June is National Iced Tea Month!
The love of iced tea started in the American south which is world famous for developing quite the palate for a sweeter version than the average tea, aptly named, sweet tea. A base of a strong black tea that’s been steeped for at least 15 minutes is traditionally used. Sweet tea is a deliciously refreshing drink in the sweltering south. It is so popular that if you order “iced tea” in the south, you’ll automatically receive sweet tea.
As the first tea producing state in the colonies, South Carolina is attributed as the founders of iced tea. According to What’s Cooking America:
“Most historians agree that the first tea plant arrived in this country in the late 1700s when French explorer and botanist, Andre Michaux (1746-1802), imported it as well as other beautiful and showy varieties of camellias, gardenias and azaleas to suit the aesthetic and acquisitive desires of wealthy Charleston planters. He planted tea near Charleston at Middleton Barony, now known as Middleton Place Gardens.”
Today, iced tea is more popular than ever! According to the Tea Association of America: “Approximately 85% of tea consumed in America is iced,” and in 2012, sales of Ready-to-Drink Iced Tea topped $4.8 billion.
With so many iced tea options, Americans have made iced tea a mainstay of backyard cookouts, barbecues, and informal and formal dining.
To celebrate National Iced Tea Month, American Royal Tea is offering FREE iced tea recipes to kick off your summer!
Here’s the first thirst-quencher for your next backyard cookout!