DID YOU KNOW…June is National Iced Tea Month? June 10 is designated as National Iced Tea Day!
Legend has it that a tea vendor at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis popularized the drink. When visitors to the sweltering event turned down free hot tea, he ran it through iced pipes to chill the beverage.
Southerners know a lot about iced tea, and drink a whole lot of it all year around, especially our beloved Sweet Tea! It is served on any and every occasion that we can find an excuse for.
It is truly a southern staple! It’s definitely one of the first beverages offered to extend our hospitality. Sweet tea has been called the “House Wine of the South.”
Iced tea is traditionally served with lemon slice used as a garnish, which is often placed on the rim of the glass. In the Southwest United States (or at least in restaurants with a Southwest theme), lime is also very popular (especially in Mexican restaurants).
It is proper to always call it iced tea rather than ice tea. Tea with ice is known as an iced beverage. In the South, the word iced is often eliminated, and is simply known as sweet tea.
Sweet tea dates back to the late 19th century when the following recipe was published in Housekeeping in Old Virginia.
Because 19th-century general stores stocked mostly green tea from China or Japan, many early recipes called for green tea. But, after World War II, when green tea was scarce, black tea from India became the basis for this popular brew.
Here are directions to brew homemade sweet tea:
After scalding the teapot, put into it one quart of boiling water and two teaspoonfuls green tea. If wanted for supper, do this at breakfast. At dinner time, strain, without stirring, through a tea strainer into a pitcher. Let it stand till tea time and pour into decanters, leaving the sediment in the bottom of the pitcher. Fill the goblets with ice, put two teaspoonfuls granulated sugar in each, and pour the tea over the ice and sugar. A squeeze of lemon will make this delicious and healthful, as it will correct the astringent tendency.
Enjoy my poetry on the “House wine of the South!”
Patricia Neely-Dorsey is the author of two books of poetry, Reflections of a Mississippi Magnolia-A Life In Poems and My Magnolia Memories and Musings-In Poems. Through her poems, the author hopes to protect, preserve and promote the rich cultural history and heritage of her state and region along with providing more positive images than all of the negative images usually portrayed. Patricia lives in Tupelo with her husband James, son Henry and Miniature Schnauzer, Happy. The author has been named a Goodwill Ambassador for the state by Governor Phil Bryant. Her slogan is “Always, Always Celebrating the South and Promoting a Positive Mississippi ” Her website is patricianeelydorsey.com and her email is email@example.com.