You have to taste our sweet and fruity berry iced tea! It’s infused with fresh berries, making this summer drink extra refreshing!
Sweet tea was a memorable part of my youth. Family and holiday dinners always meant that multiple pitchers of home brewed iced tea were on the menu. Even the kids drank it and no one worried about the sugar or caffeine back then.
I still love a glass (or two) of sweet tea. It’s refreshing, energizing and just a little bit indulgent. You can’t go wrong with a classic sweet tea, but sometimes I like to switch things up like I did with my chai iced tea recipe.
After some summer recipe testing, my fridge was filled with leftover berries so I decided to make a pitcher of berry iced tea. Restaurants like Cracker Barrel and Starbucks serve berry iced tea, so I knew it would be tasty… but I had no clue how much I would love this homemade tea recipe!
Even Kevin loved it and he prefers unsweetened iced tea. I’m ashamed to say we downed the whole pitcher in a day! That’s the point I knew that the recipe was winner!
This tea is sweet, refreshing, fruity and so smooth! You really can’t drink just one glass!
How to make this recipe
Making berry iced tea from scratch is fairly easy. It starts by making a berry simple syrup using sugar, water, raspberries, blueberries and blackberries. You let the syrup simmer until the berries cook down, releasing their juices.
Then you strain the syrup through a fine mesh sieve to remove the seeds and skin. Combine the syrup with freshly brewed black tea and baking soda and refrigerate until cold. If you can wait that long!
Ingredients and Substitutions
Black tea → My mom always used Red Rose Tea in her sweet tea so that’s my brand of choice but you can use your favorite black tea.
Sugar → I used granulated sugar for this recipe. No need for anything fancy.
Water → When making drinks, it’s always good to use filtered water. The chlorine and other chemicals added to tap water can affect the taste of tea.
Berries → I used a combo of raspberries, blueberries and blackberries but you could also use mulberries, strawberries, or wineberries. Both fresh and frozen work great.
Baking Soda → Baking soda reduces the bitter tannins in tea making for a smoother beverage.
Ice → It’s not iced tea without ice! Use large cubes so you don’t dilute the tea. Or even better- use frozen berries!
Berry Iced Tea Recipe
- 1 cup raspberries
- 1 cup blueberries
- 1 cup blackberries
- 1½ cups sugar
- 4 cups water
- 8 cups water , divided
- 6 black tea bags
- ¼ teaspoon baking soda
Make the berry simple syrup
- Rinse berries, then place in a medium sized pan with the sugar and water. Cook over medium high heat until it comes to a boil. Once boiling, turn down the heat to low and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- Over a heatproof bowl or large mason jar, strain the syrup using a fine mesh sieve. Discard the solids and reserve the syrup for the tea.
- Rinse out the pan, then add 4 cups of water to it and set it on the stove to boil. Once the water is boiling, turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea steep for 15 minutes.
- Remove the tea bags, squeezing out any excess liquid, then add the baking soda.
- Place the remaining 4 cups of water in a large pitcher, then add the syrup and tea. Stir to combine, then refrigerate until ready to serve.
- I used a potato masher to break up large berries while the syrup was cooking. It helps to speed the cooking along. If using frozen berries, they will break up much faster.
- Filtered water, rather than tap water is best.
- The water in the recipe is divided to speed the cooling time. Preferably, the last 4 cups of water should be ice cold.
- For serving, I like to use my vintage glass pitchers. They typically hold less and are more heat sensitive, so I use this Rubbermaid pitcher for storage and mixing the tea.
- Frozen berries are a great way to garnish the recipe and keep the tea cold for serving.
Love this refreshing beverage? Check out all our drink recipes!