We’ve got a big week this week. Did y’all know it’s our blog anniversary? Sure enough… we’ve been doing this four years now. We’ve met some good friends along the way, celebrated the South, had tons of fun, and learned a lot!
But one thing we’re surprised we haven’t shared is the history of sweet iced tea. Nope, not how we came to start this little corner of the world wide web (you can read all about us on our “About” page if you’re that curious), but our favorite beverage, and the inspiration for this whole thing!
There’s actually a great story behind the genteel origins of sweet tea. In the early 1900’s, tea was actually a luxury item, as those ingredients were mighty precious in the Victorian-era South. You know tea didn’t come cheap, nor did sugar, or ice for that matter! But sugar was cheaper than tea, resourceful folks mixed more sugar with tea, and thus, the delicious beverage was born.
A Texan, Marion Cabell Tyree, first published the recipe in her cookbook Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Typical of her day, she suggested green tea, as was the popular variety. I guess what goes around comes around. After World War II, black tea became the more common variety. Green tea is in vogue again, but every good Southerner knows that nothing but black will do now.
I’ve been known to declare that I’d rather give up chocolate than sweet tea, but then I’ve gone and proved that wrong by living for the past couple years without regular access ‘less I make it myself!
Still, perhaps I’ll be back in the South soon and if I had my way, sitting on a big Carolinan porch, drinking your favorite beverage and mine. Here’s to Sweet Iced Tea!