One of my favorite places to get a drink in Chicago, as in a refreshing drinks, not a getting-my-buzz-on drink is Argo Tea. I love that is it a local chain, and they have so many fun drinks. I am not a coffee drinker so when I first discovered Argo Tea a few years ago I was in heaven.
My favorite tea since day one has been the green tea ginger twist, which is iced green tea with carbonated water and fresh ginger. A couple of years ago the drink disappeared and I was gutted, and every time I was in an Argo I would fill out a comment card asking to bring it back. Now, I realize that I single-handedly did not bring this wonderful drink back, but obviously a lot of people felt the same way. So when I stopped by yesterday during the Spring heat wave, for a cool drink, I was so excited to find they had it again. Of course now my question was ... is it gluten-free??
I asked the people working there, and they kind of shrugged and said that probably all the drinks had gluten. I was again gutted. I asked if they had any packaging I could look at to see the ingredients, and one of the employees brought out a nutritional chart, but it did not give any ingredient information.
I then thought to myself...aha, it is a weekday and between business hours so I called their main office. I am so glad I did, because I came to learn that all of their specialty drinks are gluten-free...all of them!! This includes all of their syrups. The employees seemed very pleased that I found out, and now they can pass on that info to other customers, and best of all, I got to enjoy my green tea ginger twist once again!! The bad thing about my favorite drink...I can down it in about 60 seconds if I am not careful. For a list of their yummy speciality drinks look here.
They also have a pretty impressive loose tea selection, and I found out that all of those are also gluten-free, with the exception of the rooibos caramel. In addition to their teas they also serve pre-packaged salads that are gluten-free, except for the teriyaki salmon. The quinoa salad looked super yum, and I would have tried it if I could handle quinoa. There are also a few Argo Tea locations in Manhattan.
I love the idea of carbonated water in my iced tea and makes it a refreshing alternative to sugar-laden soda (which I really can't stand anyway, I would choose plain water over soda any day). I realized I have all the ingredients at home....green tea, seltzer, simple syrup and fresh ginger, and am going to try to recreate this at home. I think I could drink this all day.
What I want to know is why is this gluten-free information not available anywhere? I even tried to search from my phone while I was in the shop and could not find any info online when searching 'argo+tea+gluten-free'. It is a shame, because not only are they missing out on a huge market, there are many potential customers missing out on yummy drinks!
Je t'aime Argo Tea!!