Everyone drinks water with dinner, but here's why we hydrate at the table with a litte more strategy.
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Credit: Photo: Helen Norman

Ever been to a proper Southern dinner party where the table was set without water? Gasp! A glass of water is a tricky thing – you really only notice it when it's missing. Here are four reasons why clever Southern hostesses never take a glass of water for granted.

We love accessories.

A Southerner's china and silver collections are no joke – in fact some are worthy of their own archival system. How best to show off your collection of water goblets? Put them to use frequently. And, we love a fully turned out table with all the fixings. Remember to set your drinks to the right of the place setting. Like you needed a reminder.

Our food is saltier.

What do fried chicken, bacon, and biscuits and gravy have in common? Two things: They are iconic Southern foods and they are heavy on the salt and sodium. What happens when you eat salt? It makes you thirsty. Yet another reason why we need extra water on-hand at Southern dinner parties. Also, our food is so messy it's not so uncommon to dip your napkin in your water to clean your hands particularly if you're eating ribs.

It helps prevent a hangover.

Most Southern dinner parties serve copious amounts of wine and spirits. A wise hostess knows that you must slow the alcohol consumption with filled water glasses. Smart party guests know that it's best to ease tomorrow's oncoming hangover with big gulps of water.

Outdoor dining is a big thing.

We are addicted to outdoor living, parties on a porch, alfresco dinner parties. They are certainly more fun. Who doesn't feel more relaxed and happy outside of a restrictive dining room?

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We love that easygoing party vibe so much that we host the outdoor parties year round even when the thermometer hits 99 with lots of humidity. Take note though: we've got water glasses on those tables and probably a big iced water dispenser nearby for refills.