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Southern Lemonade Tea

Southern Lemonade Tea

Serves: 8

Hands On Time: 

Total Time: 


2 quarts cold water
2 family-size tea bags
2 lemons, sliced into rings
1 cup granulated sugar
12 maraschino cherries, or more as desired (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs 


In a lided pot over high heat, bring the water to a boil. Drop in tea bags, remove from burner and allow to steep for 5 to 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, slice lemons, place in a 3-quart pitcher and cover with sugar.

Pour still-hot tea over lemons and sugar and stir. Allow tea to come to room temperature before chilling.

Add cherries to pitcher just before serving (if using). To serve, pour into tall glasses filled with ice and garnish with mint.


Per serving: 138 calories (percent of calories from fat, 1), trace protein, 36 grams carbohydrates, trace fiber, trace fat (no saturated fat), no cholesterol, 16 milligrams sodium.

About the recipe

Pouring hot black tea over sliced lemons covered with sugar helps release the citrus essence and gives this drink a lemon-candy flavor. For an old-fashioned Southern "tea" I'd put this lemony refreshment out on a special occasion with cookies, tea cakes and finger sandwiches. If you throw in a handful of maraschino cherries, the pitcher will be even prettier. -- Wendell Brock, Southern food writer