The popularity of cocktails and gimmick drinks come in and out of fashion but that will not be the case with Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. This little gem of a spirit was developed on the unassuming coastal South Carolina island of Wadmalaw and is one of the best things ever to come out of the South. Bar none. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is perfectly at home in a shot glass or a tall icy glass mixed with a bit of lemonade or sparkling water. It can be found at numerous bars and restaurants throughout in the Charleston, South Carolina area. It is also currently available in Georgia, New York, and Nevada.
I started hearing about this phenomenal concoction several months back. One of our local morning DJs was going on and on about how wonderful Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was, which is unusual in itself, but when the other two DJs chimed in as well, I decided I’d better look into it. I hate to be behind the curve and I am very supportive of local entrepreneurs, so I stopped and picked up a bottle.
Not being a native-born Southerner, I never acquired a taste for sweet tea; until now that is. What a marvelous, and potentially dangerous, mixture. Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka tastes exactly like you think it should. It is full flavored, sweet, and full of summertime under the magnolias. Quite a few folks I know who are acquainted with the vodka like to mix Firefly 50-50 with lemonade, but I really like the flavor of orange in my tea, so I went for a 50-50 mix of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and canned orangeade. It was a great choice and topped with a slice of orange presented a very festive cocktail, as well. A quick web search provides any number of sites with cocktail recipes starring Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka including cocktail.com. Cooks are also getting into the act. Charleston magazine recently presented several entrees using it as an ingredient.
Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was developed by the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island, SC, which is a very hands-on operation. Photos on the company website here
taken in the summer of 2008 show a very humble beginning for the brew. It was recently announced however, that a larger distillery in Kentucky, the home of Jack Daniels Bourbon, is going to be producing the vodka for national distribution, which is scheduled for January 1, 2009. Firefly Distillery also produces Firefly Muscadien Wine Flavored Vodka, which is flavored by a luscious native South Carolina grape. Congratulations to the folks at Firefly Distillery for taking a great idea all the way.