Iced Strawberry Green Tea


SPRING DRINKING: Gin and Gingers; Iced Chai Tea Latte; Lemonade, Spiked or Sober

As any northerner worth her flannel will tell you, iced tea should not be sweet. Below the Mason-Dixon line (and in Morocco) Southern types apparently drink tea so sugary you’d think it was mixed for a hummingbird. Up here, we relish black tea that borders on bitter and register utter dismay anytime we find out that a restaurant serves its house iced tea laced with sweetener.

Expert in coconut cake and shrimp and grits, perhaps the Southerners could school us in the pleasures of sweet iced tea as well. Or maybe we could school them about why a glass of unsweetened green tea beats sugar water any day. Or perhaps we should all meet in the middle–somewhere around southern Virginia–and toast to the United States with cool Mason jars filled with slightly sweetened iced green tea flavored not just with sugar but also with strawberries.

I figured if we were going sweet, we might as well go there with gusto, and so I made a strawberry syrup that I’ve been doling out into glasses of iced tea on the pre-summer but very warm afternoons we were having in NYC until this week, when April Flowers turned to May Showers.

On the other hand, if it’s after 5pm (that’s 11am on weekends), you might want to nix the green tea and stir tablespoons of strawberry syrup into flutes of champagne. Then you can toast to drinking the girliest glass of bubbly you’ve ever seen (its pink hue might make it seem to be appropriate only for baby showers and bachelorette bashes, but if you can overcome the color, it’s good anytime).

From my kitchen, embracing sweet tea, to yours,



Iced Strawberry Green Tea
Serves 4

1 pound fresh strawberries, washed, trimmed, and quartered
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
zest of 1 lemon

4 cups iced green tea (or champagne, or seltzer, or ginger ale, or the cocktail makings of your dreams)

Combine the strawberries, sugar, water, and lemon zest in a small, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and cook for about 25 minutes. Strain, pushing down on the strawberries to extract all the juices. Place in a covered container and completely in the fridge (store extras in the fridge, too).

Add about 3 tablespoons of strawberry syrup to a cup of green tea. Stir, and taste to see if you want more syrup. Serve over ice.

Posted in: Drinking
  • Keisenpress

    Could you make this with frozen strawberries? As a Northerner transported to the deep South, sorry to tell you Cara, but I have learned the deliciousness that is sweet tea when its a balmy 95 degrees in May! I can’t wait to try this for my potluck tomorrow!

    • BGSK

      Yes, though the syrup might not be quite as flavorful…unless they’re strawberries you froze yourself!

  • Carolyn

    I am a die-hard Northerner in this regard (come to think of it, I even bought a couple of flannel shirts this year for the first time since like 1993), but man, I might just reconsider for iced strawberry green tea. If it ever…ever…starts to feel like iced drink weather in London, I will definitely try this. Why hadn’t I thought to flavor green tea before?

    • BGSK

      Yes! And it’s not like it’s super sweet or anything, just pleasantly berry-flavored.

  • Amanda McCoy

    Hey Cara, how long do you think this would be good in the fridge? A week?

    • BGSK

      It keeps about a week, then I think it starts to lose its flavor. But I think you could push to two weeks if you wanted to.

      • Amanda McCoy

         Thinking about it, in the heat of summer, it probably wouldn’t even last a week. I’d drink enough tea or seltzer or cocktails with it to last me a day!

  • Rhonda Adkins

    I’ve lived North and South, I can drink in both camps, but given a choice I go for the sweet tea.  I’m pinning this one for when it truly warms up here in the Northern Tundra.

  • philpoe

    Those strawberries looked so good I just cut up 3, added some fresh blueberries, cut up apples, and ate it all. Am I allowed some ice cream now? I think so, just a little.

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