How to Foofoo Up Your Iced Tea

Iced tea has been a family standby for decades. Whether home brewed or store bought, this cool and refreshing beverage is ;a perennial favorite.

How to Foo Foo Up Your Iced Tea |

But what options are available when plain iced tea turns monotonous? Sodas are unhealthy and loaded with sugar. “Fruit juices” often contain less than 10% real fruit juice. Packaged, store bought drinks are expensive as grocery and gas prices rise.

Tea is a wonderful source of natural antioxidants, has zero calories, and is readily available at any store. Luckily there are several ways to create fun and unique variations on home brewed iced tea.

Make It Tasty And Healthy

Add fresh fruit or fruit puree. Lemon is traditional, but experiment with your favorite flavors!

Raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, orange, tangerine, kiwi, mango… Throw them in a blender and you are good to go. The options are as endless as your imagination and your grocer’s produce section.

We like our untraditional nettle iced tea steeped with fennel, mint, and lemon!

Real Peach Iced Tea |

Go Tropical

Make a tropical-flavorediced tea by combining kiwi and mango, or make a mixed berry cooler with ripe summer berries (for more information on getting the most out of those berries when they’re in season, check out this post).

Take fresh fruit, remove any skins, pits, or seeds, and crush in a mixing bowl or blend in a mixer. Add your unsweetened iced tea, then strain before serving.

Freeze to Please

Forget ice cubes and watered-down drinks – make juice cubes to chill your drink AND add new flavors!

Take your favorite fruit juice like apple, grape, berry, or even a blended mixed juice like V8 Splash or Ocean Spray. Pour into ice cube trays and place in the freezer until cubes are frozen solid. Whole berries also work great!

Frozen Fruit and Fruit Juice Ice Cubes |

Pop the juice cubes out of the tray and into your glass of iced tea, and you’ll have a cool tea with great taste. It’s not only delicious, it’s healthier too, since you’re drinking less of the sugary juices without sacrificing flavor!

Make two or more trays of cubes with different juices to create tasty new combinations, just by mixing and matching cubes within each glass!

Green Tea Matcha Ice Cubes |
Frozen sweetened matcha cubes and milk make for a quick and flavorful afternoon treat that will cool you down in the heat of the summer.

You can also freeze the tea for a nice treat.

Get some matcha (powdered green tea), mix it up, add some sweetener, and freeze. Serve with milk for a tasty but healthy snack.

Borrow a Tip From Chain Restaurants: Bar Mixes

Ever wonder how popular chain restaurants make those yummy flavored iced teas?

Here’s the trade secret:

Bar mixers!

Yes, the same mixes used for alcoholic beverages can be used to make your iced tea unforgettable. Check your grocery store for mixers (the kind with no alcohol included) that are commonly added to martinis, mojitos, margaritas, and other mixed drinks.

Trendy flavors like pomegranate, sour apple, and pear are available from brands like Stirrings, Rose’s Cocktail Infusions, and Daily’s. Add to iced tea, mix with a spoon or in a shaker, and enjoy a non-alcoholic version of the hottest drinks.

Or, make your own. The homemade rhubarb syrup in this tasty mojito recipe makes a wonderful addition to iced tea as well.

Kids Are Cuckoo For Kool-Aid: Use Tea Instead of Water

If your kids are crazy for powdered drink mixes like Kool-Aid, make a healthier version by using iced tea instead of water!

Add roughly half the recommended amount of powdered drink mix to a glass or pitcher of iced tea, and you’ll have a fun, kid-friendly beverage with more flavor and less sugar.

Tips for Making Your Ice Tea Tastier |

So Many Types of Tea

Of course, let’s not forget about the tea itself. There are dozens of different kinds of tea leaves available.

Black tea is most commonly brewed for iced tea, but why not experiment?

Brew any variety of tea the same way you normally brew iced tea, or if you’re short on time, look for bottled iced teas at your grocer.

Iced green tea is a delicious substitute.

Add some juice from a honeydew melon or cantaloupe to iced green tea for a sweet treat that’s sure to please!

White tea is sometimes slightly more bitter in taste, but it makes a great iced tea as well.

Finally, caffeine-free teas like rooibos can also be brewed to make iced tea.

No matter what you choose, be sure to store them properly in the right containers to maintain their amazing flavors and aromas!

There’s no limit to the fun that you can have with tea this summer!

Photo credit: Shutterstock.

About Lynne Jaques

Lynne is a stay-at-home mother of two boys. As a former US military officer and the spouse of an active duty US military member, Lynne enjoys traveling the world (although not the moving part!) and finding new cuisine and methods of preparing food. She also has the habit of using parenthesis way too much!

35 thoughts on “How to Foofoo Up Your Iced Tea”

  1. One of my favorite secrets for my iced tea builds on your bar mix tips. I’m a fan of a good drink now and then, and my favorite whiskey drink is a whiskey sour. I get a brand called Zing Zang, and just a dash in a glass of sweet tea adds for a lovely taste reminiscent of a half-n-half iced lemonade tea drink.

