Southern Iced Fruit Tea

by amy on 29 May 2013

Southern Fruit TeaIs fruit tea a southern thing? I’m thinking so, because growing up in Boston, I don’t remember ever seeing it. It wasn’t until I moved to Tennessee (13 years ago!) that I started seeing it served at restaurants + cafes. I figured since I like both iced tea + fruit juice, I’d like fruit tea. And guess what – I was right! Except I didn’t just like it, I looooooved it. Now, any time I go to a restaurant + see fruit tea on the menu, I always order it. Every place has a slightly different recipe, but the theme remains the same – a blend of iced tea, fruit juices, + (sometimes) herbs or sweet spices.

To me, fruit tea is one of the most wonderful drinks ever. It’s got a perfect combination of sweet, tart, + citrusy flavors, + is beyond refreshing on warm, sunny days. I like mine served simply, over ice with some fruit slices + mint for garnish. But, if you’re wanting to make a fancier adults-only version, I bet it would make a great cocktail with rum! Either way, it’s quick + simple to whip up + makes a huge quantity, so it’s fantastic for all the parties, get-togethers, + cookouts that come with summertime. Give it a try – I promise you’ll love it as much as I do!

Southern Fruit Tea

Southern Fruit Tea

makes 15 cups of fruit tea, adapted from One Particular Kitchen

ingredients

two quart-size iced tea bags (I use the Tetley brand)
1 1/2 quarts (6 cups) boiling water
1 cinnamon stick
1 can (48 ounces) pineapple juice
1 can (12 ounces) frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
1 can (12 ounces) frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
optional: orange or lemon slices + mint, for garnish

instructions

boil the water, then pour over the tea bags + cinnamon stick in a large pitcher. allow to steep for 15 minutes.

after steeping, discard the tea bags + cinnamon stick; stir in the frozen orange juice + frozen lemonade – stir until completely blended. add in the pineapple juice – stir until combined.

refrigerate until fully chilled. serve with plenty of ice + garnish with a lemon or orange slice + mint. enjoy!

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{ 50 comments… read them below or add one }

1 alexandra @ sweet betweens [blog] May 29, 2013 at 7:20 am

lovely photos of my most favorite summer drink! [wonder what it would be like with a smidge of Corsair's Vanilla Bean Vodka in it? creamsicle-like, I believe! swoon....]

2 amy May 29, 2013 at 7:21 am

Ooh, that’s a fantastic idea – we’ll have to try that in the next few weeks! =)

3 Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar May 29, 2013 at 7:22 am

This looks so refreshing! Yum!

4 Leah | So, How's It Taste? May 29, 2013 at 8:49 am

I looooovveeeee fruit tea! I haven’t been able to master it at home though, so I can’t wait to try yours!

5 amy May 29, 2013 at 9:02 am

This version tastes *just* like Calypso’s to me, which is conveniently my favorite in town. =) If you like Calypso’s fruit tea, I think you’ll love this!

6 Sue (KyddSR) May 29, 2013 at 9:13 am

I’ve made fruit tea before, but I never thought to put cinnamon in it. I’ll have to try that next time!

7 amy May 29, 2013 at 9:22 am

I think that the cinnamon (+ sometimes nutmeg?) is the “secret ingredient” that a lot of the local restaurants use. It totally makes an awesome, unexpected difference in the flavor.

8 danielle May 29, 2013 at 9:33 am

Your pic is awesome! This sounds great – definitely need to give it a try (with the rum too maybe.)

9 morgan May 29, 2013 at 11:08 am

I was JUST thinking I needed to try my hand at fruit tea this summer. Brilliant!

10 Heather May 29, 2013 at 11:26 am

When I was pregnant sweet tea was one of my biggest cravings. And I totally indulged because I figured i was lacking in calories since I couldn’t have alcohol ;) Anyway, I ended up making big pitchers of it weekly & used The Picnic’s recipe which I found online. Yours looks like a dead ringer for it. Yummo!!

11 Erin @ The Spiffy Cookie May 29, 2013 at 1:06 pm

I don’t think I’ve ever heard of fruit tea. Well other than raspberry flavored iced tea but that doesn’t really count. I’m not actually a fan of iced tea but I think I would enjoy this!

12 amy May 29, 2013 at 1:29 pm

Hmm, maybe it’s just a Nashville thing, then? You’ll have to pay close attention next time you’re dining out in Memphis + know if you see it on any menus. If not, it must just be a Nashvegas thang!

13 Natalie May 29, 2013 at 1:50 pm

Looks lovely and refreshing!!

14 angela @ another bite please May 29, 2013 at 3:16 pm

when i went to visit my sisters in Mississippi was my first time with sweet tea…now fruit tea has to be a southern thing as well. i love all the ingredients in this. yes perfect for summer.

15 amy May 29, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Sweet tea is *definitely* a southern thing, I’m sure of that one! The origin of fruit tea still seems a little up in the air – it might be a Nashville-specific thing. I need to get to the bottom of it. =)

16 Nicole @ Young, Broke and Hungry May 29, 2013 at 3:34 pm

This recipe sounds super refreshing! And makes me want to take a trip to the South.

17 CCU May 29, 2013 at 4:17 pm

That is a lovely summer drink my friend :D

Cheers
CCU

18 Georgia @ The Comfort of Cooking May 29, 2013 at 4:26 pm

Oooo, this looks so delicious and refreshing on this toasty Texas day! I love all the different fruity flavors you added into the mix along with mint. Such a perfect summery drink!

