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nblair
04-07-2010, 19:15
Ok, so I might get my bourbon card revoked for posting this, but here goes.

I was out dusty hunting on vacation and stopped by a liquor store next to the grocery. They didn't have any dusties (not surprising) but I picked up a bottle of Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon. My wife likes bourbon and LOVES sweet tea so I figured I'd pick up a bottle, I even thought it might make a refreshing drink while sitting on the beach.

I poured a little bit and it actually smells like bourbon, it isn't masked too much by the added flavors. I poured a bunch over ice, headed out to the beach and actually enjoyed it (let the jokes at my expense begin)...

It is only 60 proof, and made with "handcrafted Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey from the world renowned Buffalo Trace Distillery...then infused with South Carolina tea and real sugar cane."

I have never seen this in Kentucky, not that I've ever looked. I can't imagine it'd be good unless you are on the beach, having a bbq, at the pool, or something like that. If you're feeling dangerous, give it a try.

Hopefully this doesn't go the same route as the Red Gag thread.

:deadhorse:

Gillman
04-07-2010, 19:45
I haven't tried this but the idea of tea and some sugar is very much within the bourbon precincts (in flavor). Some bourbon, and rye even more so, has a tea-like taste, the tannins and aromatics can be similar. Tea was added to spirits and indeed to straight whiskey in the 1800's to enhance flavors. No one should be chary of trying these things. Straight bourbon in and of itself has no more validity than such a mixture if well made. Ed Phelan's thread on adding juniper, grapefruit and other aromatics to bourbon is another example of good thinking which can only deepen the palate range of good whiskey.

If it's good it's good, if not, don't repeat.

I still enjoy fine whiskey neat but I like a creative, balanced compound no less.

Gary

Dramiel McHinson
04-07-2010, 20:01
If not for explorers like yourself, us onlookers would miss out on a lot. I always appreciate hearing about a first person experience with bourbon products here on SB.com. I am always a little suspicious of endorsements by paid sponsors. They never tell you when a product causes headaches or projectile flatulence.

As popular as sweet tea and bourbon are here in the South, the two together almost sound like destiny. As long as it is labeled correctly we shouldn't have too much defuglety. :grin:

unclebunk
04-08-2010, 08:10
If not for explorers like yourself, us onlookers would miss out on a lot. I always appreciate hearing about a first person experience with bourbon products here on SB.com. I am always a little suspicious of endorsements by paid sponsors. They never tell you when a product causes headaches or projectile flatulence.

As popular as sweet tea and bourbon are here in the South, the two together almost sound like destiny. As long as it is labeled correctly we shouldn't have too much defuglety. :grin:

Nice post, Dram. I'm of the same mind. We don't drink sweet tea here in Chicago with the same gusto that folks in the South do, but I fell in love with the stuff after a trip to Mississippi many years ago and still can't get enough of it. (And your lemonade tastes better too, but don't ask me why.) On my most recent trip to Memphis and Mississippi last week I wasn't feeling entirely well and sadly had to skip alcohol altogether, but while sipping some sweet tea during dinner it crossed my mind that the tannins absorbed from oak barrels might make a perfect marriage with the flavor of the sweet tea, so I'm going to make my own and give it a whirl. We might just be on to something here for those hot summer nights that are coming our way!:grin:

p_elliott
04-08-2010, 08:25
I have heard/read that those honey bourbons go well with sweet tea.

unclebunk
04-08-2010, 08:43
I have heard/read that those honey bourbons go well with sweet tea.

I do know from experience (as suggested by Dave Z) that WT American Honey pairs nicely with hot Earl Grey tea on a cold wintry night, especially if suffering from a head cold or some other minor ailment. But sweet tea coupled with the right bourbon could be fantastic. I'll try it with the WT American Honey and let you know. Thanks for reminding me. (BTW, I bought the American Honey thinking it might be a nice introduction to bourbon for my wife but she didn't care for it for some reason, so I've been left to down it myself. It's too damned sweet straight up but mixed with hot tea or ginger ale, it's really not bad at all.)

nblair
04-08-2010, 10:20
It's too damned sweet straight up but mixed with hot tea or ginger ale, it's really not bad at all.)

