It’s easy to get caught up in what’s new and happening in the world of drink: what’s the newest wine or varietal to sweep the nation? What’s the newest craft beer to make waves? What’s the cocktail we need to be dreaming about to get through the work day to happy hour? But we often forget just where our drinks come from.

It’s the little inventions that basically made our world of drinks explode into the endless variety of beverage options we have today. Without refrigeration we wouldn’t have such access to drinks that spoil fast, like milk; without tea bags, the art of making a cup of tea may have been lost; without the straw… OK, we just really love a good straw. While we ommitted perhaps the discoveries that made our drinks possible fermentation for wine and beer, distilling for spirits, carbonation for sodas, even filtration for drinkable water it’s the inventions that have made drinking into a convenience.

Whether it’s as small as a cork or as big as your refrigerator, we’re taking a few steps towards the past to thank our lucky stars for the inventors who gave us well, all the drinks.