The Secret Ingredient For Impossibly Refreshing Homemade Iced Tea

Southerners have long known that a tall glass of iced tea is one of the best ways to beat the summer heat, and the tip has clearly caught on, as over 75% of all of the tea consumed in the U.S. is iced rather than hot. The traditional add-ins are sugar and lemon juice, but the next time you brew up a batch, consider adding cranberry juice instead. 

As with most things, homemade iced tea is superior to what's pre-brewed in the store; and there's little excuse not to do it fresh since tea leaves and water are all that is required. For something worthy of this tart twist, reach for a richly-flavored tea, like a black, white, or green variety. A good quality, non-flavored fresh black tea like Assam is a great place to start — and it's definitely worth buying loose-leaf rather than bagged. 

From fresh to refreshing

If you're a fan of the sweet and tart combination of the Arnold Palmer, cranberry juice is a welcome substitution for the lemonade; especially if you're in the South, where sweet tea is the norm. Cranberries are wonderfully tart and, therefore, a perfect complement to tea's natural tannins. For an extra fruity and refreshing summer concoction, you could mix it with peach or blackberry tea.

One thing to keep in mind before adding cranberry juice to your iced tea is the sugar content of the brand you're using. Some name-brand cranberry juices are sweeter than soda while other, often organic versions, keep their sugar content as low as 9 grams a cup, sp you'll want either to choose your brand carefully or ease off the sugar when sweetening the brew.

So spruce up your next batch of iced tea with an appealing, reddish tint and refreshing tang, and give this typically cold-weather berry some summer love.