Instead of making traditional and well-loved Southern Sweet Tea, cool down this summer with naturally sweetened Cherry Lemon Tea! Made with water, three of your favorite tea bags, frozen or fresh cherries, agave nectar and freshly squeezed lemon juice, this summertime flavored tea takes little hands-on time and stores beautifully in the refrigerator for days. This bright, slightly sweet and slightly tart iced tea is the perfect refreshment to sip on a hot summer’s day!
I’ve gotta be real with y’all. I was raised in the South and have lived in the South my entire life… but I didn’t like tea until I was reaaaaaaaaaally pregnant.
Even the sweet rendition was disgusting to me.
I vividly remember attending a wedding reception, which involved a sit down dinner, when I was a girl. The only drink option for the kid table was tea. And I was so disgusted because I could not fathom how so many people drank it and enjoyed the nasty stuff. It was bitter and disgusting… and to remedy this, I poured several sugar packets into my glass since that was the only way I thought it might be palatable.
Turns out, drowning tea in sugar didn’t change my tune.
So while my friends always sipped on sweet tea during the hot summer months, I found myself gravitating toward lemonades and limeades.
Then I got pregnant.
(Is it just me, or does that statement mean ‘and then EVERYTHING CHANGED’ always? Because I feel like it was a turning point for me on so many levels.)
It wasn’t until I was overdue that tea started sounding good. In fact, the only reason it was even on my radar was because my doctor told me it could potentially help bring on labor.
And really, at that point, I was willing to try anything if it meant my body went into labor on its own (it didn’t) and I didn’t have to be induced (I did.)
I drank that red raspberry leaf tea, which I jokingly called “labor tea,” like it was going out of style the week between my due date and induction date… and it actually didn’t taste horrible, even though my doctor warned me it was gross.
When my mother was in town a few weeks ago, she requested tea to accompany our lunch. I, of course, didn’t have any made up, but as we started talking about what sounded good, I realized a few things:
- I had some pitted cherries in the freezer that were calling my name.
- Strawberry-infused tea was quite delish last summer.
- Cherry tea with a bit of lemon juice would be tart and slightly sweet and wonderful.
This tea couldn’t be easier, y’all. And I’m so glad because sometimes, we just need a naturally sweet, delicious drink that can be ready to go with very little work.
Bring your water to a boil, then turn off the heat. Throw in the cherries, your tea bags and the agave nectar and let it steep for 30 minutes to an hour. Then strain the tea, add the lemon juice, pop it in the fridge, and enjoy cold!
Or if you’re like us, pour the tea straight into glasses after it steeps, add an ample amount of ice, and drink immediately.
Either way, it’s delightful.
Cherry Lemon Essentials
Get the look!
- Glimmer-Wrapped Old Fashioned Glasses.
- Clara Glass Pitcher.
- Gold glitter tray. (Similar from West Elm and Edie Parker.)
Here’s how you make it:
Cherry Lemon Tea
- 6 cups water
- 2 cups (16 oz.) frozen or fresh cherries, pitted
- 3 tea bags (we used regular iced tea bags, nothing fancy, but you can if you want!)
- 3 tablespoons agave nectar
- 1/4 cup freshly-squeezed lemon juice
- In a large saucepan, bring the water to a boil.
- Add the cherries and the tea bags. Measure in the agave nectar, and stir until dissolved into the mixture.
- Steep for 30 minutes to an hour.
- Strain the tea, and transfer to a pitcher.
- Pour in the lemon juice.
- Chill in the refrigerator, and enjoy cold!