Southern Fruit Tea From Scratch

Southern-style fruit tea has a special place in my heart. Every time I take a sip, it transports me back to our first days here in Tennessee. My recipe combines delicious sweet tea with wholesome fruits such as pineapple and oranges. It’s a refreshing drink for any day of the year, not just summer! 

2 iced teas on a counter with a fruit kabob garnish
Source: Plum Branch Home

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Southern Fruit Tea Recipe Inspiration

The first time I had southern-style fruit tea was when we ate at Biscuit Love in Franklin after moving to Tennessee. My husband and I couldn’t believe how refreshing and delicious it was. Who would have ever thought to mix sweet tea with citrus and pineapple? 

So after enjoying it many times, I decided to create my own recipe here at home. I wanted to whip this tea up anytime we wanted, which inspired this recipe!

Reasons You’ll Love This Tea

  • It’s super refreshing to enjoy it any time of day.
  • The ingredients are wholesome and nutritious.
  • The steps are simple, so you won’t get overwhelmed.
luzianne tea
Source: Plum Branch Home

Best Tea Brand for Fruit Tea

My personal favorite brand is Luzianne Tea for this recipe. It’s a New Orleans company that uses orange pekoe tea for a smooth, delicious flavor. The type of tea you use will alter the flavor. If you can’t find Luzianne tea in the grocery store, you can order it online.

Ingredients

  • 2 Luzianne tea bags (family-sized)
  • 1/2 cup Pure Cane sugar
  • 2 Oranges
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple chunks
  • 1 Lemon
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1/8 tsp Baking soda

Kitchen Tools You’ll Need

How to Make Southern Style Fruit Tea

Add 3 cups of water and the tea bags to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then immediately take off the heat. While the water is heating, occasionally move the tea bags around, up and down, gently.

tea being brewed in a pot
Source: Plum Branch Home

After you take the pot off the heat, let the bags seep for 5 minutes (again, moving around occasionally, up and down), then remove them. Do not squeeze the bags.

baking soda being added into tea
Source: Plum Branch Home

Add cane sugar and baking soda to the pot and stir until dissolved.

water being added to a pot of tea concentrate
Source: Plum Branch Home

Pour the concentrated tea mixture into a serving pitcher and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir to combine, and set aside.

lemon juice being squeezed
Source: Plum Branch Home

Using a fine mesh strainer over the top of your pitcher, squeeze the juice of the lemon and both oranges over it into the pitcher. Stir to combine.

pineapple juice being strained into tea
Source: Plum Branch Home

Add the pineapple chunks and the last 1/2 cup of water to a blender and blend on high for 20–30 seconds. Strain and add to the pitcher. Stir to combine.

fruit kabob garnish for drinks
Source: Plum Branch Home

Refrigerate until chilled, or overnight. Pour over ice to serve, add an optional fruit garnish, and enjoy!

*Best enjoyed within the first 48 hours

Storing Fruit Tea

Store fruit tea in a pitcher or container for up to 4 days in the fridge. It is best enjoyed within the first two days. Before serving, be sure to shake or stir the tea. It may separate while in the fridge; this is normal. 

Serving Occasions

  • at brunch
  • holidays
  • parties & showers
  • with lunch or supper
  • at potlucks
  • when guests come to visit
2 iced teas with fruit garnishes on top
Source: Plum Branch Home

Recipe FAQ

Can I use orange juice instead of oranges?

Yes, you can use orange juice instead of juicing the oranges yourself. If you do this, ensure the orange juice is 100% juice without added sugars or ingredients. The extra sugar will make this drink too sweet, and the added ingredients can mess with the flavor. 

Can I use lemon juice instead of lemons?

Yes, you can use the bottled lemon juice instead of juicing the lemons, but make sure it’s 100% juice. Don’t use anything that has added ingredients or sugars. 

Can I use a frozen lemonade concentrate instead of lemons?

You can use frozen lemonade concentrate, but you’ll need to adjust the recipe with less sugar and more water. I would just use lemons to keep this recipe simple. 

Can I use a frozen orange juice concentrate instead of oranges?

You can use frozen orange juice concentrate, but you’ll need to adjust the recipe with less sugar and more water. I would just use oranges or orange juice to keep this recipe simple. 

Can I use pineapple juice instead of making my own with the pineapple?

Yes, if you can find pineapple juice that’s 100% juice with no added sugar or other ingredients, you can definitely make this substitute. 

Can I use canned pineapple for this recipe?

I don’t recommend using canned pineapple for this recipe. The additives and sugars will mess with flavors.

Can I use frozen pineapple chunks?

Yes, you can use frozen pineapple chunks; just let them thaw in the fridge for a few hours or overnight so your tea doesn’t turn into a slushie (although that does sound delicious).

More Iced Tea Recipes You’ll Love

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2 iced teas on a counter with a fruit kabob garnish

Southern Fruit Tea Recipe From Scratch

Molly LaFontaine of Plum Branch Home
Southern-style fruit tea has a special place in my heart. Every time I take a sip, it transports me back to our first days here in Tennessee. My recipe combines delicious sweet tea with wholesome fruits such as pineapple and oranges. It's a refreshing drink for any day of the year, not just summer! 
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 20 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Southern
Servings 0.5 gallons

Ingredients
  

  • 2 Family-Sized Luzianne tea bags (or 8 regular-sized tea bags) (4 regular = 1 family)
  • 1/2 cup Pure Cane sugar
  • 2 Navel Oranges
  • 1/2 cup Pineapple chunks
  • 1 Lemon
  • 6 cups Water
  • 1/8 tsp Baking soda

Instructions
 

  • Add 3 cups of water and the tea bags to a medium-sized pot. Bring to a boil, then immediately take off the heat. While the water is heating, occasionally move the tea bags around, up and down, gently.
  • After you take the pot off the heat, let the bags seep for 5 minutes (again, moving around occasionally, up and down), then remove them. Do not squeeze the bags.
  • Add cane sugar and baking soda to the pot and stir until dissolved.
  • Pour the concentrated tea mixture into a serving pitcher and add the remaining 2 1/2 cups of water. Stir to combine, and set aside.
  • Using a fine mesh strainer over the top of your pitcher, squeeze the juice of the lemon and both oranges over it into the pitcher. Stir to combine.
  • Add the pineapple chunks and the last 1/2 cup of water to a blender and blend on high for 20–30 seconds. Strain and add to the pitcher. Stir to combine.
  • Refrigerate until chilled, or overnight. Pour over ice, add an optional fruit garnish, and enjoy!
  • *Best enjoyed within the first 48 hours

Notes

**Please note Luzianne family-sized tea bags may be sized differently than other brands’ family-sized tea bags. This difference can change the flavor of this recipe. 
Keyword fruit tea, plum branch home fruit tea, southern fruit tea

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