Last week, Party and I attended a tasting showcasing winners of this year's San Francisco World Spirits Competition. The high moment of the day occurred when I got a taste of something I've been dying to try: sweet tea-flavored vodka made by South Carolina-based Firefly Distillery. I'm a fiend for Southern cuisine, and that includes sweet tea, a drink so ubiquitous that it's just referred to as "tea." Southerners also love to spike their tea, so it seems natural that someone would come up with tea-flavored vodka. That genius would be Jim Irvin, a distiller based in Wadmalaw Island, SC. Irvin, also a winemaker, distills the vodka four times, imbues it with tea grown from a plantation five miles away, and sweetens the finished product with sugarcane from Louisiana.

We tried one of the distillery's newest vodka flavors, Mint Tea, which won a Double Gold Medal in the competition. It has a natural minty finish that tastes both soothing and refreshing. It was so easy to drink alone that I'm almost certain I could enjoy an entire pitcher before realizing the product's full effects. I can't wait to buy a bottle for myself!

Have you tried Firefly's tea-flavored vodkas? What did you think of them?