Book Review: Southern Spirits

robert-f-moss-american-south-book
Southern Spirits
Four Hundred Years of Drinking in the American South, with Recipes
By Robert F. Moss

The South has a boozy history. Ask almost anyone to name a uniquely Southern drink, and bourbon and mint juleps - perhaps moonshine - are about the only beverages that come up. But what about rye whiskey, Madeira wine, and fine imported Cognac? Or peach brandy, applejack and lager beer? At various times in the past, these drinks were as likely to be found at the Southern bar as barrel-aged bourbon and raw corn likker. The image of genteel planters in white suits sipping mint juleps on a veranda is a myth that never was - the true picture is far more complex and fascinating. Southern Spirits is the first book to tell the full story of liquor, beer and wine in the American South, and along the way, it challenges the stereotypes of Southern drinking culture (including the ubiquity of bourbon and the geographical definition of the South itself) and reveals how that culture has shaped the South and America as a whole. 

My thoughts: When I first received Southern Spirits, I expected it  another recipe book (like Chrissy Teigen Cravings ), but instead of talking about what inspired the author to add the dish it'd talk about the history of the drink. Boy was I wrong. Southern Spirits is a real life history book, all about alcohol, with a smattering of recipes in it. It's perfect for anyone who loves history or considers themselves a bit of a drink connoisseur. I only wish that when doing the recipes Southern Spirits also included a colored (or even black and white) photo of the drink for visual aid. 

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