If anyone does decide to try the Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon I would definitely recommend drinking it on ice despite its low proof. It is pretty damn sweet, the dilution helps and the ice makes it nice and cold on a hot day.

cowdery
04-08-2010, 11:52
Does anyone know if this is, in fact, a Buffalo Trace product?

TNbourbon
04-08-2010, 12:46
Does anyone know if this is, in fact, a Buffalo Trace product?
Yes and no -- according to its website, that's where the bourbon is sourced, but Buffalo Trace doesn't own the brand:
http://www.fireflyvodka.com/
(follow the 'products' link).

The bottlings are produced in South Carolina.

callmeox
04-08-2010, 13:02
Any clue if it is the high rye or the low rye mashbill?


(ducking)

nblair
04-08-2010, 14:43
Yes and no -- according to its website, that's where the bourbon is sourced, but Buffalo Trace doesn't own the brand

Hmmm, I thought they did own the brand. I have been trying to get a job at BT and I frequently see Firefly poisitions under the job postings on the Sazerac website.

fishnbowljoe
04-08-2010, 15:16
I've tasted the Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Bourbon, and I must admit that it wasn't too bad. I have yet to see the Firefly in my area. Joe

cowdery
04-08-2010, 15:37
In October 2008, Firefly Distillery and Sazerac Company formed a joint venture to manufacture and distribute Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka at Sazerac's Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky in order to meet the growing market demand. Through this joint venture Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was able to be distributed to all states by March 2009.

For more go here (http://www.postandcourier.com/news/2008/oct/15/firefly_buzz_nation57839/).

TNbourbon
04-08-2010, 16:11
At retail, the original Firefly -- and, then (up till my departure from retail liquor sales in 4/09) its variations -- was very popular with customers from the onset. Buffalo Trace did a smart thing connecting itself to this 'star'. The unexpected, overwhelming demand wasn't a random accident -- it tasted good, and like what it claimed to be!
I haven't been in too many liquor stores lately, but I will look for this bourbon-tea combo. I enjoyed the earlier Firefly renditions, and the bourbon-tea combination, for reasons advanced earlier in this thread, seems a natural (not to mention cultural, in these parts) union.
One Charles K. Cowdery notes in Volume 7 of The New
Encyclopedia of Southern Culture: Foodways: "...Walker Percy wrote in his 1975 essay Bourbon, 'Bourbon does for me what the piece of cake did for Proust'...".
Likewise could be said for sweet tea by most other, more prosaic 'Suth'rens'. Heaven may be a goal too high for many a redneck to assure with any certaintly prior to death, but bourbon and tea are known, earthly quantities by which to cast an upward glance...

ebo
04-08-2010, 17:38
I just heard a commercial for Jeremiah Weed Sweet Tea Bourban on the radio today. At the end of the commercial, there was a blurb: "look for the new Jeremiah Weed Cherry Bourbon"... like Red Stag doesn't suck enough, we need another one on the market. :rolleyes:

Phantos
04-08-2010, 18:43
I tasted it.
tasted like that spicy AA oak...
so I am guessing the high-rye.










and it was damn awful.
BLASPHEMY!:hot: :grin: :lol:

jburlowski
04-09-2010, 14:35
FWIW, Jay at the Party Source says, "Well, it's not hideous." :lol:

Gillman
04-09-2010, 15:04
One way to get more out of these drinks is add more bourbon.

Gary

cowdery
04-09-2010, 20:50
I've never lived in the Deep South, but I lived in Kentucky for almost ten years and I never heard the term "sweet tea." I was familiar with the drink, it was just called "tea." If you wanted the other kind, as I invariably did (I'm not a sweet tea fan), you had to very carefully ask for "unsweetened iced tea." If you just asked for "tea," especially in summer, you got sweet tea. Sort of like they don't call it 'Chinese food' in China, it's just food.

craigthom
04-09-2010, 20:56
I've never lived in the Deep South, but I lived in Kentucky for almost ten years and I never heard the term "sweet tea." I was familiar with the drink, it was just called "tea." If you wanted the other kind, as I invariably did (I'm not a sweet tea fan), you had to very carefully ask for "unsweetened iced tea." If you just asked for "tea," especially in summer, you got sweet tea. Sort of like they don't call it 'Chinese food' in China, it's just food.

