Perfect Ice Tea

  • Yield: servings

Tea is truly its best when served the day it's brewed, and certainly within two days. It's easiest to make a strong brew to which you add cold water and ice. If refrigerator space is at a premium, cool the tea concentrate, cover and chill; then add water just before serving. The trick for sweet tea is to stir sugar into the concentrate so it dissolves completely before adding cold water. The amount of sugar is a personal choice. For households with both sweet and unsweet tea lovers, a box of superfine sugar that dissolves instantly in cold liquids will keep folks in both camps happy. For fun, try garnishing a glass of tea with a lime or orange wedge.


8cups fresh, cold water
6 tea bags or 6 teaspoons loose tea
1small handful of mint sprigs, optional
Sugar to taste, optional
Lemon, lime or orange wedges, optional


  1. Bring 4 cups of the water to a boil. Add tea.
  2. For a minty flavor add fresh mint. Let steep for 5 minutes. Remove tea bags and mint, if used.
  3. Add sugar to taste, if desired, stirring until completely dissolved.
  4. Pour (or strain loose tea) into a large pitcher.
  5. Add remaining 4 cups cold water—more if you like a milder tea.
  6. Cover and refrigerate. Discard leftovers after two days.
  7. Serve in tall glasses over ice with a slice of fresh lemon, lime or orange and a mint sprig, if desired.

Recipe by Mindy Merrell.