Is a slang term for Coca-Cola in the south. Or alternatively it's a term northerners use when describing southern culture.

I'm not entirely certain, but I met Steve Forbert (a very good folk/pop singer) yesterday and he used the term in the interview he was giving. As he's from Mississippi I tend to think "champagne of the south" is a southern term.

As a member of the South, born and raised in Georgia I can assure you that the "champagne of the South" is sweet tea.

Allow me to translate "sweet tea" for you Yankee types out there. You're familiar with hot tea, no? Throw that shit out of your head. I'm talking about something completely different. I'm talking about the nectar of the gods.

Making sweet tea

The general idea:
Sweet tea is made by adding tea bags to boiling water then dumping sugar in the warm pitcher. And I'm talking about enough sugar to give your pancreas a seizure. Then you have to put the pitcher in the refrigerator and let it cool. If this tea ever becomes warm again, you have committed a sin. Shaogo reminds me that the addition of lemons is also a sin. The only things that should ever touch your tea are your lips and ice.

Serving sweet tea

Sweet tea should only be served at rest. This usually coincides with a good lunch, dinner or time spent during the evening to unwind or reflect on the day. Sweet tea is also a social drink; it's best with friends. Also, if anyone ever enters your house, you offer them a drink, starting with sweet tea.

Proper procedure begins with vessel selection. Grab some big glasses from the cabinet (not the cupboard). And I mean big like it takes both hands, thumb to thumb and fingertip to fingertip, to encircle the glass. Skip anything with a handle. If your guest gets to the bottom of his glass before he leaves, you fail as a host. Fill the glass about 1/3 or 1/2 way with ice. Now grab that chilled pitcher and fill those glasses up to the brim. In the summer months, if the glass doesn't immediately start sweating, it's not cold enough.

Now gather up all the glasses you poured, carry them to your friends and loved ones on the porch. Put everyone else's glass in their hand first, then sit down with yours. Lean back, sip your sweet tea, watch the day slowly die and thank God you live in the South.

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