I grew up in Georgia, and we just called it "tea", too. If we were making a distinction, it was "unsweetened", in contrasted to "sweetened". I never heard anyone say "sweet tea".

Now, though, people care about too much sugar. I guess. In Louisville now if you order iced tea you are asked if you want sweetened or unsweetened. Or "sweet or unsweet". Even at Lee's the self-service dispenser reads "SWEET".

cowdery
04-09-2010, 20:57
One thing to keep in mind about products like this. Consumer packaged goods companies need a constant flow of new products. New products are frequently targeted at young consumers, because they're new to the market so who knows what the hell they want. Products that involve some alcohol, some sugar, and a good story, are cheap, quick and easy to make. By contrast, just about any whiskey project except a flavored whiskey or whiskey cordial, is going to be pitched at a less-desirable older consumer, and it's going to take a lot more time, trouble and money to develop, especially if you do it right. Those cheap and easy products don't have to catch much fire to be profitable. Companies like Sazerac invest very little in marketing products like this, so if it catches on even a little it can make nice money.

callmeox
04-09-2010, 21:00
My experience is that when ordering tea in the south at an establishment where they carry both kinds, the staff would inquire "sweet or not?"



And yes, I said both kinds.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wLSl8QMe2SE/S2z7WU25udI/AAAAAAAABtM/NY2AWHzvMm8/s320/country_and_western.jpg

cowdery
04-09-2010, 21:03
I've heard the "sweet or unsweetened" or "sweet or not" question more over the years, even in Kentucky.

Even being given that choice was a culture shock to me. A restaurant serving iced tea pre-sweetened was completely foreign. How would they know how sweet it should be?

I can recall being served pre-sweetened iced tea on a couple of occasions and thinking how odd that was that someone would presume to sweeten your sugar for you.

Are there, in fact, set proportions for authentic Southern sweet tea?

My observation would be that the marketing of something called "sweet tea" as a characteristic Southern beverage is a fairly recent phenomenon, but I'd be curious if anyone older than 40 who grew up in the South ever heard the term "sweet tea" as a child.

nblair
04-09-2010, 21:16
I worked at Morton's in Louisville for about 4 years. Being an upscale corporate restaurant based out of Chicago, sweet tea is something they obviously didn't push in their restaurants.

I'll tell you what, people in the south love them some sweet tea. I got more dirty looks over people having to add sugar to their tea than any over/undercooked steak throughout the years.

OscarV
04-09-2010, 21:32
but I'd be curious if anyone older than 40 who grew up in the South ever heard the term "sweet tea" as a child.




I didn't officially grow up in the south, but with family here and down there the south grew up in me.
All I remember is it only being called ice tea and it came sweet.
I remember my Grandmother making it in a big glass jug and I always liked to see the tea being poured into the suger, lots of sugar.
The "sweet tea" term is probably new so that Yankees don't get shocked with sweetend ice tea in resturants down south.
As a matter of fact I was suprised to get ice tea unsweetened in a resturant the first time I had it up here, I thought all ice tea was already sweet.
BTW, what's the deal with that lemon wedge y'all stick on the glass? If I wanted lemonade I'd have asked for it.

matthew0715
04-09-2010, 21:40
And yes, I said both kinds.

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_wLSl8QMe2SE/S2z7WU25udI/AAAAAAAABtM/NY2AWHzvMm8/s320/country_and_western.jpg

:lol: That picture is from "The Blues Brothers," correct? Rolling, rolling, rolling...

craigthom
04-10-2010, 01:50
:lol: That picture is from "The Blues Brothers," correct? Rolling, rolling, rolling...

Yes, both country and western.

