Sweet Tea….A Southern Thing

I had anticipated coming across plenty of iced tea on our journey through the American South.  They are known for it, and known for their tea to be taken “sweet”.  What I hadn’t anticipated was just how sweet the tea would be.   It’s sweet.  The good news for me was that most establishments also offered  an unsweetened version.  At some places, they called it “yankee” tea.  The teas we experienced were fresh and refreshing.  Every time I raved about how good the iced tea was, we’d notice that the brand used was Luzianne.

Luzianne specially blended iced tea...

Luzianne specially blended iced tea..

136The Luzianne name is steeped in Southern heritage. Luzianne began life in 1902, when William B. Reily, who owned a wholesale grocery business, moved from Monroe, Louisiana to New Orleans. In New Orleans, he changed his emphasis to coffee and tea.

By 1932, the Luzianne brand was established throughout the Southeast, as was its reputation for selling the region’s finest coffee and tea. Today, Luzianne is still revered as the gold standard of Southern refreshment. – See more at: http://www.luzianne.com

When enjoying incredible BBQ at JB’s Smokeshack just outside Charleston, JB gave us his recipe for sweet tea…he had two 5 gallon stainless steel dispensers on his counter…one sweet, one “yankee, unsweetened”… he told us he makes it fresh everyday…(a good thing…don’t you just detest “old” iced tea)?  His recipe is 5 gallons of fresh water and Luzianne tea…then add 1 gallon of simple syrup (sugar and water)… that seems to be the standard for sweet tea … he is known for his BBQ and for his iced tea…they were both spectacularly flavorful, fresh and clearly desired by locals…the place was packed with a steady stream of locals coming in for lunch when we were there.  We took a big glass to go with us …

Old time packaging from Luzianne tea

Old time packaging from Luzianne tea

JB's Smokeshack...great BBQ and iced tea...on the way to see the 400 year old Angel Tree (oldest oak tree in South Carolina) you'll find JB's...

JB’s Smokeshack…great BBQ and iced tea…on the way to see the 400 year old Angel Tree (oldest oak tree in South Carolina) you’ll find JB’s…

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  1. I think I’d prefer the unsweetened version, although I must admit I’ve never had proper iced tea. One gallon of syrup to 5 gallons of tea sounds pretty sweet to me, but I’d be interested in trying both the traditional and the ‘yankee’ ones to see how they compare. I wonder if iced tea will ever catch on in Britain, I think it might take considerable global warming before that happens.

  2. I think you are right Lorna…unless considerable warming hits Great Britain…iced tea probably won’t be on any menus near you…I am still a hot tea fan..even on a hot day.