This recipe for iced tea concentrate allows the drinker to be in full control of every aspect of their iced tea experience!
Hi, my name is Mary, and I’m a Southerner. Born and bred, through and through. I have lived in Tennessee since the day I was born and by the grace of God, I will live in Tennessee until the day I die. While I could do without the negative stereotypes (and the unfortunate few who perpetuate the stereotypes), I love it here…the mild winters that I still complain about because I hate being cold, the hot summers that I never complain about (because I hate being cold), the beautiful landscape, the (mostly) friendly people…and the food.
You guys know that, though. What would Chattavore be if not for Southern food? Biscuits, fried green tomatoes (I’ve got tomatoes on the brain since I’m writing an article about them for WHISK Magazine at the moment), hummingbird cake…what’s not to love about Southern food? And Southern drinks. And no, I am not talking about mint juleps. I’ve never had one, and honestly probably never will (I don’t care for whiskey expect in my cooking).
Iced tea – sweet iced tea – is basically the unofficial official beverage of the states below the Mason-Dixon. I think I’ve mentioned once before that I went on a trip out west with my grandfather when I was 19 and no one – NO ONE – served sweet tea. I’ve never been so happy to see a Cracker Barrel in my life.
Speaking of my grandfather…when my grandmother was alive they always had several jugs of tea in their refrigerator (unsweetened – even though they were both from the south they sweetened their tea with Sweet and Low.?). Later, my grandfather became enamored with iced tea concentrate. He bought it in bottles at the grocery store. You just poured a little in your glass, added water, sweetened as you liked, and stirred. He thought it was the best thing since sliced bread.
I didn’t care one bit for that iced tea concentrate, though. It did not taste like the sweetened Luzianne tea that my mom kept in a pitcher in her fridge. It tasted artificial. It was not my thing. This iced tea concentrate, though, tastes like my mom’s Luzianne tea because it is Luzianne tea (there are two schools of thought on Southern sweet tea – it must be Luzianne or it must be Lipton. What school do you belong to?). I can sweeten it with simple syrup however I want (not too little, not too much), or I can mix a little fruit nectar into it to make fruit tea (yes, yes, a thousand times yes). And it fits in a pint jar so I don’t have to rearrange my tiny refrigerator to fit it in there.
Iced tea concentrate allows you to completely customize your iced tea!
Yield: 10 servings
5 minPrep Time:
5 minCook Time:
10 minTotal Time:
- 4 family-sized tea bags (Luzianne or Lipton)
- simple syrup
- lemon wedges
- fruit nectar (such as Jumex) (optional - for fruit tea)
- Boil 1 cup of water. Place the tea bags in a pint-sized Mason jar and pour the boiling water over the tea bags. Steep for 5 minutes. Fill the pint jar the rest of the way with cold water. Refrigerate until completely cold.
- To serve: Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Put 2 tablespoons of iced tea concentrate in the glass. Fill the glass with cool water. Sweeten to taste with simple syrup and stir. Serve immediately with lemon wedges.
- For fruit tea: Fill a 12-ounce glass with ice. Pour 1/2 cup of fruit nectar into the glass. Fill the rest of the way with water. Stir and serve immediately with lemon wedges.