Sippin' Spiked Sweet Stuff at the Kessler

After a full-belly dinner at Smoke, girl drinker Marla and I headed off to meet other girl drinkers Sarah, Lindsey and Amy, and some other homies at the Kessler Theater. The Beaten Sea and The Naptime Shake were playing (full-disclosure: dude fooder Noah W. Bailey and my hubs-to-be are in the latter) some sweet harmony-laden folk/country tunes.

When we sidled up to the bar, I considered the mood of the music and wanted a little Southern comfort...but, um, no Southern Comfort. Know what I'm sayin'? You totally do. I consulted with Marla as well as with the bartender, who looks like the love child of Alec Baldwin and Ricky Gervais (and I'm not exaggerating. He totally looks like Baldwin at profile, and told us that, face-on, he was getting a lot of Gervais comments lately after the funny Brit lost some paunch and became rather svelte). After the crazy-involved cocktail I had at Smoke, I wanted a nice stable vodka drink, but I was bored with the usual offerings.

"Jack Brent" -- or "Ralec Gerwin" as I like to think of him -- suggested I go with the Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka. Sounded like the Southern touch I was craving. It sounded good.

Ralec offered that we might should pair it with Sprite (any clear soda will do for those at home) and instead of my go-to lime, try it with a lemon. Grab a bit more of that iced tea persona, see.

Now, some of you will clearly think I'm behind the times on the "OMG, WTF is this awesome vodka tea that looks like plain tea?!" train. But, in my defense, I'm only new to it in terms of actual in-venue consumption. What does this mean? It means that Ralec's version of a sweet tea cocktail was waaaaaay better than my previous attempts. I kinda thought the stuff sucked a bit, but he'd talked me into it, and I was grateful. Apparently, I just don't have the pourin' hand of a studied, professional bartender...which is fair, because while I learned to mix a mean Grandpa cocktail at age 4, I steadily tend no hooch outside of my kitchen.

But, whatever. Point is, now I get it. I understand the allure. It took a few seasons and some fuck-ups, but I read you sweet tea peeps loud and clear now. I'm officially on Team Spiked Tea. If there existed a cute, flattering jersey (which would be a rarity for a sports jersey, btw) for said team, I'd wear it. I might even wear it with a bra and actual non-PJ pants out of my house...which is quite the opposite of what I do with my current selection of sports-related jerseys and tees. And ladies, you know that means real love.

You also know that means more experimentation. My perfectionist ways will likely ruin a bottle of the stuff, but I don't think there will be complaints. I don't think I'll only stick with Firefly.

I'll admit, I road-tasted this cocktail before the news of Deep Eddy Sweet Tea Vodka came 'round. Now, it seems that I'll need to be trying out a new variation of the sweet tea vodka cocktail. Oh, I declare, life is hard here in the South.

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Merritt Martin
Contact: Merritt Martin

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