I LOVE BEER. But I bet you already knew that.

But what you don’t know is that Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka is my other love. Holy goodness from a bottle. Snapple claims it’s the best stuff on earth, but seriously, this gives any Snapple flavor a run for its money.

fireflyFor those who have never heard of Firefly, let me give you a backgrounder.

In April of 2008 Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was introduced. The product is a twist on the southern staple, sweet tea. The vodka is distilled on Wadmalaw Island, South Carolina and the tea is from Charleston Tea Plantation. Additional flavors include: Firefly Mint Tea Vodka, Firefly Raspberry Tea Vodka, Firefly Lemon Tea Vodka and Firefly Peach Tea Vodka.

Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka mixed with Lemonade is often referred to as a “John Daly” due to his known bouts with alcohol and it’s a play on the famous Arnold Palmer half and half drink bearing Mr. Arnold’s name.

In April of 2010, Firefly released a Sweet Tea Bourbon. Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon is made with 4-year-old Bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, tea from South Carolina tea and sugar cane from Louisiana. Before the official release of the Sweet Tea Bourbon, Firefly announced the product through Facebook, Twitter and then their website. Firefly Bourbon won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits competition in 2010.

Other sweet tea vodkas exist now, but Firefly is the original and definitely the best. Many others are made up north – I’m sorry folks, but  you can’t make something as traditional as sweet tea anywhere but in the south.

Each Friday on Twitter, their social media guru, Matthew, facilitates #FireflyFriday @FireflyVodka. It’s fun to see folks post recipes and pictures of their drinks – much in the same way many of you have tweeted at me. (I love it by the way so keep it up!) So this is my participation in #FireflyFriday! Hopefully Matt will see!

In May, I had the pleasure of attending a Firefly dinner in conjunction with one of the popular liquor stores in Atlanta. Not only was the food incredible (really great southern food!), but the drinks were awesome! I had been drinking Firefly since it came out in April 2008 but had never tried all the flavors that began to roll out or thought of experimenting with everything they served. The founder of Firefly, Jim Irvine, was in attendance to talk to us throughout the meal. It was fun to meet the man who made such a delicious drink!

This is what we were served:

Passed Hors D’Oeuvres
Pimento Cheese Toast
Chorizo Corn Pancake
chive sour cream
Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka on the rocks or with Lemonade
Firefly Raspberry Cosmo

Small Plate Dinner Menu
First Course
All White Lump Crab Cake
persimmon vinaigrette
Firefly Lemon & Ginger Ale

Short Smoked Pork Tenderloin
maple collard greens, cheesy macaroni fritter
sour cherry reduction
NEW Firefly Bourbon ~ few cubes of ice

Georgia Peach Bread Pudding
Southern Comfort ice cream
Firefly Peach Pie

After Dinner Mint
Firefly Mint-tea-ni

flaskI am not usually a bourbon fan, but that bourbon was so good. So much so, that I have a bottle at home for an occasional small glass. I can see why it won an award. I am such a fan that I  often interact on Twitter and have won a few things including a koozie (which I left at the pool – SO SAD), a flask and a Firefly 4th of July party pack (T-shirts, cups, swizzle sticks, stickers, keychains & more)!

They have outstanding interaction on the social networks and I really tip my hat to them for that. Not only do they make a delicious product, but they listen and talk to their customers.

My favorite Firefly flavor is definitely the peach. If you mix it with lemonade, it’s really delicious! But the sky is the limit. I have made frozen drinks to take out by the pool or just sipped it with a little water added and a twist of lemon. This week on Facebook & Twitter, they posted this recipe. It looks so good to me!

Firefly Hurricane
3-4 dips of Orange Sherbet
8-10 ounces of ice tea – unsweetened
1-2 shots of @FireflyVodka

fireflypremixYou should be able to purchase at any liquor store as it is available in all 50 states now. If you haven’t tried this amazing drink, you must! It is my go-to beverage on those days when I just don’t feel like a beer. They introduced pre-mixed products in June. I have also tried these and they are so good! But warning: it’s stronger than you would think it would be!

The premix comes in sweet tea vodka & lemonade mixed and lemon vodka and lemonade mixed. It was nice to taste how they did it compared to how I’ve been mixing it! I think theirs tasted better, but I suppose that’s to be expected!

One day, I want to tour the distillery, but from what I understand it’s a very small place! But you know – some of the best beers, wines & alcohols can be attributed to small places. I think they are the best because they take such care with their product. And I can tell that with every sip I take of any Firefly product.

So cheers to you, Firefly, for introducing a product that I have come to love so much! With it being Labor Day weekend, Firefly is a great way to close out the official summer time. If you do, let us know here!

Since I wrote this instead of an Interactive Friday post, leave a comment about your favorite hard alcohol that the world may not know about!

Cheers! And have fun watching college football!