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In the Spirit: It’s All About that Tea!

The highly anticipated, long-awaited time of year where the nights get longer and the drinks get colder is finally here and the perfect time to talk about the “house wine of the south”, Sweet Iced Tea!  Most will probably agree when I say sitting on the porch with a tall glass of sweet iced tea, enjoying the peace and quiet of the evening is almost a perfect end to a hot summer day.  If you live in the south, you might even have a sign on your porch that reads “front porch sittin, sweet tea sip-pin”.  It’s a southern THANG.

Let’s take it way back for a little history lesson…Sweet Iced Tea has been a southern staple for centuries and the first known recipe was published in a community cookbook called Housekeeping in Old Virginia, by Virginia native, Marion Cabell Tyree in 1879.  Cabell’s recipe called for green tea.  During this era, tea was offered on hotel menus and at railroad stations but didn’t become popular until Richard Blechynden introduced it at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis where he was serving hot black tea and realized no one wanted hot tea on a smoldering summer day.  At this realization, Blechynden decided to run it through iced lead pipes and offered free iced tea to anyone walking through the fair.  Fast forward to the 80’s when every household had a glass gallon jar with a yellow lid and a big sun with “Sun Tea” emblazoned on the side.  You all know the one I am referring to!  While you may not brew it outside in the sun anymore, sweet iced tea is still consumed by the gallons in most southern homes and restaurants.  Fellow southerners, you should know if you order your iced tea in a restaurant in any other region, you are likely to be served a black and unsweetened tea.

If you really want to get in the Spirits of Summer, add a little kick to your favorite beverage.  Hot, sunny days call for many outdoor activities, cocktails and iced tea.  Why not make a delicious batch of spiked iced tea and share it amongst your friends.  Choose your favorite spirit, whether it be gin, rum, whiskey or vodka, top with tea and a spritz of lemon and you have a refreshing cocktail.  Of course there are many other popular recipes to be found as well.   

At The Greenbrier, we are honored and blessed to have Robbie Arnold on our team.  Robbie is our Beverage Manager and has had more than 40 years tenure at the resort, with many of those years being spent as a mixologist.  Each season, Robbie, with the help of Mike Deskins, our Director of Spirits, and Henry Hill, a star mixologist on our team, put together new delicious and refreshing cocktails for our guests and members to enjoy.  One of the resort’s most popular amenities in the summer months is our outdoor pool and TreeTops Café.  Our guests and members spend the day enjoying a beautiful view of the golf course from the infinity pool, delicious food and refreshing cocktails.  An absolute favorite enjoyed by most guests is “Robbie’s Bourbon Peach Ice Tea”.   This thirst quencher consists of bourbon shaken with Peach Puree and our House-Made Jalapeno & Thyme-Infused Simple Syrup, served in a pint glass over ice.   Join us this summer for one of these or enjoy a delicious sipper created by Henry, the “Daly Mint Tea” or “The Other Greenbrier Peach Tea”. As always, a warm welcome and a delicious beverage awaits you at The Greenbrier, join us for some summer fun you don’t want to miss!

– Amy Hoke, Food and Beverage Administrator at The Greenbrier. HashtagWV #114. June 2019.

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