Canadians do the sweetened tea, too. I remember a waitress at a restaurant in Sarnia, Ontario, telling me, after I'd ordered iced tea, that they sell it already sweetened in Canada, so if I wanted it unsweetened I had to order it that way. I guess she was used to those of us from south of the border (technically "west of the border") being confused when we got it.

smokinjoe
04-10-2010, 07:29
Like Craig said earlier, up until maybe 15 years ago, it was tea that was sweet, or nuthin' here. If you ordered tea, it was coming sweet. If you specifically ordered non-sweet, you were told it wasn't offered, or they would have to make it up "special"...and you got the "look" :D. When I got out of college back in 1985 my first job was in inside sales with a steel mill in Atlanta that was located in what is called "Midtown". My biggest "responsibility" was to make sure we had an ample supply of sweet tea in the office from Bobby & June's Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, which was right around the corner. That stuff was awesomely delicious, and incredibly sweet. It'd make your teeth hurt to drink it. Although, I have lived all of but 9 years of my life in Georgia, unfortunately those 9 years were right before I moved back and took that job. So, besides being useful as the all important "New Boy Teagetter" to the office, I also gave many of them the pleasure of yelling out, "Hey Yankee, run down and get us some more tea, boy!" I'd call and order a couple of jugs (they put the tea in empty institutional sized pickle, mayo, etc jugs), then drive down and pick it up. I don't know how successful I was sellin' steel, but we were always well stocked on the tea. :)

You know what the difference between a Yankee, and a Damn Yankee is?



A Yankee comes down to visit, and goes back home....A Damn Yankee stays...:D



You know what, Yankee? If it's so much better back where you come from, then "Delta is ready when you are"! (Of course, that joke is dated, since that's not Delta's tag line anymore. ;))




Yankee, I don't give a damn how you used to do it back home!!

unclebunk
04-10-2010, 08:38
Not to beat the subject to death, but my wife is English and drinks tea (hot) several times a day, always unsweetened though with a touch of milk. In England, if you are served tea and require sugar, the host/hostess always asks "one or two," in reference to the cubes or spoonfuls of sugar you may wish to have in your tea. Imagine her surprise the first time we went out to breakfast in Memphis and she ordered tea and the waitress came back with a tall glass of "sweet tea" with enough sugar in it to kill an ant hill. Thereafter, she knew enough to order "hot" tea if that's what she wanted, but she still talks about that incident, especially to other English people, with something akin to horror. Nowadays, as mentioned previously by others, whenever we eat out in a restaurant in the South, if I order tea, the waitress always asks if I want "sweetened or unsweetened," which I'm guessing must have caught on over time due to health-conscious people wanting to have their tea without a bag of sugar in it. Like Chuck mentioned in his post, I too remember thinking it odd that someone would offer me pre-sweetened tea not knowing just how much sugar I might want in my drink. But these days, whenever I'm in the South, I know what to expect and just enjoy it however sweet it's served.

Now, what I really want to know is why the waitress served my chicken-fried steak and biscuits smothered in white milk gravy, but then decided to cover my mashed potatoes in brown gravy! Where's the gravy continuity on my plate? Talk about a real horror!:lol:

craigthom
04-10-2010, 09:34
When I got out of college back in 1985 my first job was in inside sales with a steel mill in Atlanta that was located in what is called "Midtown". My biggest "responsibility" was to make sure we had an ample supply of sweet tea in the office from Bobby & June's Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, which was right around the corner.


Was Bobby and June's on Northside? I remember Melvin's, there, of course, where I once saw Bobby Dodd having lunch, and that Old Hickory House. Old Hickory House may not have had the best barbecue in Georgia, but they had the best in Atlanta, and they were everywhere. Now you have to drive up to Alpharetta or Peachtree Corners to go to Dreamland, an Alabama import.

I remember when they widened the Interstate and exposed the view of Atlantic Steel. Now it's been replaced by that artificial neighborhood, but they kept part of the name.

smokinjoe
04-10-2010, 10:01
Was Bobby and June's on Northside? I remember Melvin's, there, of course, where I once saw Bobby Dodd having lunch, and that Old Hickory House. Old Hickory House may not have had the best barbecue in Georgia, but they had the best in Atlanta, and they were everywhere. Now you have to drive up to Alpharetta or Peachtree Corners to go to Dreamland, an Alabama import.

I remember when they widened the Interstate and exposed the view of Atlantic Steel. Now it's been replaced by that artificial neighborhood, but they kept part of the name.

