SC vodka unveils sweet tea infusion

As Southern beverages go, a lot more people extol the virtues of sweet tea than they do vodka. Now, we're about to find out what happens when you combine the two.

Two years ago, as I reported at the time, Firefly Vodka made its debut in South Carolina with a muscadine grape-based distillation. The grapes were grown on Wadmalaw Island, SC, then distilled at a Florida facility. It received an 89 rating ("highly recommended") from the Beverage Testing Institute in May 2006.

Now, the company is introducing Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Again, the flavoring ingredient comes from Wadmalaw Island where owners Scott Newitt and Jim Irvin live and now have their own distillery. Their new 70-proof vodka is sweetened with Louisiana sugar cane, and should play well in South Carolina where sweet tea is the official state drink.

“We’re the first distillery in the state and the only distillery in the world that distills muscadine wine into vodka,” Newitt said in an interview with The State newspaper of Columbia. Next up, he added, will be vodkas infused with locally-grown peaches and watermelons. All Firefly products will have “Certified South Carolina Grown” labels.

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