By Tina Likos Wilson
Her name was Mrs. Whorton. I never knew her first name. But she was my first escape — and my quest to her back door one of my earliest memories.
She lived in the house next to my maternal grandparents in North Alabama. The steps to the landing off of her kitchen were very steep and daunting to my three-year-old self. But somehow, I managed to scale them — always with the prize in mind. Sweet, sweet tea. Nectar of the gods.
Even my parents had no problem understanding what propelled me onward and out from under their watchful eyes. Nothing that had ever passed my young lips could compare with that (okay) syrupy tea-flavored elixir I would delightedly slurp from Mrs. Whorton’s jelly jar glass.
That love affair with sweet tea continued throughout my childhood and beyond. After all, what family reunion could take place without several pitchers of sweet tea set out to greet you at one end of a long train of picnic tables — where fried chicken took center stage and desserts proudly vied for attention at the last stop?
Of course, I’m far from the first to sing the praises of sweet tea. In the early 1800s, Alexander Pushkin, who is considered by many to be Russia’s greatest poet, wrote: “Ecstasy is a glass of tea and a piece of sugar in the mouth.”
In the much-loved Southern movie, “Steel Magnolias,” Truvy (Dolly Parton’s character) declared iced tea to be “the house wine of the South.” Ahhh … intoxicating.
And, more recently, in Garden & Gun, Houston Chronicle food writer Allison Glock said sweet tea “isn’t a drink, really. It’s culture in a glass. Like Guinness in Ireland. Or ouzo in Greece.”
After all this time (centuries for some and almost six decades for me), there’s something new going on between tea and sugar — a marriage of sorts. Today, the two are truly one, thanks to Sweet Brew Tea & Sugar Company based in Spanish Fort, Alabama.
Sweet Brew is revolutionizing the way fresh brewed sweet teas (and lemonade, too) are prepared — making it more efficient, cost-effective and consistently delicious than ever before. The two-piece patented system includes our Sweet Brew Pouch (combining hand chosen teas and pure sugar) and the Sweet Brew Funnel. We use the teas you choose — the ones your customers prefer — and make the brewing easier (and less messy) than your employees ever could have imagined.
Give us a call today. Then start making some memories.