Thursday, July 28

LONG, COOL GLASS

Photo Courtesy of Beth Dreiling Hontzas/Southern Living Magazine

The beginnings of drinking tea (albeit hot tea) go back over 5,000 years. But the refreshing drink we like to sip on warm summer day is much younger than that.

Serving tea cold gets it roots from green tea punches served in the early nineteenth century. Fast-forward through Mrs. Marion Cabell Tyree's recipe in Housekeeping in Old Virginia, published in 1879, which not only iced the tea but added sugar. Pause at the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904, where iced tea was widely popularized, as people did not want to sip hot drinks in the heat of summer. The rest, shall we say, is history.

American Classic Tea is the only tea grown and produced 100% in the U.S. It grows on the Charleston Tea Plantation on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina. They currently produce both black and green teas in over 320 varieties on the 127 acre grounds. Charleston Tea Plantation also provides the tea for Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka, distilled right down the road.

My throat is dry. Let's get a drink. This week, the folks at Serious Eats serve up a recipe for Sun Tea. This takes some premeditation; you'll need to steep the tea 3-5 hours in full sunlight.
Or, if you're in a hurry, McAlister's is offering free tea to all visitors TODAY ONLY.