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This lemon iced tea is zesty and refreshing, lightly sweet with a zippy citrus finish! It’s ideal for summer sipping, party drinks, and more.

Lemon Iced Tea

What’s better than the musical clinks of ice cubes in a glass of iced tea? Try this Lemon Iced Tea, zesty and refreshing with just the right sweetness and pop of citrus. Sure, you can buy it at the store. But homemade lemon iced tea with the real fruit is infinitely tastier. It’s quick and easy to whip up a pitcher, and you can leave it in the fridge for days: or use it for summertime parties and picnics! It’s endlessly versatile.

Ingredients for lemon iced tea

This lemon iced tea requires only 3 ingredients, plus water! It’s easy to whip up a pitcher and you can store it for up to 4 days, for afternoon sipping. Or use it as a fun party beverage for entertaining! Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Lemon: you’ll need real lemons: no bottled juices allowed! Only fresh lemon has the flavor needed here
  • Sugar: sugar is necessary to balance the flavor, otherwise this drink is overly tart
  • Black tea bags: Black tea the classic type used for iced tea. Keep in mind it has caffeine, but only about half the caffeine level that’s in a cup of coffee.
Lemon Iced Tea

How to make lemon iced tea: basic steps

Lemon iced tea takes about 20 minutes total, then you’ll need 2 hours to chill the pitcher. But other than steeping the tea, there’s not much effort involved! It’s mostly hands off and easy to make while you’re cooking or prepping other things. Here are the basic steps of how to make this iced tea recipe:

  • Steep the tea: Bring 4 cups water to a simmer, add 6 black tea bags and turn off the heat. Steep for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the sugar. Remove the bags and stir in ½ sugar to the warm tea.
  • Add cold water and lemon juice, then cool: Add 4 cups cool water and bring to room temperature (about 10 minutes).
  • Refrigerate 2 hours: Transfer to a pitcher and refrigerate 2 hours.
Lemon Iced Tea

Garnishing the drink

Using this lemon iced tea for a party? Dress it up to look festive! There’s nothing more fun than a festive pitcher with a fun drink. Here are some ideas:

  • Lemon slices: Add lemon slices to the pitcher or each glass
  • Fresh mint: A few sprigs fresh mint make a lovely look
  • Colorful straws: These striped paper straws look fun and festive

More iced tea recipes

Want more ideas for refreshing healthy drinks? Here are a few more iced tea recipes you’ll love:

This lemon iced tea recipe is…

Vegetarian, vegan, plant-based, dairy-free and gluten-free.

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Lemon iced tea

Lemon Iced Tea

  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 8 1x


This lemon iced tea is zesty and refreshing, lightly sweet with a zippy citrus finish! It’s ideal for summer sipping, party drinks, and more.


  • 8 cups water, divided
  • 6 black tea bags
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ¼ cup fresh squeezed lemon juice


  1. In a saucepan, heat 4 cups water to a simmer. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Allow to steep for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the tea bags and stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add the remaining 4 cups cold water and lemon juice to the pan. Cool until room temperature, about 10 minutes.
  3. Transfer the mixture to a pitcher. Refrigerate at least 2 hours before drinking. Store up to 4 days.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: No cook
  • Cuisine: Iced Tea
  • Diet: Vegan

Keywords: Lemon iced tea

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you’ll want to make again and again.

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