Savouring a Southern Cocktail is like stepping back in time to an era where every sip narrated a tale; every aroma held a secret. These aren’t mere concoctions of alcohol, sugar, and citrus; they are the essence of the American South, a region renowned for its hospitality, tradition, and undying love for good old booze. So, let’s embark on a journey through the world of Classic Cocktails, exploring traditional recipes that have stood the test of time and Americana London‘s own innovative twists that add a dash of modernity to the Southern classics.
Our first stop takes us to the Lone Star State, where everything is deemed bigger. The Texas Lemonade embodies this philosophy, balancing the boldness of cucumber-infused Tito’s Handmade Vodka with the freshness of lemon and the sweetness of agave.
Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which is crafted in Austin, Texas, is the heart of this cocktail. Its infusion with cucumber gives it a clean, crisp base that blends beautifully with the tartness of fresh lemon. The agave nectar rounds out the taste by adding just the right amount of natural sweetness, creating a harmonious combination that is as refreshing as a summer breeze in the Texan countryside.
Next, we take a detour through Kentucky, known for its bourbon, to introduce the Astral Plane. This cocktail is a creative mix of Aperol, Bulleit Bourbon, Amaro Montenegro, and lemon.
The robust character of Bulleit Bourbon, with its hints of oak and spice, meshes with the bittersweet and herbal notes of the Aperol and Amaro Montenegro. The lemon offers a subtle citrusy edge, cutting through the rich flavours and tying everything together. This cocktail, true to its name, offers a celestial blend of complexity and brightness, like a starry night in the Southern sky.
Our journey continues towards the coastal South West England, where the R&R Collins finds its roots. Named after the classic Tom Collins, the R&R Collins puts a British spin on Southern refreshment with its distinct mix of Tarquin’s Gin, rhubarb, raspberry, and lemon.
Tarquin’s Gin, handcrafted in Cornwall, provides a bold juniper backbone that is elevated by the tangy sweet combination of rhubarb and raspberry. The lemon brightens the flavours, making this cocktail a refreshing delight. Whether you’re by the beach or on a porch swing, the R&R Collins is a tribute to the laid-back Southern lifestyle.
Our Southern tour wouldn’t be complete without a nod to a true classic – the Old Fashioned. The Smoked Fashion, however, introduces a fascinating twist with Bulleit Bourbon, maple syrup, and spiced cherry.This drink takes the traditional components of an Old Fashioned and adds smoky maple syrup and a hint of spiced cherry. The result is a cocktail with depth and warmth, a testament to the cosiness of Southern hospitality. The Smoked Fashion is like a comforting fireside chat in a glass, perfect for ending a long day.
Finally, we land in Tennessee, the home of soulful blues and savoury barbecues. The Memphis Mojito is a reinvention of the classic Mojito, infusing ginger and peppercorn into Bacardi and mingling it with mint, lime, and agave.
The peppercorn-infused Bacardi brings a surprising warmth and spice to the cocktail, while the ginger adds a zesty kick. The traditional mint and lime offer their characteristic coolness and tang, balanced perfectly by the smooth sweetness of agave. Like Memphis itself, this drink is bursting with flavours and soul, a vibrant ending to our Southern journey.
In conclusion, Southern cocktails are more than just drinks; they’re a reflection.
As we move eastward, we stumble upon the Manhattan Made, a drink that marries the classic Manhattan cocktail with a touch of Southern charm. This concoction uses Woodford Bourbon, a fine representation of Kentucky’s spirit-making heritage, combined with Antica Formula, a renowned Italian vermouth, and Cherry Heering, a Danish cherry liqueur. This cocktail encapsulates a beautiful global fusion with a sweet cherry twist.
The Caipirinha, Brazil’s national cocktail, might seem a bit out of place in this Southern cocktail roundup. However, with its simplicity and freshness, it perfectly embodies the easygoing vibe of the South. It is traditionally made with Cachaça, a Brazilian spirit distilled from sugarcane, fresh lime, and sugar. It’s refreshing and vibrant, a beautiful companion for a Southern summer’s day.
Lemon Drop Martini
The Lemon Drop Martini is a tangy, sweet delight. Made with Grey Goose Citron and fresh lemon and finished off with a sugar rim, it offers a balance of sour and sweet that is dangerously drinkable. This martini is a perfect cocktail for those who prefer a splash of citrus in their drink.
Sometimes, we all need a little pick-me-up, and the Espresso Martini provides just that. Made with Tito’s vodka and a shot of espresso, it’s a jolt of energy in a cocktail glass. Its rich, bitter coffee taste, enhanced by the smooth, clean vodka, results in a cocktail that is both refreshing and invigorating.
The French Martini is an elegant drink with a fruity twist. Made with Tito’s vodka, Chambord, a luxurious raspberry liqueur, and a splash of pineapple, it creates a sweet and tangy symphony of flavours. The smoothness of the vodka beautifully complements the rich fruitiness, resulting in a sophisticated and delectable cocktail.
