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Clear glass of southern lemon iced tea with lemons floating in it.
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5 from 1 vote

Southern Lemon Iced Tea

The perfect summer drink with a pop of citrus!  You'll be SUPER refreshed! 
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: beverage
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Lemon Iced Tea, Iced Tea with Lemon
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 15kcal
Author: Wendi Spraker


  • 4 Cups of water
  • ¾ - 1 cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon baking soda
  • 10 tea bags black tea
  • 6 whole lemons Squeeze the juice from
  • 4 lemons sliced


  • Bring 4 cups of water to a simmer (bubbles just forming in the water) and immediately turn the heat off.
  • Add the sugar, baking soda to the hot water and mix well. Add the tea bags and then put the lid on the pan. Let sit until the water reaches room temperature.
  • Remove the tea bags and VERY gently squeeze each one.
  • Add the lemon juice to the pan and mix well.
  • Pour the tea concentrate from the sauce pan into the pitcher and then add enough cool clear water to fill the pitcher the rest of the way. This will equal about 12 Cups of water (plus or minus)
  • Refrigerate until chilled. Serve with the lemon slices in the glass of iced tea. 



  • Make sure that your tea is completely cooled before transferring it to a pitcher.  Hot liquid could shatter the pitcher and that would be awful!
  • Some folks like a STRONG tea and others like a weaker tea, allow the tea bags to sit in the water longer for strong tea and less for weak tea.
  • Allowing the tea bags to sit in the hot water is called steeping.  Be SURE to do this for long enough! That will get the most flavor for you!.
  • For sweetness, make sure to make a simple syrup then you can simply pour as much in your drink as you like for sweetness.
  • If you just want to add sugar to your own drink, add sugar, stir and taste until it is to your liking.  .
  • Tea waters down easily, add ice JUST to your own glass and not the whole pitcher.
  • Lemons become limp and ugly in short order, only add slices to the glasses you are drinking to keep your lemon fresh looking.
  • Try with other citrus fruits like orange, lime or even tangerines and clementines!
PRO TIP:  For excellent iced tea ICE, freeze some of the iced tea in ice cube trays and then use those in your tea!  This keeps your tea from becoming watered down!


Calories: 15kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Sodium: 41mg | Potassium: 74mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 10IU | Vitamin C: 28.6mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 0.3mg