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10 Old-School, Southern Tips From Reese Witherspoon's Whiskey In A Teacup

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Reese Witherspoon's book Whiskey in a Teacup spills her tips on southern living. Here are the takeaways for all my vintage-loving southern girls!

Whiskey in a teacup.
updated on:
February 13, 2023

The other day while I was thrifting, a book caught my eye. I picked it up and it happened to be Reese Witherspoon's book Whiskey in a Teacup. I leafed through it and it had beautiful glossy pages and seemed to be covering the lessons she's learned about cooking, entertaining, and homemaking from growing up in the South.

I didn't know that Reese had released this book in 2018, but was super excited to read it considering I've had a bit of a fascination with Dolly Parton, vintage quilts, and sweet tea lately! I'm really not sure what brought this on, but I guess I've been dreaming of a barefoot grass, firefly summer.

From reading the book, I noticed that a lot of southern culture is tied to roots and tradition; Reese seems to have a deep appreciation for vintage things and sharing stories from previous generations.

whiskey in a teacup

Since we're all about that here at Roseglass Collective, I thought I would explore what "vintage" means to a southern woman. Let's break down some key takeaways from Reese's book.

This post is all about whiskey in a teacup.

Where can I buy Reese Witherspoon's Whiskey in a Teacup?

whiskey in a teacup

I found my copy at a thrift store (dumb luck) but it's actually on sale on Amazon Prime!

Whiskey in a Teacup: What Growing Up in the South Taught Me About Life, Love, and Baking Biscuits

Buy on Amazon

"Just a sweet story from a precious person. Loved the recipes and the history to go along with them!"

What does Whiskey in a Teacup mean?

The phrase "Whiskey in a Teacup" is described by Reese as "...a combination of beauty and strength" that is characteristic of southern women.

Would I recommend Whiskey in a Teacup?

Yes, definitely! I really loved Reese's stories and I felt like she wrote very eloquently but also had a very down-to-earth style! This book is really gorgeous with beautiful glossy pictures and lots of recipes to try. She also includes different songs to add to your playlists and different practical things you can do to add a little southern touch to your daily life.

Below I've shared some of the vintage-y topics Reese discusses in the book, but she also talks a lot more about holidays, dinner parties, manners, etc. so I definitely think it's worth the purchase to read everything else and see all the cool photos.

It's a little bit smaller in physical size than your average coffee table book but I really thought it was a delightful read.

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Reese Witherspoon's best vintage tips from Whiskey in a Teacup:

Combine antiques and practical things

When it comes to family homes, Reese explains that it is pretty common for people in the South to grow up in a house that has been passed down through the generations. Some southern women prefer decorating with antiques, but she prefers mixing antique items with practical/sturdy decor. She says that houses shouldn't be museums!

On her mantel are old family photos, peonies from her family's garden, and a large vintage photo of Dolly Parton. A girl after my own heart!

Quilts are to be passed down and treasured

Reese talks about in the book how quilts are a part of southern tradition and how they are reminiscent of the women who worked on them long before us.

Flea markets can be a learning experience

whiskey in a teacup

In the book, Reese talks about how flea markets are the best places for affordable home decor. She particularly remembers her mom bringing home unique animal figurines and how each one had a special charm to it. She now gives her children $10 and likes to see what they pick out. It's a great exercise in budgeting!

Hot rollers, red lipstick, & dressing to impress are rites of passage

whiskey in a teacup

Reese explains that her grandmother Dorothea felt dressing nicely was a way to show other people you cared about them. Also, mastering hot rollers and a classic red lip is a rite of passage for young southern girls.

Knowing how to throw an old-fashioned dinner party is valuable

whiskey in a teacup

Reese describes in the book how throwing a successful dinner party is a great way to bring people together and invite them into your home. Be sure to invite an interesting mix of people, provide good food/drinks, and decorate with fresh flowers/unscented candles.

If you like this post you may enjoy this post: How NOT To Wash Vintage Quilts: Risky Mistakes To Avoid

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Monograms are traditional & make great gifts

Monogrammed items are very chic and southern. Certain items like silverware and baby rattles can be keepsakes and passed down while personalized linens and stationary are decorative and add a touch of class to everyday items.

Part of being southern is documenting family memories, and Reese highly recommends keeping a special monogrammed scrapbook with detailed names and dates for future generations to leaf through.

Dolly Parton is iconic (& sweet)

Reese talks in the book about Dolly offering to help inform her performance of June Carter Cash in Walk the Line. She is described as selfless and wonderful (and a great example of a true southern woman)!

Old-school southern wedding traditions are fun

whiskey in a teacup

Reese's thoughts on weddings: Church/outdoor weddings are popular in the South. Large wedding parties and intimate guest lists are encouraged. Yes to guys dancing with the older ladies and to inviting young children to the festivities. Imperfect moments are what make a wedding fun and interesting.

Road trips teach patience and an appreciation for your country

whiskey in a teacup

Reese says that taking your kids on a roadtrip gives them a sense of anticipation and a thankfulness for the journey. Playing classic road trip games can help pass the time and create unforgettable memories.

Clothing swaps are a fun way to share with friends

Reese recommends you take a bag of clothes you have been meaning to clean out of your closet and either donate them or invite your friends over for a clothing swap. You each take things you want from each other's wardrobes. Fun and sustainable!


I really loved reading a little bit more about tradition and class from a southern woman's perspective. Like I said above, if you're thinking about getting Reese's book, I would encourage you to do so. There's a lot more to it than we've covered in this post and tons of really pretty photos!

Have you guys had a chance to read Whiskey in a Teacup yet? I just thought it was such a fun, quick read!

This post was all about whiskey in a teacup meaning.

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