Lemon Iced Tea is a refreshing and citrusy drink perfect for hot summer days. Made with a combination of freshly brewed black tea, lemon juice, and sweetener, it is the right balance of tang and sweetness. Served over ice, this homemade lemon iced tea is a cooling drink that will quench your thirst and leave you feeling refreshed.
This homemade lemon iced tea recipe is a refreshing and flavorful way to stay hydrated, especially during hot weather.
The combination of citrusy lemon and cold tea is delicious and provides a much-needed burst of energy and is the perfect thirst quencher. It also serves as an excellent party drink.
If you are someone who orders Iced tea at restaurants, you need to make this Iced tea at home. It's so easy to make and much more delicious!
What is Lemon Iced Tea?
Iced tea is a popular and refreshing, chilled summer drink made by brewing tea and then cooling it down. This cold tea is served over ice and may be sweetened with sugar or syrup.
Iced tea can be enjoyed plain or flavored with additions like lemon, mint, fruit syrups, or sweeteners for variety. One of the most popular variations is Lemon Iced Tea that I am sharing in today’s post.
The Lemon Iced tea recipe incorporates the bright and tangy flavors of lemon. It is made by brewing tea, typically black tea, and then adding freshly squeezed lemon juice, and sweetener of choice to balance the flavors.
Both tea and lemons are rich in antioxidants, plus lemons are a great source of Vitamin C that supports immune health, and collagen production and aids digestion. So I find Homemade Iced tea is a healthier alternative to sugary soft drinks or artificially flavored beverages, offering a natural and delicious option.
This Lemon tea is quick and easy to make and perfect for sipping during the hot weather or as a party drinks too!
Black Tea bags - I prefer black tea bags or sachets for this recipe since it makes quick and easy cleanup, but you can also use loose tea powder and filter it after steeping. Use the black tea of your choice or green tea bags.
Lemon Juice - Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for this recipe, bottled juice is not recommended. Use fresh juicy lemons and go for the bright yellow ones with thin skin. Depending on the size of your lemons, you will need 2-3 lemons to get ¼th cup of freshly squeezed lemon juice. I also like to add some lemon zest to enhance the citrus flavor of Iced tea.
Sugar -I prefer using white granulated sugar. You can use sweeteners of choice like Honey, maple syrup, and agave syrup.
Baking soda - This is an optional ingredient. Adding a small pinch of baking soda to the brewed tea can help neutralize any bitterness and give it a smoother taste.
Salt - A small pinch helps balance the flavors.
In addition, you will also need water, lemon slices, and mint for garnishing and serving.
Please refer to the recipe card for exact measurements of ingredients.
How To Make Lemon Iced Tea (Stepwise Photos)
1 - Bring 2 cups of water to a boil (either on the stovetop or electric kettle). Pour the hot boiling water into a measuring cup. Add 2 black tea bags (3 for stronger tea). Mix and steep for 5 minutes.
2 and 3 - After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags and stir the baking soda, salt, and sugar into the warm tea.
4 - Zest lemon using a grater or microplane and add it to water (optional), mix well. Cool for 5 mins
5 and 6 - Stir in 2 cups cold water and lemon juice.
7 and 8 - Mix well and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
9 and 10 - Transfer chilled tea using a sieve into a pitcher. Refreshing lemon iced tea is ready! You can serve or refrigerate it for later use.
11 and 12 - For individual serving: Serve the Lemon Iced Tea chilled in a tall glass filled halfway with ice cubes, a few slices of lemon, and mint leaves (optional). You can further garnish with a lemon slice and or wedge on the rim.
For a party or potluck: Serve the Iced Tea in a pitcher or jug with plenty of ice cubes, lemon slices, and mint on the side so your guests can help themselves.
You can store this homemade lemon iced tea in an airtight container or pitcher in the refrigerator. Consume the stored tea within 2-3 days for the best taste. To prevent dilution, it is best to store the tea without the ice cubes or lemon slices.
When ready to serve, shake/stir the refrigerated iced tea and pour over fresh ice in individual glasses.
Here are a few variations of Lemon Iced Tea recipe that you can try:
Add a handful of fresh or frozen berries like raspberries, blueberries, or strawberries to the pitcher before refrigerating. The fruity infusion adds a delightful twist.
Replace the black tea with green tea to create a lighter and earthy version. Green tea pairs well with lemon, and makes a refreshing and rejuvenating combination.
Add a few slices of fresh ginger to your Lemon Iced Tea for a spicy kick.
Make a sparkling Lemon Iced Tea by adding sparkling water or soda for a bubbly and refreshing twist.
For an adult-friendly spiked version, add a splash of vodka, rum, or your preferred spirit to the Lemon Iced Tea. It transforms the drink into a delightful cocktail, perfect for gatherings or special occasions.
Use freshly squeezed lemon juice for the best flavor. It provides a vibrant and authentic citrus taste that enhances the overall taste of iced tea.
Adjust the amount of tea bags depending on how strong you like your Iced tea. More tea bags equals stronger tea. Be careful it can also make your iced tea bitter.
Add a sweetener of choice according to your taste preference. Start with a smaller amount and gradually add more. Or if you prefer unsweetened Iced Tea, skip the sweetener.
Infuse tea with herbs like mint, basil, or rosemary, or fruits like sliced strawberries or oranges for extra depth of flavor.
Chill the Iced tea in the refrigerator for at least an hour before serving for optimal taste.
Add ice cubes to the glass instead of the pitcher to prevent the tea from being watered down.
Frequently Asked Questions
Baking soda is added to iced tea to help reduce its bitterness and murky appearance. It helps counteract the acidity in the tea, resulting in a smoother and less bitter taste.
Skip the sweetener (sugar) in the recipe to make unsweetened lemon Iced tea.
More Summer Drink Recipes
I hope you enjoy this Lemon Iced Tea Recipe !! If you try this recipe, please rate it by clicking stars ⭐️ on the recipe card. Thank you ❤️! You can also follow me on Facebook and Instagram to see what’s cooking in my kitchen!!
Lemon Iced Tea Recipe
- Round Ice Cube Tray or regular ice cubes
For serving (garnish)
- 1 lemon sliced
- Ice cubes as needed
- Mint leaves as needed, optional
Making Lemon Iced Tea
- Bring 2 cups of water to a boil (either in a saucepan on the stovetop or electric kettle). Pour the hot boiling water into a measuring cup or heat-proof Pitcher.
- Add 2 black tea bags (3 for stronger tea). Mix and steep for 5 minutes.
- After 5 minutes, remove the tea bags and stir in the baking soda, salt, and sugar.
- Zest lemon using a grater or microplane and add it to water (optional), mix well. Cool for 5 mins
- Stir in 2 cups cold water and lemon juice.
- Mix well and allow the mixture to come to room temperature. Refrigerate for 2 hours or until chilled.
- Transfer using a sieve into a pitcher to refrigerate or serve.
Serving Lemon Iced tea
- For individual serving: Serve the Lemon Iced Tea chilled in a tall glass filled haalfway with ice cubes, a few slices of lemon, and mint leaves (optional). You can further garnish with a lemon slice or wedge on the rim.
- For a party or potluck: Serve the Lemon Iced Tea in a pitcher or jug with plenty of ice cubes, aand lemon slices on the side so your guests can help themselves.
Update Notes: This post was originally published on Jul 2, 2014, but was republished with, step-by-step instructions, new photos, tips, and a video in Jul of 2023.