My darling husband Jonathan hinges his beliefs about "The South" on iced tea. He claims that, because we tend to serve our iced tea unsweetened here in New Orleans, that we are not really "southern." Indeed my own mother, born and bred here, has always kept a pitcher of iced tea in the fridge... never sweet. She also doesn't use Luzianne - a cardinal sin, according to Jonathan.
He sort of has a point. New Orleans is unarguably in the south, but our culture is something distinct and separate from that of "The South" as a whole, if there is such a thing. There are those who say we're the northernmost city of the Caribbean, which may be closest to the truth.
Does it all turn on the presence (or lack thereof) of sweet tea? Probably not. But it is an interesting indicator.
But sweet or not, make sure to enjoy some iced tea today!