This chapter summarizes the key points of the preceding discussions. The overarching theme in American beverage history it is that change is endemic. The most significant turning point was the first: colonial diversity. None of the beverages drunk by Native Americans prior to the colonial period—water excluded—were adopted by European settlers. Coming from different countries and cultures, they brought their own beverage preferences and traditions with them, so no one drink predominated. However, resourceful colonists also used what was available in America. Beer was made from molasses or persimmons, and wild North American grapes became the basis for a very different style of wine. Over the succeeding centuries, as new immigrant groups arrived in America, they too contributed to this diversity. The chapter concludes with some near-term projections about American food and drink.
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