Back to Basics: Lemonade and Sweet Tea

Lemonade & Sweet TeaWhen I first moved out on my own, I didn’t know how to make ANYTHING in the kitchen.  I could open a can or a package and that was the extent of my culinary knowledge.  I even needed a recipe for lemonade and sweet tea!  I can make many things without a recipe these days, but I’ve had eleven years of practice.

It’s okay to need a recipe for the basics when you’re just starting out.  Or maybe sugary sweet southern drinks have never been part of your kitchen routine.

Here are some very basic recipes for Lemonade and Sweet Tea.  You may want to add more or less sugar depending on your personal taste.  You can always add in other flavors to create more complex drinks.



  • Fresh lemons (6-8)
  • Filtered Water
  • Sugar
  • One Lime


  1. Juice lemons until you have 1c of fresh squeezed lemon juice.  The number of lemons will vary, usually 4-6.
  2. Juice one lime.
  3. Bring 1c of water to a rolling boil and dissolve 1c of sugar in the boiling water.  Remove from heat once sugar is dissolved.
  4. Add the lemon and lime juice to a pitcher with the simple syrup we just made.  Add 4-6c (more or less depending on taste) of fresh, filtered cold water to the pitcher and stir.  Slice one whole lemon and add to the pitcher.  Stir and serve well chilled.  You can add more or less water depending on how tart/sweet you like your lemonade.

Sweet Tea


  • 2qt pitcher
  • filtered water
  • ice
  • Orange/black pekoe tea bags (approx. 7-8 small bags or 3-4 family size bags depending on how strong you like your tea)
  • sugar


  1. Bring a small pot of water a rolling boil and add 1c of sugar until dissolved.
  2. Add the tea bags to the boiling water/sugar solution and turn off the heat.  Let tea steep for 7 minutes.
  3. While tea is steeping, fill the pitcher with ice all the way to the top.
  4. When tea is done steeping, pour it into the ice filled pitcher.  Continue to pour water over the tea bags and fill the pitcher until it is full.  Stir well.
  5. You can serve immediately as the ice should sufficiently cool the tea.  Any tea served right away will be stronger and generally sweeter than tea served later as the ice will melt and dilute the tea further as it sits in the refrigerator.
  6. You can add lemon, mint, or raspberry syrup for a yummy treat.

One of my most FAVORITE drinks is an Arnold Palmer.  Simply fill a glass half full with lemonade and half full with tea.  It is simple, yet divine for the taste buds!