Cool off and honor a Southern staple at the same time because today is National Iced Tea Day.
Although it seems like a tall glass of sweet iced tea is as Southern as pecans, hound dogs, pick-up trucks and Mama, it actually got its start in the Midwest. According to agricultural historian, Lydnon N. Irwin, iced tea was born in 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair. The owner of a tea plantation wanted to show off his product, but summers in St. Louis are just as hot as they are in Atlanta. None of the fair-goers were interested in his hot tea, so he iced it and the South’s favorite beverage was born.
Kendall Harper, owner of , is something of a tea expert. She offers 70 different kinds of tea at her Vinings store. Harper explained that drinking tea is a good source of antioxidants and polyphenols. Drinking fermented tea can also help level cholesterol and may help you bounce back after a hangover.
“In Asia they drink these particular teas after heavy meals, fatty meals. So it aids in digestion and it also rehydrates the digestive system so they’re also consumed after heavy alcohol consumption. So the pores have a lot of health benefits to help fight a hangover or keep your cholesterol level.”
Harper encourages tea drinkers to experiment with traditional iced tea. This summer she’s offering a “Moteato,” a take on the mojito, and “Pinatealada,” a coconut tea served with fresh pineapple and cream.
And today only at Teafuse, mention that it's National Iced Tea Day and receive 15-percent off their hand-shaken iced teas and iced tea coolers.
put its own spin on iced tea for its “Southern Hospitality” fundraiser.
Tuesday’s event raised money for the American Red Cross to assist victims of tornadoes throughout the Southeast. In addition to offering a special Southern menu, Meehan’s served the Scarlett O’Hara, a sweet-tea inspired cocktail made with Southern Comfort, sweet tea and sour mix.
“We raised a bunch of money to help out victims of the tornado disaster,” said Karl Thalacker, manager of Meehan’s in Vinings.
Meehan’s two other locations in Sandy Springs and Atlanta also participated in the fundraiser.
But if traditional sweet tea is more your speed, you can’t go wrong with a glass from on Windy Hill Road in Smyrna. No beverage compliments a traditional southern "meat and three" like a tall glass of iced tea and we’ll drink to that.