Raspberry iced tea is a beautiful summertime beverage. It's easy to make from scratch using your favorite tea and fresh berries. This recipe creates a pitcher so you can make it up for a barbecue or brunch, or keep it in the fridge for a refreshing drink that's ready to pour.
For this raspberry tea, you'll work on two elements simultaneously. Half of the water is used to brew a sweet tea, while the remaining water is infused with the sweet flavor of fresh raspberries. Once both liquids have cooled, they're blended in the pitcher and get a bright tang from fresh lemon juice.
Black teas and blends like Earl Grey work best because they have a bold flavor that plays well against the berries. Green tea is softer and the sweeter types (such as jasmine and dragonwell) are a nice option. Herbal tea blends have some interesting potential, especially if they include real tea leaves. Floral herbs like lavender and chamomile are the best complements for the raspberries.
Gather the ingredients.
Bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Remove from heat, stir in the sugar until dissolved. Add tea bags and let steep for 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the tea bags once it reaches your desired strength. Add a little more sugar before it cools down for a sweeter tea. Let cool or chill in the refrigerator.
In a medium saucepan, bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Reduce the heat, add the raspberries and mash. Simmer for about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool.
Strain out the raspberries using a fine-mesh strainer or cheesecloth.
Combine the sweet tea and raspberry water in a pitcher. Add the juice of 1 lemon and stir well. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to drink.
Serve over ice, garnish with raspberries and lemon slices, and enjoy!
- A potato masher makes quick work of the floating berries in water. If using a fork, pastry cutter, or muddler, mash the berries before adding them to the water and be sure to include all the juice. You may not have to mash frozen berries at all, and they don't need to be thawed.
- To maximize the raspberry flavor, let the berry water cool down completely before straining.
- Raspberries naturally produce sediment in the water. If you prefer to eliminate the majority of that, use two layers of cheesecloth when straining the raspberries.
- The tea will maintain a fresh taste for up to four days when refrigerated in a sealed pitcher. You may need to stir it before serving.
- This recipe works well for other berries as well. Use blackberries or blueberries, or a mixed berry blend. For strawberries, trim off the green and cut into chunks that are easier to mash.
- Use your favorite sweetener, either granulated or liquid. Raw and palm sugars may require a little less; try 1/4 cup at first. Start with 1/2 cup of simple syrup or agave nectar or 1/4 cup of honey, then add more until the tea is to your desired sweetness.