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Southern Strawberry Iced Sweet Tea
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4.50 from 6 votes

Southern Strawberry Iced Sweet Tea (without Brown Sugar)

This refreshing, fruity Southern Strawberry Iced Sweet Tea (without Brown Sugar) is as beautiful as it is delicious and is an upgrade to it's traditional counterpart.
Course Drinks
Keyword cocktail, drinks, easy, iced, natural, southern, strawberry, sweet tea
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 12 servings
Author Shanika | Orchids + Sweet Tea



  • 2-3 cups fresh or frozen strawberries, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup organic cane sugar
  • 1 tsp freshly-squeezed lemon juice


  • 3 cups water, for boiling
  • 8-10 black tea bags, organic (You can use 6-7 for less black tea strength)
  • 1 gallon filtered water
  • 2 Tbsps freshly-squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup Agave or maple syrup (Add more for extra sweetness if preferred)
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda, optional (See Notes!)
  • Sliced strawberries, for garnish
  • 2 Lemon slices
  • Crushed ice



  • In a saucepan, add together all ingredients over medium-high heat, stirring until combined. Once strawberries begin to soften, continue stirring until mixture begins to thicken a bit, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool completely.


  • Add 3 cups of water to a saucepan over high heat and bringing it to a boil. Add the tea bags to the boiling water and let it continue to boil for another 1-2 minutes. Turn off heat and let tea bags continue to steep for 15-20 minutes. NOTE: The longer that the tea bags steep, the stronger the flavor. You can let them steep up to 30 minutes before it begins to get bitter.
  • Meanwhile, add in the Agave or maple syrup and stir until fully combined and dissolved. Let the tea mixture cool completely, about 1 hour or so.


  • In a large pitcher, gallon of water, add steeped tea mixture (discarding of the tea bags), strawberry syrup (straining out the strawberry pieces), lemon slices, baking soda, and crush ice and refrigerate immediately to keep it cold until ready to serve. NOTE: It's best to have the sweet tea sit in the refrigerator for about 30 minutes or so.
  • Once sweet tea has chilled considerably, serve by pouring the sweet tea into prepared glass(es) and adding a slice or two of lemon and strawberries, if desired.
  • Sip and enjoy!


  • STORAGE: Keep any leftovers in the refrigerator, tightly covered in your pitcher or in a sealed mason jar (for smaller leftover amounts). Best if consumed within a few days.
  • SWEETENER: Traditionally, sweet tea is made with brown sugar, however, you can always use organic cane sugar, allulose, and stevia, instead of brown sugar.
  • BAKING SODA: Adding baking soda to your sweet tea prevents it from getting cloudy and bitter. If you've ever tried leaving your leftover sweet tea in the refrigerator for a few days, only to find out that after a day or so, it's bitter and not as enjoyable----then know that adding a small amount of baking soda does the trick!