A refreshing glass of cold iced tea is easy, budget-friendly and delicious on a hot day. You can whip up a jug in no time, then sweeten it with sugar or syrups, or infuse it with the flavourings of your choice. Follow this guide for tips on how to make one of summer's most popular and refreshing drinks. Quench your thirst with more of our iced tea recipes and check out our list of the best iced drinks for summer. We've also got plenty more summer drinks to sip on, whether you fancy a cocktail, sangria or morning iced latte.


Watch our video for how to make iced tea:

What tea is best for iced tea?

Cup of tea

A classic base for iced tea is regular tea bags. They allow you to be freer with your flavourings. You can also easily experiment with different teas once you know the basic recipe. Other teas that work well include earl grey, lady grey, chamomile, green tea and lemon verbena. Fruit teas are also tasty when chilled.A good ratio to go by is six tea bags to 1.5 litres of boiling water.

How to make iced tea

Basic iced tea recipe


  • 6 tea bags
  • 2 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 tbsp runny honey
  • 3 small lemons, 2 juiced and 1 sliced
  • 1 orange, sliced
  • small bunch mint
  • ice, to serve


More like this
  1. Pour 1.5 litres boiling water over the tea bags, then stir in the sugar and honey. Leave to infuse for 10 mins, then strain and transfer to the fridge to chill.
  2. Pour the chilled tea into a large jug, then stir in the lemon juice, lemon slices, mint and orange slices. Fill the rest of the jug with ice and stir very well.
  3. To serve, pour the iced tea into tall glasses with lots of ice.

How to sweeten iced tea

Sugar syrup with cocktail stirrer

Iced tea is often sweetened simply with sugar or runny honey. It's stirred into the hot tea to dissolve, and then the tea is chilled. Sugar syrups can also be used; a simple sugar syrup is easy to make, and just requires water and caster sugar. Make up a batch and store it in a bottle, so you have some on hand to add a little at a time to a jug of iced tea. See our basic sugar syrup recipe

  1. Tip 300g caster sugar into a saucepan with 150ml water.
  2. Simmer until the sugar has dissolved, stirring occasionally. Allow to cool before transferring to a sterilised bottle.
  3. Store in the fridge.

How to flavour iced tea

Elderflower cordial in bottle with flowers, lemon and vanilla


A simple but effective way to add extra aromatics to your iced tea. Herbs that work well include mint, basil and lemon thyme. You could also try kaffir lime leaves. Just avoid herbs that are solely savoury, such as coriander and chives.


A fresh sprig of elderflower can pep up a simple iced tea. Submerge a large handful into your iced tea and leave it to infuse as the tea cools down. Alternatively, add a good glug of elderflower cordial to the tea before you add any sweetener.


Sliced peaches and apricots, fresh berries and citrus fruits all compliment tea well. You could also add chopped cucumber for a refreshing taste.


For an adults-only version of iced tea, add some shots of your choice of alcohol. A spiced rum, Pimm's or gin would all work well. Simply add to your iced tea after it's been chilled.

Our top iced tea recipes

1. Easy iced tea

Iced tea in pitcher and glasses

Start off with a classic summer refresher with our easy iced tea recipe. Lemon, orange and mint are added to the classic tea base for a simple crowdpleaser.

2. Pimm's iced tea

Pimm's iced tea in jug and glasses on tray

Our boozy Pimm's iced tea is the perfect summer thirst-quencher for parties. Mix up a jug filled with ice, mint and a citrus tea to balance the sweetness of the drink. It's a great drink to enjoy in the garden when the weather gets warmer.

3. Peach iced tea

Peach iced tea

When peaches are in season in the summer, make the most of them in this juicy peach iced tea. Fresh peaches are cooked down in sugar to infuse the tea with fruity flavour and make a sweet syrup, with more fresh fruit to garnish.

4. Mint & mango iced green tea

Two glasses and a jug of mint and mango iced green trea

Reap the benefits of green tea with a glass of this zingy mint & mango iced tea. The delicate, slightly bitter flavour of green tea perfectly balances with sweet mango, fresh mint and zesty lime juice.

5. Orange & rosemary iced tea

Rosemary and orange ice tea

Herbs are a great way to add flavour to iced tea. Fragrant rosemary infuses with orange as the base sugar syrup in this recipe for a sweet but earthy iced tea that works all year round. Also try this green tea with strawberry & peach.

6. Pink gin iced tea

Pink gin iced tea

For a boozy twist on iced tea, try this pink gin iced tea recipe. Pink gin and rum combine with fragrant chamomile tea and elderflower for a fun summer cocktail to share.

7. Iced hibiscus tea

Two tall glasses of iced hibiscus tea

Bring a floral note to your summer drink with this delicate hibiscus iced tea. It makes for a refreshing low-sugar alternative to squash and hibiscus flowers also contain lots of beneficial compounds that act as antioxidants.

8. Golden pineapple & vanilla iced tea

Three glasses of pineapple and vanilla iced tea with straws

Make the most of leftover pineapple trimmings by simmering them with vanilla until the fruit is soft. Steep with English breakfast tea and sweeten with golden syrup for a tangy tropical-tasting iced tea.

Ready for more summer drinks inspiration? Check out our collections...

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What's your favourite way to enjoy iced tea? Leave a comment below...

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