The South is known for its hospitality, and nothing says "welcome" quite like a refreshing beverage. From the sweltering heat of the summer months to the crisp chill of autumn evenings, Southerners have been perfecting the art of the cocktail for generations.
Whether you're a seasoned mixologist or new to the world of libations, there's something for everyone in the South's rich cocktail culture.
The South's cocktail scene is steeped in tradition, and many of the classic recipes have been passed down from generation to generation. These timeless drinks are often made with simple ingredients but pack a flavorful punch.
They're perfect for sipping on a porch swing or enjoying with friends at a backyard barbecue. But don't let their simplicity fool you – these classic cocktails have stood the test of time for a reason.
Of course, the South is also known for its innovative spirit, and many modern mixologists are putting their own spin on classic recipes. From bold flavor combinations to unique presentation, there's no shortage of creativity in the South's contemporary cocktail scene.
Whether you're looking for a new take on an old favorite or a completely new recipe to try, there's something for everyone in the South's vibrant cocktail culture. So, pull up a chair and let's explore some of the best Southern cocktail recipes – old and new.
1. Alabama Slammer Cocktail
The Alabama Slammer Cocktail is a sweet and fruity drink that's perfect for sipping by the pool or enjoying during game day. Made with Southern Comfort, sloe gin, and amaretto, this cocktail has a bright red color that's the signature drink of the Crimson Tide.
Legend has it that it was created at the University of Alabama in the mid-1970s, and it has since become an iconic Southern cocktail. With its blend of fruity flavors and a touch of kick, the Alabama Slammer Cocktail is a must-try for anyone looking for a taste of the South. So, why not shake things up and give this classic cocktail a try?
2. Alabama Slammer
The Alabama Slammer is a classic Southern cocktail that packs a punch with its blend of Southern Comfort, Sloe Gin, Amaretto, and orange juice. It's a nutty and fruity drink that's perfect for tailgating or home-gating football parties. This crimson red mixed drink got its start on the University of Alabama campus and goes by many names including the Southern Slammer and the Yellow Hammer Slammer.
The strong cherry notes from the amaretto and sloe gin are tempered by the mellow spice of Southern Comfort and the subtle tartness from the orange juice, creating a sweet and tangy cocktail that's sure to become a favorite. If you're looking for a delicious and refreshing cocktail that's perfect for any Southern occasion, the Alabama Slammer is definitely worth a try.
3. Southern Comfort Manhattan
The Southern Comfort Manhattan is a delicious twist on the classic Manhattan cocktail. This recipe calls for both sweet and dry vermouth, which creates a unique flavor that is both sweet and savory.
The addition of Southern Comfort gives the cocktail a smooth and warm finish. It's a perfect cocktail for those who enjoy a classic Manhattan but want to try something new. The Southern Comfort Manhattan is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious Southern cocktail.
4. The Yellow Hammer Slammer
The Yellow Hammer Slammer is a popular cocktail that originated in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, and is a favorite among college football fans. The drink is a citrusy concoction that packs a secret kick of alcohol, thanks to the equal parts of amaretto, vodka, and rum that are mixed in.
Pineapple and orange juice are added to the mix, making it a refreshing and fruity drink that is perfect for game day. The Yellow Hammer Slammer is a must-try for anyone who loves a good cocktail with a bit of a surprise. So, if you're looking for a drink that will sneak up on you and leave you feeling pleasantly buzzed, give the Yellow Hammer Slammer a try.
5. Strawberry Mint Julep
The Strawberry Mint Julep is a refreshing and seasonal twist on the classic Southern cocktail. Made with fresh strawberries and mint, this cocktail is perfect for sipping on a warm summer day.
The sweetness of the strawberries and the freshness of the mint complement the bourbon perfectly, making it a well-balanced and delicious drink. Whether you're a bourbon lover or just looking for a new cocktail to try, the Strawberry Mint Julep is definitely worth adding to your list.
6. Mint Julep
The Mint Julep is a classic Southern cocktail that is perfect for warm evenings and lazy Sundays. Made with bourbon, confectioners' sugar, mint leaves, and a little water for muddling, this cocktail is easy to make and delicious to sip. It's a great drink to enjoy while watching the Kentucky Derby or just relaxing with friends.
If you're a fan of bourbon, you'll love the Mint Julep. And if you're looking for some great food pairings, be sure to check out our Top 15 List of Foods to Enjoy with Your Mint Julep. Whether you're a bourbon lover or just looking for a refreshing cocktail to enjoy, the Mint Julep is definitely worth a try.
7. Dixie Citrus Smash
If you're looking for a refreshing and easy-to-make cocktail, the Dixie Citrus Smash is a must-try. Made with Dixie Vodka, this six-times distilled craft vodka from Charleston, S.C. is gluten-free, clean, and crisp. The cocktail also features fresh rosemary, lemon, and a splash of honey vodka for added sweetness.
While the recipe calls for charred lemons, any lemon will do. This light and refreshing cocktail is perfect for warm weather and outdoor gatherings. It's easy to see why the Dixie Citrus Smash is becoming a fan favorite.
8. Classic Mint Julep
The Classic Mint Julep is a refreshing and spirit-forward cocktail that originated in the Southern U.S. in the late 1700s. It is traditionally made with only three ingredients: bourbon, fresh mint, and sugar or simple syrup, and served over crushed ice.
This cocktail is perfect for spring and summer, and is often associated with the Kentucky Derby. It is an easy cocktail to make, but requires care when muddling the mint to release the oils without crushing it too much. The Classic Mint Julep is a must-try for bourbon lovers and those who enjoy a light and refreshing cocktail.
9. Sparkling Mint Julep
The Sparkling Mint Julep is a refreshing and invigorating Southern cocktail that is perfect for a hot summer day. The combination of fresh mint leaves, high proof bourbon, and Perfect Mint Simple Syrup creates a harmonious blend of flavors that is sure to please any cocktail enthusiast.
The cocktail is served in a chilled julep cup, packed tightly with crushed ice, and garnished with a sprig of fresh mint and a sprinkle of powdered sugar. The Sparkling Mint Julep is a must-try for anyone looking for a delicious and unique Southern cocktail experience.
10. Sweet Tea Mint Juleps
The Sweet Tea Mint Julep is a refreshing and flavorful cocktail that's perfect for a leisurely afternoon on the porch or for a Derby Day celebration.
It combines the classic Mint Julep with sweet tea infused with fresh mint, creating a perfect balance of flavors. The sweetness of the tea and the freshness of the mint make it a perfect summer drink that you'll want to sip on all season long.
11. Celebratory Gin Fizz
If you're looking for a refreshing and effervescent cocktail to celebrate a special occasion, the Celebratory Gin Fizz is a must-try. This Southern cocktail takes all the elements of a classic fizz and kicks them up a notch with egg white, cream, and orange blossom water.
The frothy texture of the whipped egg whites and cream makes this drink worth lusting over, and lucky for us, there are ways to recreate all the magic of the gin fizz without the 12-minute shake time. The article also includes a great experiment on how to achieve the same frothiness of a traditional gin fizz using aquafaba instead of egg whites. Overall, the Celebratory Gin Fizz is a delicious and unique cocktail that is sure to impress your guests.