Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea

A glass of iced tea sits on a white surface, garnished with blue berries and strawberry pieces cut into stars, as well as a mint leaf. A pitcher of the same is in the background, and a white ramekin to the side holds more of the garnish.
Image: / Tim Nusog

There are few things more refreshing on a hot summer day than a frosty, ice-filled glass (or pitcher) of iced tea. But sometimes you need a fancier approach, and that’s when bourbon—a perfect accompaniment to iced tea—comes into play. Add some sweetness with fruit and sugar and a bit of tartness from squeezed lemon—itself an iced tea essential—and you have quite the pleasing summer libation.

The Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea is just that, a mellow summer sipper, perfect for the Fourth of July or any other day you’re craving something tall, cool and easy-drinking. Besides it being a crowd-pleaser thanks to its flavors, it’s also a breeze to assemble, which is helpful if you’re making a suite of these for a group, say on a beach trip or when hosting a backyard barbecue. Muddle strawberries with lemon juice, shake with ice, bourbon and simple syrup, pour over fresh ice with unsweetened tea, and it’s done. All that is needed is a straw and, optionally, some berries and mint for a striking garnish. This means you can easily make a batch of them and continue to refill glasses as long as you don’t run out of ice.

Another attractive aspect of the summery drink is its versatility. While strawberries pair excellently with bourbon, you could substitute a fruit like raspberries or even blueberries, depending on what’s freshest and most available. Or shift gears and use a flavored tea—a peach black tea or similar flavor can bring even more fruity, summery notes without increasing the sweetness of the drink. And when it comes to sweetness, you can always adjust the levels of simple syrup or use an infused syrup, like mint simple syrup, to add depth.

For the liquor, bourbon is still the best bet, but swapping it for another dark spirit like an aged rum can work well. Be sure to avoid anything too botanical though, like gin or aquavit, as it might clash with the natural tannins in the tea and lead to an overly bitter final product.


Click Play to See This Bourbon Strawberry Iced Tea Come Together


  • 2 large fresh strawberries (sliced into quarters)

  • 1 ounce lemon juice, freshly squeezed

  • 2 ounces bourbon

  • 3/4 ounce rich simple syrup

  • Unsweetened iced tea, to top

  • Garnish: blueberries

  • Garnish: strawberries

  • Garnish: mint sprig


  1. Add the strawberries and lemon juice into a shaker and gently muddle.

  2. Add the bourbon and simple syrup, add ice, and shake until well-chilled.

  3. Strain into a Collins glass over fresh ice.

  4. Top with unsweetened iced tea.

  5. Garnish with skewered blueberries and strawberries and a mint sprig.