Craig, Bobby & June's is on 14th, between the Connector and Northside. Silver Skillet was another joint with good tea. Yeah, nothing like gazing upon a 90 year old steel mill with mountains of scrap steel to give a beautiful first impression of our city to visitors! At least Atlantic Station is a little prettier to look at. To keep this somewhat bourbon related, Atlantic was the South's first steel mill. The primary products produced were cotton bale ties and barrel hoops.

Halifax
04-10-2010, 10:21
...Are there, in fact, set proportions for authentic Southern sweet tea?

My observation would be that the marketing of something called "sweet tea" as a characteristic Southern beverage is a fairly recent phenomenon, but I'd be curious if anyone older than 40 who grew up in the South ever heard the term "sweet tea" as a child.

SOP is 2 cups sugar per gallon of tea. I am 43. Sweet tea has always been a part of Southern culture in my lifetime. When you order "tea" in NC it will come served over ice already sweetened. You have to ask for unsweetened like others have said. As a matter of fact... you will need to do this when you ask for a refill as well. If not, they'll pour you a glass of "sweet" tea.

Most places around here will not even ask you if you want unsweetened when you order tea. They will usually ask you if you would like lemon though.

cowdery
04-10-2010, 14:01
I have lived through this little drama countless times as I like iced tea and prefer it to soft drinks, but I drink it unsweetened with a lot of lemon.

Typical Yankee.

craigthom
04-10-2010, 16:15
Craig, Bobby & June's is on 14th, between the Connector and Northside. Silver Skillet was another joint with good tea. Yeah, nothing like gazing upon a 90 year old steel mill with mountains of scrap steel to give a beautiful first impression of our city to visitors! At least Atlantic Station is a little prettier to look at. To keep this somewhat bourbon related, Atlantic was the South's first steel mill. The primary products produced were cotton bale ties and barrel hoops.

Is it still there? I need a meat and two to visit next time I am in Atlanta that isn't too crowded and overpriced like Mary Mac's. I used to go to the Feedmill in Buckhead, but there's a Whole Foods there now. The Silver Skillet was near 14th and Techwood, right?

I prefer unsweetened iced tea, too. I like the astringency (like hoppy beers, cabernets, and old bourbons). When I moved to Illinois it took me a year to quit ordering "unsweetened iced tea". I kept getting odd looks, since nobody had it any other way.

TNbourbon
04-10-2010, 21:20
...You know what the difference between a Yankee, and a Damn Yankee is?

A Yankee comes down to visit, and goes back home....A Damn Yankee stays...:D...
Joe, in these particular parts, at least, that's "damnyankee" -- no space or capitals. In no way is it a 'proper' noun!:bigeyes: (And I've seen it from both sides, having first been one, and now having been here more than half my life, long enough that many I run across don't know I'm not native -- which, by the way, will give you an idea how many damnyankees there are around:rolleyes:.)

As for tea, Chuck and Joe are correct -- if you don't want it "sweet", well why the Hell not?, and you'd better ask for it that way!

BourbonJoe
04-11-2010, 07:11
As for tea, Chuck and Joe are correct -- if you don't want it "sweet", well why the Hell not?

Diabetes comes to mind. I never order iced tea in Dixie because the odds of getting it unsweetened (even if you ask for it) are slim to none.
Joe :usflag:

smokinjoe
04-11-2010, 08:12
Is it still there? I need a meat and two to visit next time I am in Atlanta that isn't too crowded and overpriced like Mary Mac's. I used to go to the Feedmill in Buckhead, but there's a Whole Foods there now. The Silver Skillet was near 14th and Techwood, right?

I prefer unsweetened iced tea, too. I like the astringency (like hoppy beers, cabernets, and old bourbons). When I moved to Illinois it took me a year to quit ordering "unsweetened iced tea". I kept getting odd looks, since nobody had it any other way.

Wow, it's been years since I've been to Mary Mac's. B&J's is still there. Once you get off the Connector onto 14th it's about 1/4 mi up on your right. Looks like a log cabin.

Silver Skillet is on 14th, too. on the other side of the road, and closer to the Connector.

