My Recipe Box

Basic Iced Tea


Yields about 2 quarts.

  • To learn more, read:
    Perfect Iced Tea
  • by from Fine Cooking
    Issue 52

I like to use orange pekoe tea and spring, filtered, or distilled water for this straightforward brew. If you like your iced tea southern style and quite sweet, add 1-1/2-cups granulated sugar.

Check out more summer drinks, including fun and classic cocktail recipes and icy drinks and shakes, on the Drinks & Entertaining page.

  • 2-1/4 cups water
  • 6 regular-size tea bags (about 1/2-ounce total), or 2 family-size tea bags
  • 6 cups cold water
  • Granulated sugar for garnish
  • Lemon wedges for garnish
  • Mint sprigs for garnish

In a small saucepan, bring the 2-1/4 cups water to a gentle boil. Add the tea bags, remove the saucepan from the heat, and cover. Steep for 15 minutes.

Remove the tea bags without squeezing them (which would add bitterness) and pour the steeped tea into a 2-1/2-quart heatproof container (like a large Pyrex liquid measure). Add the 6 cups cold water and mix. Let cool at room temperature and then refrigerate until cold. Serve over ice, garnished with sugar, lemon wedges, and mint sprigs.

Photo: Scott Phillips

Love this basic recipe. Not squeezing the tea bags makes a big difference in the result. I have always loved the great unsweetened tea that you get in the southern states and this is it.

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