8 Times When Iced Tea Is Way More Refreshing Than Water

Here are eight occasions when iced tea is the only thing that will quench our summer thirst.

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Tea Is Tops

We all know how important it is to stay hydrated — especially now, during the hottest months of the year. But plain water just isn't the most-inspiring option for refreshment. Here are eight times when iced tea is way more revitalizing and fun to sip than H2O: further proof that iced tea is the official beverage of summer.

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At a Summer Picnic

It just doesn’t feel like summer until you throw a blanket on a patch of green grass, kick off your shoes and unpack a portable feast. But instead of plain water (or lugging around a pantry of different beverage options to appease picnickers young and old), tote along iced tea to please the crowd.

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On the Hottest Day of the Year

When temperatures reach record highs, achieve instant refreshment with a tall glass of iced tea sipped waterside. Lie back, lounge and discover how listening to the sounds of ice cubes clinking and waves lapping can be its own form of cool-down therapy.

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For an Effortless Soiree

No party host wants to spend the entire night fetching drinks. Instead, mix up a pitcher of iced tea, set out platters and cake stands laden with fresh fruit, cheese and other appetizers or desserts, and let everyone help themselves so you have a chance to enjoy the party too.

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With Southern Food

Iced tea is ideal when you're chowing down on Southern specialties. The refreshing briskness of ice-cold tea with a slice of lemon cuts the rich, bold flavors of crunchy chicken-fried steak, sticky-sweet barbecue, creamy shrimp and grits or spicy gumbo.

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Afternoon Porch Drinks

Turn a game of cards, a visit from unexpected guests — even a break from weekend chores — into a leisurely event with frosty glasses of tea and some sweets or snacks on the porch, deck or patio.

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With Summer Favorites

What else would you want to wash down summer all-stars like sliced watermelon, and hot dogs or sweet corn straight off the grill? The versatile flavor of fresh-brewed tea makes it easy to drink alongside the mash-up of flavors at summer cookouts and potlucks.

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Dressed-Up Party Drinks

Fancify iced tea for pool parties, baby showers and other summer shindigs with this simple DIY method: Wrap Mason jars with a swath of burlap and a piece of ribbon, fill each with plenty of ice and chilled tea, and top with colorful straws and edible garnishes like lemon slices, mint, cucumber or berries.

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Sunset Sipping

Perhaps it’s because summer is so fleeting that the season inspires us to get outside and enjoy the moment. Take a few minutes at the end of a busy day to sit back and relax, sip at a leisurely pace, and take in a sunset or epic view.

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