Swamp Water


Kardea Brown shares her recipe for a crisp, refreshing beverage.

Swamp Water
Photo: Caitlin Bensel; Food Styling: Torie Cox
Active Time:
3 mins
Total Time:
3 mins
Serves 2 or 3

In her Biscuits & Jam episode, Kardea Brown told Southern Living Editor in Chief Sid Evans she served Swamp Water in her traveling supper club.

"The swamp water was something that was always served with each meal," Brown said. "And it's basically homemade lemonade, homemade tea, and ginger beer, so it has a snap to it, but it's one of those things that, it doesn't look the best."

The murky brown drink may not have the visual appeal of a pink cocktail or even a glistening Old-Fashioned, but Brown assured Evans it is truly a delicious drink. "It looks swampish, so we named it Swamp Water because guests at the supper club were drinking it like it was just plain water. Like, chugging it back."

While this recipe makes a non-alcoholic version, Brown said she would add bourbon to the Swamp Water if she were serving it at a party.


  • ½ cup lemonade

  • ¾ cup iced tea

  • ½ cup ginger beer (not ginger ale)

  • Lemon slices, for garnish


  1. Mix the lemonade, iced tea, and ginger beer in a small pitcher or 32-ounce mason jar. Pour over ice into 2 or 3 glasses. Garnish with lemon slices.


Excerpted from THE WAY HOME by Kardea Brown and reprinted with permission from Amistad, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2022.

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