5. Strain the mixture or keep it thick (discarding basil leaves) and combine the mixture and tea.
  6. Allow to cool to room temperature and chill.
  7. Serve with ice and decorate with remaining nectarine slices.

Sweet Iced Tea
Sweet Iced Tea | Source

3. Sweet Iced Tea

This recipe forms the basics of iced tea with one special ingredient:baking soda. Adding baking soda to iced tea recipes will take away bitterness if you end up burning your tea leaves by leaving them in too long. In any case, avoid over brewing the tea as the flavor may become overpowering and unpleasant.

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 6 tea bags (whatever your preferred brand)
  • 2 cups (475 ml) boiling water
  • 6 cups (1400 ml) cool water
  • 3/4 (150 g) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda

Instructions:

  1. Use a jug or pitcher that is big enough to take 8 cups of water and add the baking soda and tea bags before pouring over the boiling water.
  2. Allow to steep for around 5-10 minutes depending on how strong a flavor of iced tea you prefer. Discard the used bags.
  3. Pour in the sugar and give it a stir to speed things up and stop the sugar gathering at the bottom of the jug. Once the sugar is completely dissolved add the cool water and refrigerate until cold.
  4. Serve over ice.

This makes straight-up, simple sweet ice tea but a squeeze of lemon or slice of lemon garnish wouldn't go amiss!

Rhubarb and Mint Iced Tea Recipe
Rhubarb and Mint Iced Tea Recipe | Source
Rhubarb and Mint Iced Tea
Rhubarb and Mint Iced Tea | Source

Tip:

  • If using lemon to garnish try zesting a little over the finished iced tea for added flavor.

4. Rhubarb and Mint Iced Tea

A refreshing way to get some rhubarb into your life and an easy one to grow yourself too. There is something rather satisfying about popping into the garden to retrieve your ingredients, even if it does involve a blunt kitchen knife and some unskillful hacking, as in my case.

Yield: 8 drinks

Ingredients:

For the rhubarb syrup:

  • 8 oz chopped rhubarb (2-3 small stalks)
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg

For the ice tea:

  • 8 tea bags
  • 1 cup rhubarb syrup
  • 2 lemons, juiced (additional one for garnish if required)
  • Handful for mint leaves for cocktails and garnish.

Instructions:

For the rhubarb syrup:

A quick and simple rhubarb syrup recipe.

  1. Put the rhubarb into a medium saucepan with half of the water, bring to the boil and simmer slowly until the rhubarb is just a mash (about 25 mins).
  2. Strain the mushy mixture through a sieve and pour liquid back into the pan.
  3. Add the remaining water and ingredients and simmer until all the sugar has melted.

You may wonder why you don't just put all of the ingredients in together to save the extra step of reheating but if you do it like this then you end up losing a lot of the sweetness and spiciness of the syrup in with the pulp of the rhubarb. Of course if you don't want to strain the syrup and prefer to keep the pulp for your drink then add all the ingredients straightaway.

For the ice tea:

  1. Boil the water and steep the tea bags for around 3-5 minutes in a large jug, pitcher or similar.
  2. Discard tea bags.
  3. Stir in the rhubarb syrup and add the lemon juice and leave to cool.
  4. Add ice cubes to the pitcher as well as the mint and stir vigorously so the minty scent infuses with the rhubarb tea.
  5. Serve in a glass over more ice and add lemon and mint garnish.

Chai Iced Tea
Chai Iced Tea | Source

5. Chai Iced Tea

It may be exceedingly easy to pop a Chai tea bag into a cup of boiling water and wait while, but where's the fun in that? This recipe is highly adaptable so why not investigate the contents of the spice cupboard and start experimenting?

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4 bags black tea, (such as Darjeeling)
  • 1/3 cup (75 mL) granulated sugar
  • 1 stick cinnamon
  • 2 slices fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves
  • 2 cardamom pods, broken
  • 1/4 tsp (1 mL) aniseed

Instructions:

  1. Steep tea in 8 cups (2 l) boiling water for 3-5 minutes. Discard bags.
  2. At the same time add sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, cardamom, aniseed and 1 cup (250 ml) water to a small saucepan and bring to boil.
  3. Simmer letting the spices infuse until the liquid is clear, about 5 or so minutes.
  4. Combine tea and spicy solution and allow to cool to room temperature, approximately 30 minutes.
  5. Refrigerate until cold, about 2 hours.
  6. Strain through cheesecloth or sieve into jug/pitcher.
  7. Serve with plenty of ice cubes.

Ginger and Honey Iced Tea
Ginger and Honey Iced Tea | Source

6. Ginger and Honey Iced Tea

A ginger and honey iced tea not only has a lot going for it because it tastes great but you can feel smug to boot, safe in the knowledge that you are giving your insides a cupful of goodness.

