Firefly Distillery, Charleston, SC — Photo courtesy of Firefly Distillery
A visit to the Firefly Distillery on Wadmalaw Island, just 25 miles from downtown Charleston, makes for a fun afternoon or relaxing day trip. Owners Scott Newitt and Jim Irvin opened their distillery in 2008, premiering the world's first Sweet Tea vodka, of which there are now countless imitators. This original flavored vodka brand is made using locally grown tea and Louisiana sugar cane, with all varieties being quadruple distilled.
The Firefly Distillery keeps its secret techniques well-guarded and thus does not offer full distillery tours. However, Firefly does welcome visitors to enjoy both individual and group liquor tastings. Visit the distillery Tuesday through Saturday from February to December for a taste of flavored vodkas, bourbon and rum. The $6 tastings include a logo-branded glass and 6 samples of flavors like Skinny Tea, Peach Tea, Mint Tea, Lemon Tea, Raspberry Tea, and Lemonade.
Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka — Photo courtesy of Firefly Distillery
The Firefly Distillery shares its beautiful Wadmalaw Island property with several resident animals, as well as the Irvin House Vineyards, a Muscadine winery that also offers tours and tastings. Don't miss touring the Charleston Tea Plantation, also on Wadmalaw island, or snapping a few photos at the centuries old Angel Oak, just a few miles away on John's Island. There are also several excellent restaurants between the Firefly Distillery and downtown Charleston, including the Stono Market Tomato Shed Cafe, Fat Hen and Wild Olive Cucina.