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Last Summer, Eldest Son and I sampled a couple types of hard iced teas during our week-long vacay at my folks, for research purposes. Hey – I can’t write about it if I haven’t tried it! Obviously a “hardened” tea isn’t for everyone, and lots of people have their reasons for abstaining. It’s certainly not something I imbibe on a regular basis, but it warranted a taste nonetheless.

We started with the most popular: Twisted Tea.

Twisted tea is a non-carbonated hard iced malt tea beverage made with black tea. It also contains sugar cane or honey, real lemon, ice and alcohol: beer and vodka. After it’s Original debut, the company came out with a number of other flavours: peach, blackberry, blueberry and mango. They also make a light version which has lower alcohol content, and half and half, which is half twisted tea and half lemonade.

In addition to the addition of alcohol, there’s another twist. Hard iced tea was first manufactured by mega-brand The Boston Beer Company in 2001…in Cinncinati, Ohio. It’s imported to Canada. It is 5% alcohol and 30mg of caffeine, so it provides a bit of a kick. I also found it quite sweet.

Don’t worry – I shared the can with Eldest Son and no Upwords tiles were harmed in the making of this blog post (but apparently I spelled “I Dig Tea” wrong)!

Hey Y’All is a “southern style” hard iced tea, brewed with selected black tea and lightly sweetened with pure cane sugar. It’s manufactured by the Hey Y’All Southern Tea Company in Vancouver, British Columbia, so it’s only available in Canada…and Bermuda! Vodka is the alcohol of choice! Other flavours include: raspberry, mango, Kentucky blueberry, Florida citrus, Georgia Peach, Mai Tai, Half and Half, and Southern Style.

They claim it has an “authentic old-fashioned ice tea flavour without the heavy sweetness. Well balanced and flavourful with a smooth finish”. I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Between the two, I actually preferred Hey Y’All because it had a stronger tea flavour and wasn’t as sweet.

Both companies recommend not keeping it in the fridge because temperature can affect the taste of tea over time. Rather, store it in a cool, dark place and serve it in a glass with fresh, crisp ice cubes.

They didn’t say anything about serving it this way! Stay cool and have a Happy Monday!!

Mama said there’ll be days like this,
There’ll be days like this mama said.

The Shirelles, Mama Said