19 Joanna@DrizzleofSunshine May 29, 2013 at 5:29 pm

This is perfect! I have a end of the year potluck and I’m signed up to bring drinks! I wanted something yummy and this will definitely work. With the 100 degree heat right now, we can use a refreshing drink.

20 amy May 29, 2013 at 6:23 pm

Oh, that is awesome Joanna – such a well-timed coincidence! Hope you + the potluckers love it – do report back! =)

21 Chandra@The Plaid and Paisley Kitchen May 29, 2013 at 7:28 pm

I think that having lived more than half my life in TN I agree with you! I adore Fruit Tea and I am going to make a big ole batch of this for my BBQ this weekend!

22 Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts May 29, 2013 at 8:20 pm

Amy,
I make sun tea, and with the next batch I’m going to toss in a cinnamon stick. That sounds pretty intriguing to me. I’d better make sure I have some (I suppose I could sub the nub of a nutmeg, too). Thanks for a lovely idea!

23 amy May 29, 2013 at 8:31 pm

Yup, I think nutmeg would be a good substitute as well. Hope your latest batch of sun tea turns out just perfect with the new flavor addition!

24 JJ - 84thand3rd May 29, 2013 at 8:47 pm

It must be a southern thing, growing up in Philly we never had it either! Sounds gorgeous for summer :)

25 Julie @ Table for Two May 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm

This looks so refreshing and a what wonderful drink for summer!

26 Jennie @themessybakerblog May 30, 2013 at 6:28 am

I’ve never heard of fruit tea, but it sounds delicious! This is going on my must try list. Pinned!

27 Jed Gray (sportsglutton) May 30, 2013 at 7:40 am

Saw this image on FB the other night and was instantly enticed Amy. Brilliant set up and image. The tea doesn’t sound half bad either, though I’ll take a splash of hard stuff please. ;-)

28 amy May 30, 2013 at 7:41 am

Why doesn’t that surprise me? =) Thanks for your kind words as always, Jed!

29 Lesley Eats May 30, 2013 at 12:45 pm

I didn’t grow up with fruit tea (just sweet tea), but I’m definitely a fan.

But if you’re making real southern tea, it needs to be Lipton or Luzianne. :D

30 amy May 30, 2013 at 1:24 pm

13 years in the south, + I still learn something new every day. Lipton or Luzianne it is next time! =)

31 Tiffany May 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

It might be a Southern thing, as I have never seen it, but it sounds DELICIOUS! And looks very pretty, too!

32 Beth May 30, 2013 at 3:23 pm

This sounds like a lovely way to cool down. I haven’t had fruit tea either, at least of the iced variety. Happy summer!

33 Nik@ABrownTable May 30, 2013 at 8:48 pm

That looks like one gorgeous and delicious fruit tea from the South!

34 claire @ the realistic nutritionist May 31, 2013 at 10:22 am

This is gorgeous!!

35 dixya| food, pleasure, and health May 31, 2013 at 11:18 am

i have never had fruit tea before but looks refreshingly good

36 Karen (Back Road Journal) May 31, 2013 at 1:52 pm

It is very hot here in New England today and your fruit tea sounds very refreshing.

37 Sarah K. @ The Pajama Chef May 31, 2013 at 4:03 pm

i love fruit tea–first heard about it from a southern friend so i think it’s a southern thing. this version looks heavenly!

38 Divya May 31, 2013 at 10:40 pm

Hi Amy , I was wondering how many small tea bags could I replace this with? Thank you :)

39 amy June 1, 2013 at 8:42 am

Hi Divya, I’d use about 8 regular-sized tea bags, maybe even 10 if you like your tea particularly strong. Hope that helps! =)

40 Meghan June 1, 2013 at 9:23 am

I never had fruit tea, but it sounds & looks delicious! Beautiful summer drink!

41 Adri June 2, 2013 at 12:27 am

Beautiful, and it sounds perfect for summer!

42 milkteaxx June 2, 2013 at 8:08 pm

fruit tea sound like an amazing idea!

43 Amy (Savory Moments) June 3, 2013 at 8:25 pm

This tea looks delicious – so perfect and refreshing for a hot summer day!

44 Vanessa June 7, 2013 at 11:26 am

What a refreshingly perfect drink for a hot summer day! I must try this sweet and delicious variation.

45 Shanno June 8, 2013 at 6:49 am

I used to travel for work and have long looked for the Fruit Tea I enjoyed in Nashville. Thanks! Going to try this today and bring a little of the south to Ohio!

46 amy June 8, 2013 at 10:43 pm

That’s so awesome, Shanno! Hope you try this + it transports you back to Nashville. =)

47 Jen L | Tartine and Apron Strings June 8, 2013 at 10:44 pm

This is an awesome drink recipe! Summer is on its way here, so I need some great drinks in my arsenal! This one will be included, that’s for sure! Can I have a sip now, please?

48 Kiran @ KiranTarun.com June 13, 2013 at 12:22 am

Pretty fruit tea! Almost too pretty to devour :)

49 Peter @ Feed Your Soul Too August 2, 2013 at 8:14 pm

I really liked this drink. I featured it on my Friday Five – Southern addition over @ Feed Your Soul Too – http://www.feedyoursoul2.com/2013/08/friday-five-southern-addition.html

50 fotografia June 17, 2014 at 11:48 am

Superb, what a blog it is! This webpage provides useful information to us, keep it up.

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