Have you ever wanted to sell everything you own and just "take off?" Travel the country's back roads, paddle down a meandering stream, experience breath-taking mountain views, walk among 100-year old trees, and just marvel at America's beauty? That is the dream that my partner, Betsy, and I decided to make a reality. This blog describes our adventure. The food we eat, people we meet, sights we see, and the enjoyment we find in traveling.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Sweet Tea and Fireflies in South Carolina!

Ever heard of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka? This is a new, adult version of “sweet tea.” Not what grandma used to sip on the front porch in a rocking chair on a heat filled summer day (except maybe my grandmas). This ever-popular vodka became an overnight sensation and is rapidly gaining a national following and more flavored delights are being concocted as we sip.
Jim Irwin the owner in the tasting room.
Firefly flavored vodka is the brainchild of Jim Irwin and Scott Newitt, two guys who decided to take the experience of sipping sweet tea to a new level. Jim was creating his version of southern wine, made from local muscadine grapes, while Scott was a liquor distributer.

The drink pays homage to their southern roots, fond memories of warm summer nights with fireflies lighting up the sky, and sipping sweet tea. The “tea” comes from the only tea plantation in the United States (which is less than 15 miles away) and the natural sweetener hails from Louisiana sugar cane. The magical combination has made the Firefly brand ever popular and lead to over six flavored vodkas, one bourbon drink, and two rums. Their concoctions, which started in 2008 with the world’s only hand-crafted sweet tea vodka, have won multiple awards.

Trying a sample (or six).

Yes, we did make a conscious effort to drive 25 minutes to visit the distillery. Yes, we did partake in the “tasting.” And yes, we did buy a bottle.

Wait….the story is not over yet!  They still make Jim’s muscadine wine on the property.  While I am not a fan of muscadine, we decided to give the tasting a try and much to my surprise liked it.  Yes, we did buy a bottle of wine as well.

Muscadine grapes used in the making of five different wines.
Wine production has decreased since Firefly Vodka has become
so popular.

Firefly tasting room.


  1. Great blog. Thanks

  2. Marilyn's day made Muscadine grape wine, called Tampa Red. Sweet and lethal. We got a bottle a year and sipped it so it would last til the next year.


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