It could be argued that the history of America is inexorably linked to the history of drinking. After all, legend has it that the real reason the pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock was because they ran out of beer; they dropped anchor at first sight of land in order to, ahem, rectify the situation.
Flash forward a few years, and our nation's 16th president, Abraham Lincoln, used the country's affinity for alcohol to pay back the debt owed from the Civil War. The taxation of the sale of liquor (88 million gallons of it were in production in the U.S. by 1860) led to the creation the Internal Revenue Service — so we have alcohol to thank for that, too.
Country-founding aside, perhaps nowhere has contributed more to the evolution of the drink than the American South. It has brought us some of our most iconic of American cocktails, and most alluring tales. Here's a look back at some key moments in the history of drinking below the Mason-Dixon Line.