    Of course, if you’re a true tea drinker, and like alcohol there’s nothing wrong with a splash of vodka accidentally ending up in your tea.

    • Lefty, that whisky sour sound heavenly. Would probably do well in a blender with some ice as well.

      I don’t know about the vodka in the tea think unless it was reaaaallly foo fooed out and more flavor than tea.

  2. I think flavouring your tea & flavouring your water are pretty interchangeable insofar as the methods & options. Even the Matcha. I’ve always felt, when flavouring iced tea, that the best time to add things is during the boiling process to get a deeper flavour profile & add things that are difficult to pull when added to cold water.

    • Joan,

      Thanks for the insight. I think I’ll leave the whole “flavor profile” and “mouthfeel” talk to Ashley and Mike to get all “nerdy” with. I just like to have fun and try to get my kids to drink something other than soda.

  3. I drink a lot of tea during the summer, but I’m pretty boring with it — lemon is about as adventurous as I get, because I don’t really like sweet drinks. But some of these sound like they’d be great! I love the idea of replacing water with tea in Kool-Aid, and the frozen matcha cubes seem like they’d be right up my alley. Thank you for the tips, they’re really clever! 🙂

  4. I was introduced to the world of flavored iced teas when my boyfriend’s mother began making fruit teas and mixing it with lemonade, berries, and lots of other juices as the weather got hotter. I love the idea of mixing lots of teas together because almost every combination ends up delicious. Celestial makes some of the best fruity teas I’ve ever had, like Lemon Zinger, Blueberry, and Mixed Berry. You can’t go wrong with any of them!

    I do like the idea of using juice ice cubes to cool the drinks as well as add some flavor. You wont end up with the diluted last tablespoon at the bottom of your glass! I also think that muddling fruit at the bottom of your glass before putting in the liquid (like you would with a Mojito) could work pretty well for a fresh individual serving :).

  5. Amazing article! I have never even thought of putting ‘juice cubes’ in my tea! I always have problems with my tea being watered down and it never has to be watered down anymore.

    Something else that is a new idea for me is putting kool-aid in the tea. I will have to use this with my kids someday. I just tried it, and it tasted wonderful!

    Thanks for the tips!

  6. I especially love the idea of using juice or tea cubes. Melted ice cubes have ruined so many glasses of iced tea, it just makes more sense to use a cube with flavor. Plus you can experiment with combinations, which opens up so many doors.

  7. I often overlook iced tea in favour of iced coffee, but because I’m cutting down my coffee intake this year, I’d like to make iced tea my drink of choice for the warmer months. I particularly like the frozen matcha cubes idea – green tea is very refreshing and energising as a hot drink, so I can imagine just how good it is ice cold too – certainly works in ice cream!

    Lots of fun ideas for iced tea here, and I can see what you mean by endless ideas for flavours etc.

    • Nice to meet someone that has had green tea ice cream besides me (and 50 million Koreans, 127 million Japanese, and I suspect a billion or so Chinese). 🙂

      In other words, it has yet to become mainstream in the US – although I’ve found matcha ice cream in several Korean supermarkets in Southern California and in El Paso.

  8. It’s quite an interesting article I would say. I never thought about foo-ing up the icea tea like this although I have the feeling that I already saw this technique somewhere but maybe I am wrong. Keep up the good work!

    • There is no such thing as a new idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and making new combinations indefinitely; but they are the same old pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the ages.

      ― Mark Twain, Mark Twain’s Own Autobiography: The Chapters from the North American Review

  9. I have to buy some ice cube trays, so I can freeze up some juice and berries, those are great ideas. I’d heard of matcha, but wasn’t exactly sure what it was, so I’m glad you included that here, as well as a recipe idea for using it. I think I might get some, and make up a a nice matcha and milk cold beverage, now that it’s getting hot here in Texas.

    • Diane,

      Matcha is some awesome stuff. In Korea, they use it in various ice creams, sponge cakes, rice cakes, and other assorted sweet and semi-sweet treats. I imagine that is even more popular in its birthplace of Japan.

  10. Creativity just hit an all time high… right now, 🙂 this is extra-amazing, i especially love the ideas on how to make those ice cubes look quite interesting. Matcha ice cubes… it really doesn’t get any better than this…does it?. 🙂 Wait till i try out these ideas and i bet i’ll be the envy of friend and foe alike 😉

  11. Tea is one of my favorite morning beverages in general and quite frankly, I love it iced as well. When I first indulged in iced tea, I just loved the taste to it. Its’s cold and refreshing to drink. The only real worry is the sugar content for me seeing that I’m a diabetic and like said, the supermarkets load it with sugar.