I remember the ham being particularly good at Bobby & Junes. Don't forget the fried okra!

cowdery
04-11-2010, 20:37
This whole thread is making me hungry as much as thirsty. Chicago needs a good meat-and-three (http://www.meatandthree.com/).

craigthom
04-11-2010, 21:25
I think meat-and-twos are more common, at least in my experience. Mary Mac's Tea Room is a meat and three, but they are trendy, pricey, and make you fill out your own ticket!

Maybe new ones are meat-and-three, since restaurants are serving bigger and bigger meals these days.

My favorites had a chalk board with the meats in one column and the vegetables in the other. This worked well, since menus, especially the meats, could change from day to day, and 86ed items could be erased.

None of them, as I remember it, served alcohol, but all had sweet tea, just to get it back on topic.

AVB
04-11-2010, 21:55
Since bourbon is a subset of whiskey and whiskey (along with bourbon) has to be bottled at 80 proof can something bottled at a lessor strength be called bourbon?

matthew0715
04-11-2010, 22:14
Since bourbon is a subset of whiskey and whiskey (along with bourbon) has to be bottled at 80 proof can something bottled at a lessor strength be called bourbon?

Now you made me check the regs again! Regarding flavored whiskey:

"Flavored brandy, "flavored gin," "flavored rum," "flavored vodka," and "flavored whisky," are brandy, gin, rum vodka, and whisky, respectively, to which have been added natural flavoring materials, with or without the addition of sugar, and bottled at not less than 60 proof. The name of the predominant flavor shall appear as a part of the designation. If the finished product contains more than 2 percent by volume of wine, the kinds and precentages by volume of wine must be stated as a part of the designation, except that a flavored brandy may contain an additional 12 percent by volume of wine, without label disclosure, if the additional wine is derived from the particular fruit corresponding to the labeled flavor of the product.

So the minimum is 30% ABV for flavored whiskey (the same holds for cordails and liqueurs like Wild Turkey American Honey).

cowdery
04-11-2010, 23:50
The official label description appears to be "Sweet Tea Flavored Bourbon Whiskey." Although the rules don't specifically provide for "Flavored Bourbon Whiskey," I don't see anything wrong with permitting it. No one is going to confuse this with Pappy 15.

craigthom
04-22-2010, 15:20
When I got out of college back in 1985 my first job was in inside sales with a steel mill in Atlanta that was located in what is called "Midtown". My biggest "responsibility" was to make sure we had an ample supply of sweet tea in the office from Bobby & June's Kountry Kitchen Restaurant, which was right around the corner.

Bobby and June's Kountry Kitchen to close next Friday (http://www.ajc.com/news/atlanta/bobby-and-junes-closing-483318.html). The opening of the new 17th Street bridge and the long closing of the 14th Street bridge apparently did them in.

Halifax
04-22-2010, 19:07
Some fellas in my hunting club mix the Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka with lemonade. I've sampled it before. Yuck.

smokinjoe
06-21-2010, 10:09
I picked up a bottle of this last week while at the beach. I enjoyed it. Actually, I really enjoyed it. Maybe, a touch too sweet when sampled neat. But after a little dilution on the rocks, it was quite nice. Very good tea flavors that don't cover up the bourbon in it. They meld very well together, as I think bourbon and tea are very complementary to each other. On some occasions I threw in a little regular Buffalo Trace to spike it up, depending on my mood.

I was not a fan of the Red Stag at all, but I do like this. So much so, I brought a couple of bottles back with me for the rest of the Summer. It seems a natural for Hazy, Hot, and Humid days.

shannichols
06-27-2010, 16:14
I've never lived in the Deep South, but I lived in Kentucky for almost ten years and I never heard the term "sweet tea." I was familiar with the drink, it was just called "tea." If you wanted the other kind, as I invariably did (I'm not a sweet tea fan), you had to very carefully ask for "unsweetened iced tea." If you just asked for "tea," especially in summer, you got sweet tea. Sort of like they don't call it 'Chinese food' in China, it's just food.

Sadly, too many "Damn Yankees" (the type that move in and don't leave) have infiltrated the South and now force us to ask for Sweet Tea....and heaven forbid you actually get one of them to get you some...you'll get a can of Nestea. Uggh!

My wife got a bottle of the Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka but I'll have to go in search of this Bourbon one to try it out.