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National Iced Tea Day

National Iced Tea Day celebrates the refreshing summer-friendly drink, which makes up about 85% of tea consumed in the United States. People first started drinking iced tea in the United States around the 1860's, and the first recipes for it were printed in cookbooks in the 1870's. The growth of iced tea can partly be attributed to the availability of ice, which began being shipped from the northern states to southern states and the Caribbean at the beginning of that century. But, the primary impetus for the expanded popularity of the drink can be credited to Richard Blechynden, who served it at the World's Fair in St. Louis in 1904, which led to many people bringing it to all parts of the country. Prohibition, which lasted from 1920 to 1933, also helped keep iced tea drinking popular. Black iced tea is the most common, but many types of tea leaves can be used. The tea can be sweetened or unsweetened, and lemons, limes and herbs can be added. There are many possible health benefits of drinking tea, and it contains flavonoids that quite possibly have antioxidant properties. But, if the tea is bottled with high amounts of sugar or high fructose corn syrup, the health benefits may be partly neutralized. Home-brewed tea may be the most healthy, as the brewer knows exactly what's in it.

How to Observe National Iced Tea Day

Celebrate the day by drinking iced tea! Try one or many different kinds. You can make your own. You could even try a Southern Cooking recipe from 1928, or make sun tea. Check around at restaurants and coffee shops for specials on tea, as deals and free tea have been offered at many establishments on National Iced Tea Day in the past. You many want to try some of the teas that have won the Iced Tea Competition. If you want to add a little extra punch to the fun you could make yourself a Long Island Iced Tea, but that really doesn't have tea in it!

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