My New Favorite Summery Drink
In the face of bitter winds and snow flurries, I steadfastly refuse to stop drinking cocktails more suited for warm weather.
Last week, I stopped into Gin & Tonic in Glover Park with some friends, and before I could order anything, bartender Bennett Richardson suggested -- no, told me -- that I had to try Firefly vodka, a recent addition to the vodka lineup. "It tastes just like sweet tea," he said. "Just get it with lemon and water."
Damned if he wasn't right. Sipping a tall glass of Firefly, with a pair of freshly squeezed lemon slices and a blast of soda water for effervescence, I could be enjoying a sweet tea at a Southern garden party. It tastes identical the real thing, and at only 70 proof, you hardly notice any alcohol at all. The Charleston, South Carolina, distillery says the secret to Firefly's natural flavor is that the grape-based vodka is infused with tea from nearby Wadmalaw Island -- the only working tea plantation left in the U.S. -- and sugar cane from Louisiana.
Down the block at Breadsoda, Firefly gets paired with house lemonade for what amounts to a grown-up Arnold Palmer. Again, it's so smooth that I can't tell there's any vodka involved. This would be perfect sipping poolside or at the backyard grill. If only I could have a drink on the bar's patio without freezing.
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