If you want to destroy your health by drinking those five-pounds-of-sugar-filled soft drinks and energy drinks, don’t let me stand in your way. But I’ve found a way to develop diabetes that supports a great 817 business and that tastes better than pricey convenience store elixirs with names like “Bam!” and “Oomph!”

If you haven’t visited AJ’s Chicken and Waffles yet, why? Thermometers will soon be boiling over, and tucked inside the drinks section of their small menu is Papa’s Iced Tea, a specialty created by co-owner Shereese Slate Johnson. It’s basically strawberry flavored iced tea, but with a smooth, fruity berry flavor and plush chunks of the little red temptations rubbing against the ice cubes. It’s a little too sweet and trashy in the good way, and I’m hooked. I’m curious to know how it would taste with a little vodka and what that drink would be called — something like “Papa’s After Hours Iced Tea?” Splash some Stoli in there, and let me know how it goes.


  1. Green boba tea is also outstanding — you can good ones at Pappa Chang and, if you’re out north, Noodles @ Boba Tea House. Lots of people don’t like boba: essentially, squishy little black tapioca balls. But they’re awesome, and not just ’cause they’re superb conversation starters. And the tea is always above-par: sweet but not overly so. Re: refreshing hooch. That rainbow-colored drink at Mellow Mushroom (some sort of Long Island Iced Tea, I think) is worth a, um, trip.