How to Make Home Made Flavoured Ice Tea

Get Through the Dog Days of Summer Deliciously

When the weather starts to get warmer, my families go-to refrigerator beverage switches from water to iced tea.

With a few tea bags, some water and a little sugar, you have everything you need to brew up a pitcher of homemade iced tea. Add a few extra ingredients and you can create a new homemade flavored ice tea to switch things up.

3 Things to Remember When Making Your Best Iced Tea

1     Use enough tea bags - There is nothing more disappointing then being prepared to quench your thirst, then find all you have in your cuppa is coloured water. Except for...

2     Don’t over steep - Bitter is generally not the taste you are going for and can turn your stomach the moment it hits your tongue.

3     Melt the sugar before adding it to your iced tea - Just adding the sugar directly into your iced tea makes it cloudy and a bit crunchy. A simple syrup solves these issues and is easy to make ahead and keep on hand.

To Make a Simple Syrup:

What You Need:

     Medium Sized Saucepan


     1 Cup Sugar 
     1 Cup Water

Putting it All Together:

     Mix Sugar and Water into the pot.
     Boil over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the liquid is clear.

Makes about 1 ½ Cups. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Basic Hot-Steeped Iced Tea

What You Need:

     Large Saucepan
     Pitcher with Lid


     Full Sized Tea Bags 
     Simple Syrup (from recipe above)

Putting it All Together:

  Bring 8 cups of water to a simmer.
  Remove from heat.
  Add 5 full sized tea bags. (If they have strings and tags attached, cut them off first)
❧  Steep 4-5 minutes. (to desired taste)
  Carefully remove the teabags. The Tea will be HOT!
  Add 2 tablespoons of simple syrup. (to taste if using)
  Let cool completely before storing.
  Store in a pitcher with an airtight lid.

Basic Cold-Steeped Iced Tea

What You Need:

  2 - 3 litre sized Pitcher with Lid


  Full Sized Tea Bags 
  Simple Syrup (from recipe above)

Putting it All Together:

  Mix 8 cups cold water with 10 full sized tea bags in a pitcher 
  Cover and steep in the refrigerator for 12 - 15 hours (to preferred strength) 
  Add 2 tablespoons of Simple Syrup (to taste if using)

Now, Let's Add a Little Flavour

Create a refreshing thirst quencher using either fresh or frozen fruits.

Basic Instructions

  Simmer the fruit with water. 
  Crush the fruit while simmering. 
  Strain through a fine sieve, pushing the fruit with the back of a spoon to squeeze out more of the juices. 
  Add to the brewed tea.

You can omit the simple syrup if using this flavouring method

Putting it All Together:

Peach Flavoured Ice Tea

  Mix 1 cup of sugar, 1 cup of water and 1 pound ~or~ 2 cups ~or~ 3 medium sliced peaches in a medium saucepan. 
  Cook on high until it just comes to a boil. 
  Turn down the heat to a simmer. 
  Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. 
  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes until cooled. 
  Give the mixture a bit of a crush. 
  Strain through a sieve. 
  Add to brewed iced tea.

Strawberry Flavoured Iced Tea

  Mix 4 cups sliced fresh or frozen strawberries, 1 ½ cups water and 1 ½ cups sugar in a medium saucepan. 
  Heat on high until it just comes to a boil. 
  Reduce heat to medium. 
  Simmer for 12-15 minutes, until the sugar has dissolved. 
  Allow to sit for 20-30 minutes until cooled. 
  Give the mixture a bit of a crush. 
  Strain through a sieve. 
  Add to brewed iced tea.

Cherry Vanilla Iced Tea

  Mix ½ cup fresh or frozen cherries, pitted, ½ cup water, ½ cup sugar to a medium saucepan. 
  Simmer until the sugar has dissolved. 
  Stir the mixture occasionally to keep it from sticking to the bottom of the saucepan and smoosh it against the sides to release more of the cherry juices while you do. 
  Remove from heat and allow to cool. 
  Give the mixture another little crush. 
  Strain through a sieve. 
  Add 2 tablespoons vanilla extract. 
  Add to brewed iced tea.

Blueberry Lime Iced Tea

  Add 1 cup of blueberries, 3/4 cup sugar, 1 cup of water to a medium saucepan.
  Heat on medium-high until it just comes to a boil. 
  Reduce heat to a simmer. 
  Simmer for 1 minute. 
  Remove heat and let cool.
  Strain the blueberries out of the syrup. 
  Add the juice from ½ a lime ~or~ 1 tablespoon of the bottled lime juice. 
  Add to brewed iced tea.

A Quick Word about Juice and Nectar Flavoured Iced Tea

When using juices and nectars to flavour your iced tea, don’t use ones reconstituted from concentrate. 

However, frozen concentrate juices are a delicious add in. So keep your eye open for flavours you might want to try that are hiding in your frozen foods aisle.

Use approximately ½ cup of juice,  3/4 cup nectar or 1/3 cup thawed concentrate to each 8 cups of brewed iced tea.

These measurements of course will always be subject to taste.

Some flavours that work with iced tea:

Orange, Mango, Lemon, Lime, Pineapple, Pomegranate, Cranberry, Apricot, Raspberry, Wildberry Blends

Herbs and spices like Cardamom, Cinnamon, Star Anise, Ginger, Nutmeg, Fennel Seeds, and Cloves  are best used with the hot steeping method. 

Be sure to strain them out when the hot tea is cool enough to handle. Leaving them to steep for too long can produce an overpowering taste. 

Delicate herbs such as Mint, Sage, Lemon Grass,  Parsley and Basil are best added fresh when you are pouring yourself a glass. They make a pretty garnish as well as flavouring your iced tea.

Some edible flowers to use are Camomile,Hibiscus, Rose, Lavender, Violets or Chrysanthemum. The important thing to note when using flowers is to use organically grown flowers, without pesticides. Most good grocery stores sell them in the produce section.

Mix, Match and Explore New Tastes

You can find your personalized brew by experimenting a bit and mixing flavours together. Mix fruits with flowers, flowers and herbs or different fruits to create your signature tea.

Some ideas to get you started:

Chamomile and Orange, Cherry and Basil, Peach and Ginger, Apple and Cinnamon, Mint and Lemon Grass, Raspberry and Peach, Strawberry and Basil, Lemon and Lavender

Flavours are easily changed up by changing up the tea. 

Try using Earl Grey, Matcha, White or Green teas. You can also just pull out whatever you happen to have in the cupboard.

There are so many possibilities when you are in the mood for a flavoured iced tea. Have fun trying out different taste blends to create your signature flavoured ice tea.