    I really like all these tips and homemade remedies for making my own with a significantly less amount of sweet stuff. Even the juice cubes are cool, even if for just making your glass appear colorful and unique while actually adding a bit of flavor. Thanks for passing on this information.

    • TPhoenix, thanks for the comments. Perhaps you can try sugar free KoolAid and sugar reduced fruit juice (although it isn’t anywhere close to 100% juice)?

  12. I absolutely love iced tea however I have only ever had lemon flavored. I have never been very creative with my drinks but these just sound delicious! I have never thought about freezing juice or water with berries but thats so incredibly smart, I will be trying that one first for sure.

  13. I have never added fruit to my tea. This is an appealing option and the fruit cubes are so fun. It seems like an exploration too, by trying different combos of fruit and teas. The mixers you mentioned, I have never heard of, so I will have to check my grocers. I usually only use mint or rosehips, although I do like green tea too. The berries are what sounds so good to me, because they seem like they would add flavor to whatever tea I use.

  14. I think I would try the ice cube thing. I heard of doing that with kool aid but not tea. I also never heard of substituting tea for water with kool aid but it sounds interesting I recently learned that kool aid still taste great if you use brown sugar instead of white but it has a brown color. I also didn’t know about the bar mixes but it seem cool

  15. I admired your creativity with the fruit ice cubes! I have seen some of my friends put fruit in their iced tea, but I’ve never tried it myself. I’ll have to ask my grandfather if he’d consider using fruit; he consumes a lot of iced tea by himself, and he puts an unhealthy amount of sugar in it since he has quite the sweet tooth. Thank you for the tips!

  16. After living in Yankeedom (New England) for 2 years where people look at you askew for asking if they serve iced tea (don’t ever ask about sweet tea, they’ll just hand you a packet of sweet & low), I finally moved back to the South and have resumed my mass consumption.

    Sweet mint green tea is a heavenly beverage. I’d highly recommend that if you’ve never tried it. This article gave me a very good idea for the fast-casual restaurant franchise I am currently developing in my head: lots & lots of varieties…and as much as you want. I’m definitely going to try the purees.

  17. I like a nice cold cup of iced tea although sadly I haven’t had any this summer. Adding fresh fruit sounds like a nice idea. All I would ever think to add would be lemon. How original is that? That gets boring at least some of the time. Now making frozen fruit juice in ice trays would make the tea look colorful.

  18. This post is just refreshing! I’ve been a tea drinker for a long time and I would say I just drank it plain with some honey and milk. I find the iced tea cubes a smart idea. With this strategy, you can mix and match various tea flavors minus the hassle of having to brew everything beforehand. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Great ideas. I particularly like the idea of the matcha ice cubes to add to milk (animal, coconut, almond, etc). The fruit puree ice cubes are also a good suggestion to be able to customize each drink. So instead of having one pitcher with a single flavor, you can have a pitcher of plain tea then add different combinations of ice cubes to each drink. I’ve added fruits and herbs to my teas before, I really like watermelon and mint in my hibiscus tea, but I’ll have to try the ice cube method for a wider variety.

  20. Oh, I love these ideas. This is my favorite summer drink. It just seems to hold the cold, and when you drink it, you can feel the cold going all the way down. Not to mention it’s tasty, but even more so with these yummy infusions.

    I think I’ll make one of these today. Very cool.

  21. I just stumbled upon this article and I’m so lucky I did. I’m not much of a tea drinker, but in the past few days I noticed that a symptom of mine has recurred. One of the things that I do whenever this recur is drink raspberry leaf tea. There is something about its taste that just doesn’t appeal to me. But for health reasons, I have to since every time I drink it, I notice that my condition improves. So, this is truly a timely article. I have never really thought of adding some fruits in my iced tea. Perhaps I could try it out and see if the taste will improve. I usually just add a bit of sugar and that truly has gone a tad boring.

  22. Love these, will definitely be giving the ice cube trick a try. I’ve been looking for a variation to my ice tea with lime staple for a while now. I like the frozen fruit to replace sugar also as it allows you to drink much more!

  23. Thank you so much for sharing this ideas with us! I am a big fan of iced tea and tea in general and this post was like heaven on earth for me.
    I also really enjouyed the juice ice cubes thing, it seems a great way to add a flavor touch to regular water. It’s really hot where I live and by this time of the year I’m drinking water like crazy and sometimes it can be boring just the taste of water, it sounds a lot more fun with the forzen fruits or the juice iced cubes on it. 🙂

  24. Well if this were a year ago or so I would have come here to boo, and boo loudly, because I have always been someone pretty simple when it comes to coffee and tea – I like my coffee piping hot and straight black and my tea straight black, cold or hot. That has changed a little bit though in the last year or so, and I am a little more open to the foo foo as you put it. I really do like the Kool Aid and iced tea mix idea, and I happen to work with kids so this might just be a perfect little treat to have on a hot summer day – which we are getting plenty of these days. Thanks for the share.


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