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Basic Iced Tea

Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 2 quarts.

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.


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Reviews (2 reviews)

  • User avater
    ilovemyhusband445 | 12/17/2020

    This recipe is amazing! It almost saved me and my husbands marriage! Notice how i said almost...

  • 2adair | 07/10/2010

    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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