Make your own Starbucks iced tea lemonade at home this summer

iced-tea
Lauren West/Staff

It’s summertime, and that means hot, sticky afternoons and even thirstier Thursdays. Personally, many hot summer days have led me to Starbucks to buy one of their black tea lemonades, a relatively sweet deal at only $2.95 for a tall drink. After the cost started to add up, it became time to make my own.

As a tea drinker, I had plenty of the stuff in my house, but this wasn’t about simply making iced tea. On its own, iced tea is about as bland and dull as half of the watered-down stuff that gets shoved in your face at ladies-only events where they expect you to be content with salad for a meal.

No, no — this had to be something special.

After scouring the internet forums for bootlegged recipes from embittered ex-baristas, I began to experiment. Several summers have gone by since then, and I think I’ve perfected it.

Here’s the recipe I use, but feel free to adjust it to taste.

You will need:

  • 7 bags of tea (black or green)
  • 1 kettle/way to boil water
  • Sugar
  • 1 jug
  • 1 bottle of juice (while Starbucks uses lemonade or peach flavored juice or tea, I tend to go with any cranberry fusion type juice such as cranberry-raspberry, or cranberry-mango).

Depending on the size of your jug and your taste buds, you’ll have different measurements of ingredients. Here is how I made iced tea with my jug.

  1. First, boil the water. You are not going to be using entirely boiled water, but this will speed up the process.
  2. Add the bags of tea into the jug. I use 7, but after trying it yourself, you may choose to use fewer or more.
  3. Pour a little bit of cold tap or filtered water into the jug. This is to keep the jug from cracking or melting if it isn’t suited for holding hot water.
  4. Then pour the hot water in until it is about a third of the jug. Fill the next third of the jug with cool water.
  5. Fill the remaining third of the jug with the juice of your choice. Remember to leave room for the lid if there is a lid on your container.
  6. Add 1/3 cup of sugar, and stir. If you do not like your drinks sweetened, you can skip this step, or adjust to taste.
  7. Leave out for at least 1 hour until the jug is at about room temperature. At this point, you can put it in the fridge. If you have a glass jug, attempting to put it in the fridge too soon (going from hot to cold) will likely result in the jug cracking.
  8. Let sit for an hour or so. The longer you leave it, the stronger the tea will be, and the more time it will have to blend with the juice, so patience is a virtue.
  9. Pour, add ice, and enjoy! 

This is a great way to save money as you sip your way through summer. Try it with different juices and even with different teas to make your own juice-infused iced tea creation.

Lauren West is the assistant blog editor. Contact Lauren West at [email protected].

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