Did you know that National Iced Tea Day is celebrated annually on June 10th each year? It is not surprising when you consider that the first day of summer also falls in the month of June—iced tea is the perfect refreshing beverage for summer! What better way to kick off the season than with a special day dedicated to this classic cooling drink.
History of Iced Tea in America
While hot tea has been consumed around the globe for thousands of years, iced tea has a much more recent history. During the 1700s, American southerners began using iced green tea to create alcoholic cocktails. One historic example is Regent’s Punch, which combines green tea with sugar, citrus juices (usually lemon, orange and pineapple), brandy, rum and champagne.
This tradition prevailed for more than a hundred years before housewives began serving the chilled tea without the alcoholic components. The first non-alcoholic iced tea recipes can be traced back to the late 1870s, with the publishing of The Buckeye Cookbook and Housekeeping in Old Virginia. Around this time, iced tea began popping up on hotel menus across the south and midwest.
Iced tea finally got its big break at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis. The event took place during a particularly scorching summer, and the 200,000+ patrons were desperate to stay cool and quench their thirst in the blazing heat. A fair vendor named Richard Blechynden began pouring his hot tea over ice in order to attract more customers and boost his sales. Needless to say, the beverage was a roaring success!
The Prohibition era further increased the popularity of iced tea, as bars and clubs began serving the beverage as a legal, thirst-quenching alternative to hard liquor, beer and wine.
As home refrigeration and freezers became more widespread, Americans began purchasing tall glasses, long stirring spoons and small lemon forks in order to prepare iced tea from the comfort of their own homes. The rest is history—over the course of the last 100 years, iced tea has become one of the most popular beverages in the United States.
Best Iced Teas for Summer
In celebration of National Iced Tea Day, we have rounded up some of our favorite top-selling iced teas! Nearly any standard hot tea can be served over ice, but these flavorful teas were created specifically with frosty refreshment in mind. The large tea pouches make it easy to steep perfectly-proportioned quarts of iced tea at home.
Classic Iced Teas
- Ginger Peach Black Iced Tea: The lushness of a juicy peach, tingle of spicy ginger and boldness of high quality black tea is a classic combination that is perfect for summertime sipping.
- Watermelon Mint Black Iced Tea: This refreshing iced tea captures the essence of summer with sweet sun-ripened watermelon, cool peppermint and smooth black tea.
- Strawberry Basil Green Iced Tea: Inspired by summertime farmers markets, this flavorful iced tea combines sweet berries, fresh basil and crisp green tea.
Tropical Iced Teas
- Mango Coconut Water Iced Tea: We blended ultra-hydrating coconut water with exotic mango and rooibos green tea for a flavorful refresher that will keep your tastebuds happy all day long.
- Pineapple Orange Guava Iced Tea: This classic Hawaiian trio offers a refreshing splash of tropical fruits and cool green tea that is reminiscent of a sunset luau on the beach.
- White Hibiscus Passionfruit Iced Tea: White hibiscus brings a tart-sweet balance to this herbal caffeine-free blend, while passionfruit adds a sweet exotic note.
Sonoma Wine-Inspired Iced Teas
- Sonoma Chardonnay Iced Tea: This vacation in a glass has a base of Sonoma Chardonnay fine wine grape skins infused with tropical pineapple and sweet peach.
- Sonoma Rosé Iced Tea: This sophisticated sipper is made from Sonoma Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc grape skins married with ripe strawberries, crisp red apples and a floral finish.
- Sonoma Cabernet Iced Tea: This festive infusion blends Cabernet Sauvignon fine wine grape skins with sweet, juicy oranges and the deep berry notes of black currants.
Whichever iced tea you choose to sip today, we hope you have a refreshing, flavor-filled National Iced Tea Day!