Iced Tea Cocktails

This ain't your momma's iced tea


For me, iced tea is a bit of a nostalgic drink. Being a summer baby, I have always had a serious love for the beach and the pool, and nothing would make my waterside experiences more delectable than a giant jug of iced tea - not too sweet, with lots of lemon and mint.

This drink does more than cool me to the core, it’s also incredibly delicious and has a lot more character than drinking a soda or juice. Throw in some booze, citrus and fresh herbs, and you have something seriously delicious to imbibe.

The nice thing about iced tea is that it can be prepared any which way you like and can be tweaked to an exact flavor profile that suits you. Another nice thing? Its mild flavor, whether you like it sweetened or unsweetened, makes it an excellent mixer.

Photo courtesy of hellojenuine via Flickr/cc
The key to a perfect iced tea cocktail is finding that perfect balance of ingredients--spirits, juices, herbs--and having them really complement each other. Whether you want to keep it classic with an Arnold Palmer (recipe below) or give it a little southern flare (recipe also below), an iced tea cocktail is the perfect way to sip the summer in the best of taste.

Here are some of our favorite iced tea cocktails, all perfect for enjoyment by the pool, on the beach, or even on your front porch.

Have any additional recipes to share? Leave them in our comments section below!

Arnold Palmer

This is the classic recipe for an Arnold Palmer, which in its simplest form is iced tea and lemonade. The addition of bourbon gives it a nice kick and mixes incredibly well with the flavor of the lemons and the mild tea.

4 cups boiling water
5 regular-sized tea bags
¾ cups sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
4 cups cold water
1 cup bourbon (we recommend the Baby Bourbon from Tuthilltown Spirits)
½ cup fresh lemon juice
lemon slices, for garnish

Pour boiling water over tea bags, sugar, and lemon zest in a large bowl. Stir until the sugar is dissolved. Cover and steep for 5 minutes. Pour the mixture through a fine strainer into a large pitcher, discarding the tea bags and zest. Stir in the cold water, bourbon and fresh lemon juice. Cover and chill for 30 minutes, up to 12 hours. Serve over ice. Garnish with lemon slices.

Southern Iced Tea

(From Deep South Dish)

1 qt size Mason Jar
1 oz light rum
1 oz vodka
1 oz gin
4 oz freshly squeezed lemon juice or lemonade
3 oz unsweetened iced tea
1-2 oz of simple syrup, to taste
sprigs of mint, for garnish
slices of lemon, for garnish

Fill the Mason jar with ice. Add the rum, vodka, gin, lemon juice or lemonade, iced tea and simple syrup. Stir completely, and adjust taste and sweetness as needed. Garnish with a slice of lemon and a sprig of mint.

Drunken Peach Iced Tea


1-1/2 oz peach liqueur
1 oz spiced rum
1 oz peach schnapps
½ oz vodka
5 oz sweet tea
Lemon wedge

Combine all of the spirits in a large glass with ice. Stir the iced tea into the glass. Garnish with a lemon wedge.

ZEN Dew Iced Tea


4 parts prepared Gyokura Green Tea (steps below)
1-1/2 parts ZEN Green Tea Liqueur
1-1/2 parts Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey
Lime Zest
Lime Wedge, for garnish

To prepare the green tea, combine 1 part cold and 5 parts boiling water. Use ¼ cup of dry tea leaves to 2 cups cold water. Steep 3-4 minutes. Strain and chill. Combine and stir all ingredients. Garnish with a lime wedge.

Mist Iced Tea


1 oz Canadian Mist whisky
5 oz sweetened iced tea
1 dash lemon juice
1 splash lemon-lime soda

Combine the Canadian Mist whisky and lemon juice in a highball glass filled with ice. Add the iced tea, top with lemon-lime soda, and serve.

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  • Snooth User: RgrsGloria
    574212 18

    Thank you for the basic iced tea recipe from down home (Washington, DC): tea, sugar,lemon, and home grown peppermint! The taste of it is like going to heaven, my father's favorite!

    Jun 12, 2012 at 3:33 PM

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