In 1885, New Orleans bartender Martin W. Heron created Southern Comfort after his patrons asked for something “smoother” than plain whiskey. His recipe, a blend of bourbon, fruits and spices, is still in use today. Southern Comfort — “SoCo” — has become a popular liqueur commonly mixed with fruit juice and colas, as well as other liqueurs.
The most famous Southern Comfort cocktail is the St. Louis, a mix of brandy, Southern Comfort and peach puree or syrup. To make it, combine the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice. Shake well and serve straight up in a martini glass. The Scarlett O’Hara cocktail made its debut after the success of the film Gone With the Wind in the United States. To make a Scarlett O’Hara, combine Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, club soda and a dash of lime juice. Serve on the rocks in a mason jar. The Alabama Slammer is a newer drink but still a classic, especially in the southern United States. One half ounce each of vodka, Southern Comfort and amaretto, plus 5 ounces of orange juice, equals 1 Alabama Slammer.
Adding fruit juice to Southern Comfort can help bring out its natural, if subtle, fruit flavors. The Southern Comfort Hurricane includes three different fruit juices — pineapple, lime and orange — grenadine and simple syrup. Combine the ingredients in a shaker over ice, then serve in a hurricane glass with a cherry or orange garnish. SoCo Party Punch is useful for serving crowds and requires orange juice, lemon-lime soda and lemon juice, in addition to orange and lemon slices for extra fruitiness. Serve over ice in short glasses. The Slam Dunk, another favorite, combines cranberry and orange juices with Southern Comfort.
The Southern Ireland is a nod to SoCo creator Heron’s homeland and requires just 2 ingredients: Bailey’s Irish Cream and Southern Comfort. Served over ice, its taste is reminiscent of peaches and cream. A similar drink, the Irish Flag, consists of Bailey’s, Southern Comfort and creme de menthe. For an extra-creamy, milky cocktail, try a White Threesome. It’s a mix of 1 ounce each of Bailey’s, Southern Comfort and Kahlua coffee liqueur, plus 6 ounces of milk.
If you’re short on ingredients, combining Southern Comfort with what’s readily available can still produce a tasty cocktail. To make a Candy Apple, mix Southern Comfort, or Caramel Comfort, the caramel-flavored version of Southern Comfort, with apple juice and Sprite or 7UP. The Comfortable Screw is another popular and easy-to-make cocktail; just combine 1 1/2 ounces of Southern Comfort with 3 1/2 ounces of orange juice and serve over ice. If you’ve got a bottle of bourbon on hand, you can also make either a Southern Comfort Tea, with SoCo, bourbon and sweet tea; or an American Dream, which combines SoCo, bourbon and cola.