How to Make A Perfect Texas Tea

Stanley’s Kitchen & Tap in Lincoln Park is the Chicago bar dedicated to the University of Texas. My husband John is a UT grad, so naturally we spend most of our Saturdays in the fall at Stanley's, watching the Longhorns play. This has been our routine for the last few years, and over that time, I became hooked on their Texas Tea. I wasn’t sure what made it so good, but somehow it was the perfect drink. The taste was perfect. It was easy to drink (maybe too easy sometimes). It went well with really whatever I opted to eat that day. So I sought out to learn the recipe - I wanted to be able to share this drink, to make it anytime at home and not just rely on Stanley’s for game day.

There were a few things I knew about their Texas Tea. It had sweet tea and lemonade for a base. It used Tito’s Handmade Vodka, a Texas staple. Their menu card also listed spiced rum, but I didn’t know what type specifically. It always came served over ice and garnished with a slice of lemon, orange and mint leaves. This was the basis for my testing.

Many weekends of trial and error led me to finding the perfect recipe. Discovering the right types of alcohol was an adventure (Captain Morgan and Sailor Jerry are not interchangeable by the way), and my husband was more than happy to help me test out drinks. We became regulars at Binny’s for a while! But we finally mastered it. I present you with the best recipe for creating a perfect batch of Texas Tea!

All of the ingredients together. Mason jars are optional, but they really add to the presentation. 😏

All of the ingredients together. Mason jars are optional, but they really add to the presentation. 😏

Makes 4 drinks.

What you’ll need:

For the drink:

To garnish:

  • Orange
  • Lemon
  • Mint
  • A pitcher (any size, but at least 1 quart)
  • 4 glass
  • 1 shot glass or a jigger
  • Measuring cup
  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Ice
  • Mixing spoon
  • Straws (optional)


  1. Gather your ingredients. Everything will be combined together in the pitcher.
  2. Combine the 3 oz of Tito’s, 1 oz of Peach Vodka and 2 oz of Sailor Jerry’s with the ¾ oz of simple syrup into the pitcher.
  3. Pour the 2 cups of sweet tea (we use Gold Peak, it’s our house favorite but you can brew your own to get extra crafty) and 1 cup lemonade (Meyer’s is one of our favorites, but you can use whatever brand you prefer, or make your own) into the pitcher with the alcohol. Stir with a mixing spoon. Set aside.
  4. Use the cutting board and knife to cut the orange and lemon into slices. Be careful, as sometimes slicing rounded fruits can be tricky. Here’s a great video about cutting fruits for garnishing drinks.
  5. Fill your glasses up with ice. Pour the mixture over the ice. Use mason jars for extra authenticity.
  6. Add 1 slice of lemon, 1 slice of orange and a few mint leaves to the drink.
  7. Add a straw to the drink and serve cold.
  8. Enjoy (responsibly)!

Compared to the $8 drink at Stanley's, this only puts you out $3.53/serving. Not too bad for a tasty drink at home! And you won't have to tip the bartender either 😉