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8 cups water (divided into 3 cups and 5 cups)
  • 4 tea bags
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 tablespoons of chopped fresh ginger
  • Lemon to garnish

Instructions:

  1. Add honey, ginger and 3 cups of water to a saucepan and bring to the boil.
  2. Add the tea bags and continue to boil for one minute then turn off heat and steep tea for 5 minutes. Discard tea bags.
  3. In a large container or jug add the mixture and cold water and chill in the refrigerator.
  4. Strain the ginger when it comes to serving and add lots of ice.


A slightly different method for making iced tea with fruits or spices would be to boil water and sugar in a pan and then use this boiling sugar syrup to steep the tea bags as described in Raspberry Iced Tea method below. This would ensure that none of the sugar is lost in the process.

Raspberry Iced Tea
Raspberry Iced Tea | Source

7. Raspberry Iced Tea

If you love this sparky, rouge fruit why not go all out berry-tastic and give the raspberry ice detailed below a go too.

Yield: 8 cups, 1.9 L or 8 servings

Ingredients:

  • 8-1/4 cups water, divided
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 5 individual tea bags
  • 3 to 4 cups unsweetened raspberries

Instructions:

  1. Bring 4 cups of water plus sugar to the boil and stir until sugar dissolved.
  2. Using the boiling sugar water steep tea for around 5 minutes.
  3. Discard tea and add 4 cups of cold water.
  4. Add ¼ cup of water and raspberries to a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  5. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
  6. Strain raspberries and add the liquid to the tea.
  7. Chill prepped mixture in fridge for 30 minutes and then pour into jug or glasses with ice.


Fun Ice

To avoid diluting the taste of your iced tea you could make tea ice cubes or perhaps add to the complexity of the flavors by adding a different tea ice cube or fruit based ice cube or something else that complements or beautifies the ice tea. Whatever you chose be sure to use cooled boiling water to improve the clarity of your ice cubes. Boiling water won't take out all of the air and there will still be some murkiness in the center but it will be an improvement from using straight tap water.

Raspberry Ice:

  1. Pour filtered water into a kettle and boil. Allow to cool.
  2. Place a fresh or frozen raspberry in each section of an ice cube tray.
  3. Pour cooled, boiled water into the tray and freeze.

Raspberry Ice
Raspberry Ice | Source
Tea Popsicles
Tea Popsicles | Source

Tea Popsicles

I haven't specified quantities in the tea popsicle recipe below deliberately as the amounts used are very flexible and dependent on the type of tea you are choosing to use. Just remember that freezing will dull the flavors so use more tea bags and more sweetener than you would ordinarily use for an iced tea drink.

Ingredients:

  • Tea Bag (black tea or any flavor you fancy)
  • Sugar/sweetener (depending on tea chosen)
  • Water

Instructions:

  1. Steep tea using twice as many tea bags as you would ordinarily use in boiling water (half the amount of total liquid).
  2. Stir in sugar (if using).
  3. Add the remaining water to bring down the overall temperature.
  4. Pour into molds.
  5. After an hour stir the mixture to spread the flavors more evenly.
  6. Leave to freeze completely.

Thai Iced Tea

For a different approach altogether to iced tea have a look at this video on how to make Thai Iced Tea.

Sweetener Comparison Table

Sweetener
Calories (per 1/2 cup)
Comments
Granulated Sugar
387
 
Honey
515
Contains vitamins & minerals unlike sugar
Agave Nectar
480
Sweeter than sugar so need less
Stevia
Virtually none
Stevia extract is made from the Stevia plant

Do you prefer to make your own flavored iced tea or buy it ready-made?

See results

With any luck you will have enjoyed this hub and picked up some pointers along the way. If you like the idea of adding alcohol into the equation then why not read my Ice Tea Cocktail hub too! Thank you muchly.

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    • techygran profile image

      Cynthia 2 years ago from Vancouver Island, Canada

      This is a brilliant set of recipes for my favourite hot summer beverage! I can hardly wait to try the various versions here and will be using stevia to sweeten them. I appreciate your extra attention to details (such as when to sweeten and how to make the tea stronger without over-brewing, and even the tip about baking soda). Your photos are exquisite! I'm sharing extensively and rating you up and awesome!

    • poetryman6969 profile image

      poetryman6969 2 years ago

      I have certainly found that you can over brew tea. I like to have some ginger tea now and then. Lemon and honey are nice in teas and some herb tea is good now and again.

      Voted up.

    • emge profile image

      Madan 2 years ago from Abu Dhabi

      excellent, must try them

    • Dougalbunny profile image
      Author

      Zoe 2 years ago from London, England

      Thank you for your kind comments, they are very much appreciated I have to say!

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