How to Make Perfect Iced Tea

I live in Chicago. People here don’t pretend that a warm sunny day isn’t something special. Everyone is outside.


Spring in Chicago

Nice days make me want something refreshing, and my favorite choice is iced tea. I’ve been drinking iced tea all my life. Looking back on it, I realize it’s odd that a child would be allowed this beverage at every meal. Nevertheless, I became a connoisseur of the drink.

Iced Tea

While growing up in a Detroit suburb, I was mostly taken care of by my elderly grandmother, Bubbe. She had immigrated from tsarist Russia as a teenager, and still continued the tea traditions of her youth. Every afternoon at 4:00pm she made a fresh pitcher of iced tea for dinner. This is her recipe.

4 Tea Bags Black Tea

My parents preferred a cranberry flavored tea. Personally I’m addicted to Arnold Palmers. Here’s how to make these variations.

Iced Tea

Serves 12

6 cups water

4 tea bags of black tea

¼ cup sugar



Microwave 6 cups of water for 8 minutes. Immerse the tea bags in the boiling water. Swirl the tea bags so all the water is infused. Steep 5 minutes. Remove the teabags. Add the sugar. Mix until the sugar is completely dissolved. Stir in 6 cups of ice. Refrigerate. Squeeze a generous slice of lemon into each glass before serving over ice.

Generous Slice of Lemon

Cranberry Iced Tea

Using the above recipe each glass should have ¼ cranberry juice and ¾ iced tea.

Cranberry Juice

Arnold Palmers

Fill each glass with 1/3 lemonade and 2/3 with iced tea.

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