If someone tells you that all iced tea is the same, then you should ignore that person and probably stop being their friend altogether. They obviously can’t be trusted. I’m kidding…mostly. I really like tea and I like it Southern style. That means strong and sweet and over ice. This recipe for Lemon Iced Tea is a vibrant punch of flavor on a hot summer’s day or anytime you’d like to sit on the porch and enjoy the afternoon.
When I first learned how to make tea I kind of did my own thing and didn’t really listen to the people who really knew what they were doing. Now I know better, but I was stubborn, okay?!
Here are a few tips I’ve learned the hard way so you can make great iced tea…right from the start:
- Use a great tea bag made for iced tea. This is my all-time favorite brand for the most flavorful and authentic Southern iced tea. Try it and tell me what you think!
- Do NOT boil the tea bags. Just boil the water. It changes the way the tea tastes and makes it a little burnt. Some people will argue that you just don’t need to boil it for too long and it will be fine. I just avoid boiling the tea because it’s just not even meant to be boiled. That’s the truth.
- Do NOT add more than 1 cup of sugar per 1 gallon of tea. That’s just too sweet. It might sound like a good idea. But don’t. Plus, the sugar I use has a tremendous amount of flavor. It’s crazy better than regular white sugar because demerara sugar still has some of the original yummy molasses still on the granules. It makes this tea amazing! But remember to not add too much.
- Do NOT add lemon slices to the pitcher unless you’re going to drink the entire batch in a few hours. If you place them in the pitcher they will cause the tea to become bitter over time. That’s why the Lemon Vitality essential oil is key to this recipe. It is made from real lemon peels and puts the vibrant, citrus essence right on the tea!
- Always serve your tea over a full glass of ice. It’s not just because it’s called “iced tea.” There is ice in the recipe process and then there is ice when you serve the tea. Don’t skip either one. The ice in the recipe helps to quickly chill the tea to a more suitable temperature. The ice in the glass keeps it deliciously chilled while you sip it.
Try this glass beverage dispenser with a spout to serve tea at your next barbecue. This one is gorgeous and the perfect size for this recipe.
New to essential oils? Learn more about how we use them and why you should use them as well.
- In a medium sauce pan, heat the 5 cups of water over high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Remove the pan from the heat and add the three tea bags.
- Allow the tea to steep for 5 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard them. Allow the tea to cool another 5 minutes at room temperature.
- Place the demerara sugar in your gallon pitcher. Pour the slightly cooled tea over the sugar and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
- Fill up the rest of the pitcher with ice. Add the Lemon Vitality essential oil. Stir and serve over a full glass of ice.
- If you'd like to add lemon slices as garnish, serve them in the individual glasses.