During the summer I’m totally into Shaken Basil Iced Tea. Iced Tea infused with basil is super refreshing with straight from the garden flavor. Shaken in a cocktail shaker, then served over ice, this is the perfect summer beverage and delicious herbal spin on my favorite black tea.
I use fresh herbs all year long but especially during the summer months.
Herbs are such a great way to add flavor to everything from drinks to cocktails (like a Basil Margarita) to dinner recipes.
But you can’t always have a Strawberry Basil Margarita. So for those times, I drink this delicious Basil Iced Tea.
Basil Iced Tea is hardly even a recipe. It’s so easy. Of course, I took all the shortcuts possible. Because that’s just who I am as a person.
I’m a big black tea fan but the addition of adding fresh basil makes it next level and so satisfying.
This is a perfect non-alcoholic drink to serve guests at a party or summer barbecue and can easily be made ahead of time.
Not only does shaking the iced tea with ice create an extra, refreshing finished drink, but the strainer helps to keep out the really big basil chunks. It’s a great way to infuse the tea with that wonderful basil flavor.
And you can further make it your own by adding a little bit of sweetener, or even other flavors, like fresh strawberries.
Scroll to the end of the post for a printable recipe card with detailed directions and measurements.
- Black tea
- fresh basil leaves
What kind of tea should I use
I prefer to use black tea for this recipe. And I use one that is store-bought. But you can use your favorite. You can make the iced tea in a Keurig or you can use green tea.
It’s totally up to you. To me, black tea has the best, almost bitter flavor that I find so refreshing on a warm day.
And I’ve had my share of store-bought teas and Tejava is delish. It seems like it has more caffeine than I remember as my heart was racing after I drank this.
So keep that in mind if you are sensitive to caffeine.
You can also make homemade Cold Brew Tea to have even more control over the flavor. This post has directions for black, green, Matcha and herbal teas.
How to make basil iced tea
I really think that using a cocktail shaker for this non-alcoholic drink is the best. But if you don’t have one, you can make this right in a glass.
Add about 5 leaves of fresh basil along with a splash of tea to the cocktail shaker. Muddle the leaves. This bruises the leaves and helps to release the oils and in turn the flavor.
Having that little bit of tea in there just helps to grab those oils.
Also, for the longest time, I didn’t have a legit muddler. Just use the back of an ice cream scooper or back of a spoon if you need to.
Add the rest of the iced tea and then a handful of ice to the shaker. Shake well.
Adding the ice at the very end helps to keep it from melting and diluting the drink as fast.
It also turns out extra tasty if you start with cold tea to begin with.
Strain the basil-infused iced tea into a tall glass with fresh ice.
Garnish with more fresh basil.
You can also add a squeeze of fresh lime or lemon if you like a little citrus with your tea. (I totally do – lime is the greatest of all time!)
If you don’t want larger pieces of basil in your finished drink, you can use a second strainer when pouring it into your glass.
This is a great party drink and can be made in a larger batch, just don’t add ice to the tea ahead of time to keep it from getting diluted. Just be sure to add more basil leaves so the flavor comes through.
The longer the tea sits with the basil, the more that gorgeous herbal flavor will infuse it.
Frequently Asked Questions
YES! You can use basil in anything you want (pretty much). There are a variety of ways you can get the flavor to infuse your tea. Fresh basil pairs really well with black iced tea and is so delicious.
You can make tea from dried basil or use dried basil along with other tea ingredients. But using fresh basil is a simple way to add the flavor whenever you want to and doesn’t require any steeping time.
Basil will stay fresh in the fridge for about 2 days. I prefer to lightly dampen a paper towel wrapped around fresh basil and placed in a plastic bag. This will help it to stay fresher for a few more days.
You’re going to love this! Shaken Basil Iced Tea is ready in just minutes and one of my favorite things to drink on a warm day! You’re going to love how refreshing it is.
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Basil Iced Tea
- 12 ounces of black iced tea
- 5 fresh basil leaves
- simple syrup or sugar, optional
- Add basil leaves and a splash of iced tea to a cocktail shaker.
- Muddles the basil leaves.
- Add the rest of the iced tea.
- Add ice then shake well.
- Strain into a tall glass over fresh ice.
- Add more basil to garnish, if desired.
- If you prefer your tea sweetened, add simple syrup or sugar to taste.