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Happy National Iced Tea Day!

If you’re wondering why there’s a National Iced Tea Day it can only mean you’ve never had it, because it is delicious and the only thing that doesn’t make any sense is why <em>every day</em> isn’t National Iced Tea Day. <strong>National Iced Tea Day History</strong> No one knows (or is saying) when or where National Iced Tea Day originated, but a clue is revealed in <a title="Kentucky New Era" href="http://news.google.com/newspapers?id=7_0rAAAAIBAJ&amp;sjid=P20FAAAAIBAJ&amp;pg=1774%2C4224644" target="_blank">a news clipping</a> from the August, 18, 2004, issue of the <em>Kentucky New Era</em>. In it, then president of The Tea Council of The USA Joseph Simrany notes that National Iced Tea <em>Month</em> was created “10 years ago.” From this, we can guess two things: 1) National Iced Tea Day was likely created back in the mid-‘90s along with this other, more broad food holiday, and 2) it was created by the Tea Council of The USA, which is actually an organization within the Tea Association of The USA. So, your suspicions are confirmed: This “holiday” is nothing more than industry propaganda meant to sell tea, although Mr. Simrany admitted they do no promotion whatsoever and no announcements appear on the association website. <strong>Iced Tea History</strong> Many half-cocked historians like to reference a story about a man named Richard Blechynden and how he wowed crowds at the 1904 World’s Fair in St. Louis by pouring tea over ice to provide cool and novel refreshment the likes of which had never been seen before, but anyone with a lick of sense knows this is hogwash. Both tea and ice and have been around for, well forever, and to think that the first time someone thought to combine them was in 1904 is silly, even if one is talking about recorded history or even recorded U.S. history. <a href="http://www.uptontea.com/shopcart/information/infonl_v13n3_article_page1.asp">This article</a>, published by Upton Tea Imports, is one of many that talks about “tea punches” made long before the 20th century, many of which included alcohol. And with that, it’s recipe time! <strong>Iced Tea Punch</strong> First, an easy “2-4-2” recipe for iced tea: 1. Boil 2 cups of water in a pan and then shut off the heat. 2. Add 4 bags of black tea. 3. Let the bags steep for 4 minutes. 4. Pour tea into a pitcher, let cool and then add 2 cups of cold water. Chill and serve with ice, lemon and sugar to taste OR, to create the punch ... Add these ingredients to 2 cups of your brewed iced tea: - 4 liters lemon-lime soda - 8 cups water - 3 cups rum - 5 ounces sliced strawberries - 5 ounces raspberries - 1 orange, halved and sliced - 12 ounces frozen orange juice concentrate - 12 ounces frozen lemonade concentrate - Ice Throw it all together in a bowl and let the good times roll – an especially fine treat for cookouts and holiday parties!
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