Firefly Distillery

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Firefly Distillery is a company located on Wadmalaw Island, thirty miles south of Charleston, South Carolina that manufactures a line of vodka products using muscadine grapes local to South Carolina.[1] Firefly's Sweet Tea flavored vodka brand is actually made by the Sazerac Company at its Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky rather than being made by Firefly itself. Other products bearing the company brand name are made at the company's on-site distillery.


Firefly Muscadine Vodka[edit]

Firefly Distillery's first product was Firefly Muscadine Vodka. The vodka was introduced in April 2006, after an impromptu early March debut at Charleston International Antiques Show emceed by Martha Stewart gave the company unexpected attention.[2]

The flavored vodka was inspired by the distillery's location on a vineyard. Muscadine grapes are native to the southeast region, and muscadine wine is traditionally a very sweet wine. This product was originally produced in Florida due to South Carolina's distillery licensing fees issues.[2]

Firefly earned 89 out of 100 points from the Beverage Testing Institute in Chicago, outscoring such industry standards as Absolut and Ketel One.[2]

Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka[edit]

In April 2008 Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was added to the product line. The product is a twist on the southern staple, sweet tea. The vodka is distilled on Wadmalaw Island and the tea is from Charleston Tea Plantation. Additional flavors include: Firefly Mint Tea Vodka, Firefly Raspberry Tea Vodka, Firefly Lemon Tea Vodka, and Firefly Peach Tea Vodka.[3]

Firefly Handcrafted Vodka[edit]

Firefly Handcrafted Vodka, a straight vodka product, was introduced to the market January 2009. This vodka is distilled slowly in batches six times. Currently this product is only distributed to South Carolina, but plans are to expand distribution. The 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded Firefly Handcrafted Vodka a Bronze Medal.[citation needed]

Firefly Lemon Tea Vodka, Mint Tea Vodka, Raspberry Tea Vodka, Peach Tea Vodka[edit]

Firefly Distillery expanded their product portfolio March 2009 with flavored tea vodkas. The 2009 San Francisco World Spirits Competition awarded a Double Gold Medal to Firefly Mint Tea Flavored Vodka, a Silver Medal for Firefly's Peach Tea, and a Bronze Medal to Firefly Lemon Tea Vodka.[citation needed]

Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon[edit]

In April 2010, Firefly released a Sweet Tea Bourbon. Firefly Sweet Tea Bourbon is made with 4 year old Bourbon from Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky, tea from South Carolina tea and sugar cane from Louisiana. Firefly Bourbon won a gold medal at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition in 2010.[1]

Firefly Southern Lemonade[edit]

Firefly Southern Lemonade was released in April 2010 and is a part of Firefly's ready to drink collection. Firefly Southern Lemonade blends Firefly straight vodka with fresh squeezed lemonade.[4]

Firefly Sweet Tea Lemonade[edit]

The Sweet Tea Lemonade is a blend of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka and fresh squeezed lemonade.[4]

Production by Buffalo Trace Distillery[edit]

In October 2008, Firefly Distillery and the Sazerac Company formed a joint venture to produce Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka at Sazerac's Buffalo Trace Distillery in Kentucky and distribute the product through Sazerac's distribution channels.[5][6] Through this joint venture Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka was able to be distributed to all states by March 2009.


  1. ^ a b Firefly Distillery website
  2. ^ a b c Hartvigsen, Kristine (Feb 1, 2007). "Kindred Spirits: Firefly Vodka". South Carolina Business: Centerfold. Retrieved March 18, 2009. 
  3. ^ Brown, Robbie (February 10, 2009). "A Southern Twist: Tea-Infused Vodka". The New York Times (The New York Times Company). Retrieved 2009-03-18. 
  4. ^ a b Barna, Stephanie (May 10, 2010). "Firefly Bottles Up a New Cocktail". Charles City Paper (The Charleston City Paper). Retrieved 2010-09-10. 
  5. ^ Bird, Allyson (October 15, 2008). "Firefly to buzz nation". The Post and Courier. 
  6. ^ Sexton, Megan (Jan 8, 2009). "S.C.-born Firefly Sweet Tea Flavored Vodka quenching a thirsty nation". The State. Retrieved 2009-03-18. [dead link]