The Fruity Twist Robert Irvine Puts On Sweet Tea

You may already have already learned how to change up your standard brewed iced tea with orange juice, but Food Network star Robert Irvine has another fruity twist on sweet tea that is sure to elevate this popular summertime beverage to new heights. Included as part of "The Perfect Picnic Meal" on his website, Irvine's pomegranate iced tea uses a four-pronged approach to fruit-juice infusion. The leading role for his dizzyingly fruity concoction is played by pomegranate juice and cranberry juice, with freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice playing tart supporting roles to help round out this fruit-tastic drink.

Paired with the celebrity chef's sauteed spicy barbecue shrimp, crisp apple slaw, and his decadent berry salsa dessert nachos with creme fraiche, this ruby-jeweled sweet tea is sure to please at your next picnic, backyard barbecue, or Sunday brunch. And while Irvine's refreshing summertime party beverage makes a super fruity occasional treat, be forewarned — it's loaded with sugar.

Irvine's pomegranate iced tea

Irvine's recipe makes a gallon of this syrupy sweet nectar. He basically mixes cranberry, lemon, lime, and a whopping four cups of pomegranate juices all together with eight cups of pre-sweetened "sweet tea," in a large mixing bowl, along with an additional two tablespoons of brown sugar, and a few sprigs of mint (to add some zip). He recommends garnishing with sliced fruit or more mint.

But the beauty of Irvine's recipe, like all recipes, is the freedom to make it your own. Use it as inspiration. You could do the same thing with unsweetened tea, or switch up the juices; you could even experiment with putting your own spin on this medley, incorporating spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or ginger into the tea as it's brewing. There's really no end to how this recipe — or any other iced tea — can be varied and spruced up.

And if you like Irvine's recipe as is, but find it's a tad too sweet for your tastes, you can always start with unsweetened tea, reduce the amount of juice, or dilute it with a little water each time you pour yourself a glass. Whatever you decide, you'll be enjoying a fruit-tea summer.