Summer in the South requires plenty of cold drinks, and for many of us, that means iced tea. While a plain old pitcher of iced tea is refreshing in its own right, our Pineapple-Sweet Tea Punch is even better. Made with chilled black tea, this drink is sweetened with a pineapple simple syrup made with pineapple juice (canned is fine, or if you have a juicer, you can make your own). Fresh lime juice adds a welcome dose of acidity to balance out the sweetness, and, along with the pineapple, it gives this iced tea lovely tropical notes. To make this punch a cocktail, add 3/4 cup vodka, or enjoy it as-is, served over ice. The recipe makes enough Pineapple-Sweet Tea Punch to serve four people, and it can easily be doubled or even quadrupled if you are hosting a large gathering. Best of all, you can prep this punch up to two days in advance, to give yourself a head start on entertaining. Prepare the pineapple syrup two days in advance, then store it, covered, in the refrigerator. You can also combine the cooled syrup with the iced tea, then store it, covered, in the refrigerator. Stir in the lime juice and vodka (if using) before serving.

Robby Melvin and Karen Schroeder-Rankin


Credit: Johnny Autry; Prop and Food Styling: Charlotte L. Autry

Recipe Summary test

15 mins
20 mins
50 mins
Serves 4


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Bring pineapple juice and granulated sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high. Boil, undisturbed, until mixture reduces to 1/2 cup and becomes syrupy, 12 to 16 minutes. Remove from heat; cool completely, about 20 minutes.

  • Stir together chilled unsweetened iced tea, vodka (optional), fresh lime juice (from 1 lime), and cooled pineapple syrup in a small pitcher. Pour evenly into 4 ice-filled glasses; garnish each with 1 pineapple wedge.