There are two types of people in this world: people who drink their tea sweet and those who are wrong.
It’s only right that the sweet tea that’s come to be referred to as the signature taste of the South would come about from such sweet, sweet origins and in a truly Southern way. Milo’s Sweet Tea was born from the love of a married couple, Milo and Beatrice Carlton, and on the heels of war (World War II to be exact)—and what could be more Gone With The Wind-esque than that? Since its founding in Alabama in 1946, the family business has been brewing tea for its customers by the gallons and solidifying its place as a favorite of true Southerners who know how a glass of ice-cold sweet tea should taste.
What we love most about Milo’s Sweet Tea is that it’s made exactly the same way as it was on day one—just the same as my grandmother makes it: fresh-brewed tea, water, and sugar. Three ingredients, and voila! You have the nectar of the South. It’s the drink that sits on the table at every Sunday family dinner, the one that is sipped slowly on the porch in the afternoon, and the one makes the toddlers stop fussing when poured in the sippy cup. We know this because this is how it’s always been; and hopefully, how it will always be.
Milo’s Sweet Tea has garnered a following so committed and so widespread (and maybe so addicted?) that the name has become synonymous with sweet tea itself in some parts. In Alabama, at least, the tea has an almost cult-like devotion. What began as a single burger joint, then a burger chain, then a mom-and-pop sweet tea business, has now reached nationwide distribution while somehow keeping its small-town charm. Milo’s Sweet Tea has stayed a family-owned business from the beginning, with Bea Carlton serving as self-proclaimed head taste-tester until her passing two years ago. But, since then, Milo’s Sweet Tea has continued following Bea and Milo’s legacy to the letter, with the same supreme commitment to quality (you won’t find any preservatives or added colors in the product whatsoever).
Now, if any Southerner can name something more essential to any family gathering, big soiree, football tailgate, or your run-of-the-mill day than sweet tea, then you need to ask them where they’re really from. And maybe buy them a gallon of Milo's Sweet Tea.
WATCH: Deep-Fried Sweet Tea
While we wish we could have Milo’s Sweet Tea available to us in any grocery store…well, we can’t always get what we want. But there’s a tool to help with that, if you need it.