National Iced Tea Day

Fancy a nice cold glass of iced tea? Maybe with a slice of lemon or perhaps a mint leaf to make it even more refreshing? Keep reading to learn more about Iced Tea and National Iced Tea Day.

Glass of iced tea

If you grew up in the South, you know iced tea is almost a way of life. When I was at home, I helped to make our tea pretty much every night. We’d brew the Lipton, fill the pitcher with ice, mix it with water and fill all 7 of our tall glasses. But we couldn’t forget to add ice to all the glasses first. 

So Much Ice.

But that’s what we did. Plus, we used those long, tall tea spoons to sweeten it with Sweet ‘n Low. I know, I know…  that’s not truly the southern way. But hey… I grew up drinking Tab too. In fact, I can’t even remember ever having an actual Coke when I was young.

Nowadays, I don’t drink Iced too as much, but when I do, the memories come flooding back.

Here I go again, digressing. 

Let’s get back to all the deets about National Ice Tea Day!

When is National Iced Tea Day?

National Iced Tea Day is June 10th!

A Brief History of National Iced Tea Day

Well, there really isn’t any information out there about when this day was founded. So, we’ll just move on and talk a little bit about the history of iced tea!

A Short Synopsis of the History of Iced Tea

Iced tea in Mason jars with lemon slices

In 1904, at the St. Louis World’s Fair, the commissioner of Indian tea, Richard Blechynden, was manning a booth in the India Pavilion promoting his teas, India and Ceylon.

Apparently, it was hot. Like H.O.T. hot.

So in a desperate attempt to cool off, he took his hot tea and poured it over ice in a glass.

And thus, Iced Tea in the US was born!

Or was it?

In addition to that story, there is also a record of a man, N.B. Reed, selling iced tea at the 1893 Chicago World’s Fair.  

An even earlier note – In 1856, a Richmond, Virginia druggist, S. P. Semple, was selling the iced beverage at his soda fountain. Proving that Iced Tea was in fact, a money maker.

But it’s popularity was still not totally widespread.

However, in 1868 a newspaper article came out in the Boston Journal extolling the refreshing virtues of this non-alcoholic drink. It was then picked up by the New-York Commercial Advertiser and then the Springfield Republican. [1]

Nothing like social media to make something go viral. Even a primitive one like an actual newspaper. LOL

Regardless of the year, it seems clear that Iced Tea’s popularity gained traction sometime in the latter 19th century and still continues to be a very popular drink today. 

Ideas for Celebrating National Iced Tea Day

Photo of three glasses of iced tea

If you love Iced Tea, there are a few ways to celebrate! Let’s take a look:

  • Throw an Iced Tea Party: plan it just like an English Tea Party, but with iced tea instead. Serve some cucumber tea sandwiches and petit fours. Maybe even make some iced tea popsicles. Be sure to have plenty of lemon and maybe even some of those quaint lemon forks. Wouldn’t they be fun?
  • Throw a Cocktail Party, but use Iced Tea as your mixer. 
  • Take a friend out to your favorite restaurant and treat them to a cool glass of Iced Tea! 

Funny story, we have family friends who used to own a ton of Hardee’s franchises.  When they started growing, apparently, they were being forced to standardize their processes – especially the sweet tea. 

However, in this little southern town of about the 3,000, the ladies who made the tea were NOT happy about it. Supposedly, the amount of sugar in their new recipe was HALF the amount they would normally put in. Crazy, huh?

Quote: where there's tea, there's hope

Different Ways to Make Iced Tea

There are some options when it comes to making your Iced Tea. Let’s take a look:

Traditional Brewing 

As I mentioned earlier, we drank iced tea every night growing up and this was the method we used.

First, boil your water, then steep your tea and finally dilute it.


Sun Tea

Have you ever tried Sun Tea? I’ll be honest. I’m not sure I can tell the difference, but this method started making the rounds in my childhood. 

Basically, you take a big, glass jug, add water and tea bags. Then sit it out in the sun all day and the tea will brew in the heat.

Is it easier? Maybe. Does it have some dangers? Probably.  Anything sitting outside in the sun all day has the opportunity to breed bacteria. Just sayin. 

Cold Brew

If you like tea, but brewing it via the traditional method is too strong, try cold brew.

First just fill a container with cold water, add then some pure leaf tea or tea bags and leave it in the refrigerator overnight to infuse. 

You’ll have a gently flavorful, less bitter tea.

Tasty Ingredients You Can Add to Iced Tea


You can squeeze slices of citrus fruit or mash the berries and sieve the juice to separate the seeds. I have to say, I love orange slices in my tea!

Here are some fruits that pair well with iced tea:

  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Orange
  • Strawberry
  • Cherry
  • Raspberry
  • Blackberry
  • Passion fruit 


Tea and Lemonade? YUP!

Have you ever heard of an Arnold Palmer? 

Arnold Palmer was an American golfer in the 1980s who loved drinking a glass of half lemonade and half tea. 

There’s no surprise that this combination is now widely known as an “Arnold Palmer”! 


Love a Long Island Iced Tea? Whew. Now that has some alcohol. It may have the word tea in its name, but it has absolutely zero tea. On the contrary, it’s actually made of vodka, tequila, light rum, triple sec, gin, and a splash of cola. 

The only reason it is has Iced Tea in its name is because it ends up having the same reddish-brown color as actual iced tea!

But you can make actual cocktails with actual tea: 

  • You can spike your Arnold Palmer with vodka or rum
  • Add some bourbon to your iced tea
  • Add some peach liqueur and whiskey to your iced tea for a Peachy Tea
  • Add some gin and lemon to iced Earl Grey for a Royal Tea Cocktail
  • Muddle some ginger, mint, and simple syrup together, and then add Cognac to some green tea
  • Add one part beer to two parts iced tea for a Summer Shandy. Don’t forget a squeeze of lemon!

Noteworthy Stats about Ice Tea

glass of iced tea with a slice of lemon

Of all the popular beverages for summer, Iced Tea is sure to be a refreshing choice. One of my favorite memories is sitting on the back porch drinking iced tea with my Dad after he cut the grass. He’d sit in the rocking chair, as we drank from our tea glasses, and talk with me for quite a long time. 

Sweet tea and sweet memories!

For more fun days to celebrate, just visit our calendar!

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