Sunday, June 26, 2016
Southern Spirits: 400 Years of Drinking in the American South
Southern Spirits: Four Hundred Years of Drinking in the American South by Robert F. Moss is a fascinating look into how what people drank impacted the history of the American south - beyond the cliche drinks that may come to mind - especially the Mint Julep and Bourbon. The first chapter starts in the Colonial South where colonists found themselves without ale or wine or the proper ingredients to make their own and ends with post World War II spirits trade and the modern day rise of Pappy Van Winkle.
While there are cocktail recipes at the beginning of every chapter, this book is really story after story about how vice, trade and money are powerful motivators that have influenced history.
There are tales of rum running during Prohibition, George Washington's whiskey distilling exploits, and the lengths people would go to so they could avoid paying taxes on moonshine.
The book is fun to read and well written. Since each chapter covers a different time period, you could treat it as a book of short stories and read one section at a time. If you like well researched American history from a fresh perspective, you'll love Southern Spirits.
This book was given to Mystery Playground by Blogging for Books in exchange for a fair review.