Today is National Iced Tea day as well as ball point pen day and Judy Garland's birthday. I'm celebrating by singing "Somewhere over the rainbow" while writing a letter with pen as I sip from a cold glass. (phew - multitasking!) Iced tea was created on a scorching hot day at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis when festival attendees were uninterested in the hot tea that Richard Blechynden was serving. Attempting to salvage the day, he poured his brewed tea over ice, and the quintessential English tradition of “taking tea” was forever changed.
Iced tea fun facts:
- The oldest known recipe for sweet ice tea was published in 1879 in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia, by Marion Cabell Tyree. This recipe calls for green tea. In fact, most sweet tea consumed during this time period was green tea. However, during World War II, the major sources of green tea were cut off from the United States, leaving consumers with tea almost exclusively from British-controlled India.
- Today, if you ask for an “Arnold Palmer” you will be served a mix of iced tea and lemonade. It is named after its creator, golf legend, Arnold Palmer.
- “Texas tea” in the Beverly Hillbilly’s theme song refers to oil--nothing to do with tea at all.
- In 2003 Georgia state representative John Noel tried to pass a house bill making it mandatory for all restaurants to serve sweet tea. Mr. Noel insists it was an April Fools' Day joke but admits he wouldn’t mind if it became law.
- The famous “long island iced tea” drink doesn’t contain any tea.
- It has been more than 100 years since Blechynden’s cool idea and iced tea remains one of the America’s most beloved beverages.
- Source: Coffee and Tea newsletter Buzz: the key to sweetening iced tea is to add sugar to hot tea and then chill