Wonderful is this Garden & Gun magazine appreciation of one of the best things the South has given the world: sweet tea.
To say Southerners drink sweet tea like water is both true and not. True because the beverage is served at every meal, and all times and venues in between—at church and at strip clubs, at preschool and in nursing homes. Not true because unlike water or wine or even Coca-Cola, sweet tea means something. It is a tell, a tradition. Sweet tea isn’t a drink, really. It’s culture in a glass. Like Guinness in Ireland. Or ouzo in Greece.
Indeed, yes! Then some theories as to why this beverage is the nectar of the South are bandied, some sort of pseudo-anthropological reasonings, but blah blah. It is because unsweetened tea is godawful. And lordamercy are there some gems in Allison Glock’s piece: “You can’t wash down pulled pork with water”; “The sugar in sweet tea is nature’s intestinal Drano”; “The health benefits of drinking sweet tea are akin to those of drinking icing.” These are not untrue in the least!
The author even offers up that she, whilst living in New York and homesick, had “sweet tea” tattooed on her arm. I am impressed. And suddenly thirsty.
Sweet Tea [Garden & Gun]