The Liquid South, from Well Water to Sparkling Muscadine
October 23-26, 2008

The SFA celebrated the eleventh annual Southern Foodways Symposium, October 23-26, 2008, on the campus of the University of Mississippi in Oxford. We explored Southern drinkways, starting with water, the resource on which all life relies.

Buttermilk got its due. And soft drinks, by way of a bootlegging survey that traces cane sugar Mexican Cokes and original recipe Dr. Peppers to their sources. 

We explored the tensions that define Southern attitudes about harder drink, too, in an effort to make sense of the quip, attributed to Will Rogers, “Southerners will drink wet and vote dry – so long as any citizen can stagger to the polls.” That meant a learned disquisition on drink imagery in Southern literature and film, and a look at the temperance movement as a religious impulse.