Porn Star Martini
The Porn Star Martini is a cocktail that promises a thrilling experience. Using Tito’s vodka, passionfruit, and a hint of vanilla, it creates a blend of vibrant, exotic, and sweet flavours. It’s a cocktail that is as daring and exciting as its name suggests.
The Classic Mojito, made with rum, fresh mint, and lime, is a refreshing and timeless cocktail. The mint’s cooling effect is perfectly balanced by the lime’s tanginess, creating an invigorating drink that’s perfect for warm Southern evenings.
The Amaretto Sour is a classic cocktail that never goes out of style. Traditionally made with your spirit of choice, egg white, sugar, and lemon, this drink offers a beautiful balance of tart and sweet, with a frothy finish from the egg white. It’s a cocktail that is as appealing to the eye as it is to the palate.
The Mai Tai, a tropical classic, offers a bit of the island life with rum, Cointreau, and almond liqueur. This combination creates a sweet, citrusy, and nutty cocktail that feels like a mini-vacation in a glass.
The Boulevardier is a spirit-forward cocktail for whiskey lovers. Made with your rye or bourbon of choice, Campari, and Vermouth, it offers a beautiful balance of bitterness, sweetness, and warmth with a lovely herbal undertone. It’s a cocktail with a complex flavour profile that is meant to be sipped and savoured.
The Gin Fizz is a refreshing and frothy concoction that is a delight to the senses. Made with Malfy Gin, egg white, and lemon, it offers a smooth, tangy, and slightly creamy taste that is both invigorating and satisfying.
Finally, we have the French 75, a classy and sophisticated cocktail that is perfect for special occasions. Made with Monkey 47 Gin and lemon and topped with Champagne, this cocktail is a beautiful mix of botanicals, citrus, and bubbles. It’s a festive and celebratory cocktail that is sure to elevate any occasion.
Other classic Cocktails:
Alabama Slammer Cocktail
“Sweet home Alabama, where the skies are so blue…” – this line from Lynyrd Skynyrd’s classic song perfectly encapsulates the essence of the Alabama Slammer Cocktail, a vibrant, crimson-hued concoction. According to legend, this cocktail originated in the mid-1970s at the University of Alabama, becoming the signature drink of the Crimson Tide. It’s a delightful blend of Southern Comfort, sloe gin, amaretto, and orange juice, creating a fruity, nutty flavour profile that’s perfect for a poolside gathering or game day celebrations.
Southern Comfort Manhattan
Next up on our journey through Southern Cocktails is the Southern Comfort Manhattan, a delightful reinterpretation of the classic Manhattan cocktail. This cocktail uses both sweet and dry Vermouth, leading to a fascinating interplay of flavours that’s both sweet and savoury. The addition of Southern Comfort lends a smooth, warm finish to this cocktail. It’s the drink of choice for those who love the Manhattan but are in the mood to experiment a bit.
The Yellow Hammer Slammer
Originating from Tuscaloosa, Alabama, the Yellow Hammer Slammer is a citrusy cocktail that comes with a secret kick of alcohol. A potent mix of amaretto, vodka, and rum is balanced out by pineapple and orange juice, resulting in a refreshing and fruity drink that’s perfect for game day. This drink is often referred to as the cocktail that sneaks up on you, leaving you pleasantly buzzed.
Strawberry Mint Julep
The Strawberry Mint Julep adds a fresh, seasonal twist to the classic Southern cocktail. This delightful drink is made with fresh strawberries and mint, making it a perfect choice for a warm summer day. The sweetness of the strawberries and the cool freshness of the mint balance out the bourbon perfectly, resulting in a well-rounded and delicious drink.
No list of Classic Cocktails would be complete without the Mint Julep, a classic Southern cocktail that’s perfect for warm evenings and lazy Sundays. This easy-to-make cocktail is made from bourbon, confectioners’ sugar, mint leaves, and a touch of water, creating a drink that’s as refreshing as it is delicious. It’s the perfect companion to watch the Kentucky Derby with or to enjoy a relaxing evening with friends.
Dixie Citrus Smash
The Dixie Citrus Smash, made with Dixie Vodka, fresh rosemary, and lemon, is a light and refreshing cocktail that’s perfect for warm weather and outdoor gatherings. The addition of a splash of honey vodka adds a touch of sweetness, making it a fan favourite among Southern Cocktails lovers.
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. Made with only three ingredients – bourbon, fresh mint, and sugar or simple syrup, this cocktail is perfect for spring and summer. It’s a must-try for bourbon lovers and those who enjoy a light and refreshing cocktail.
These drinks, whether steeped in tradition or bearing a modern twist, serve as storytellers, carrying tales of the past, of joyous celebrations and quiet evenings spent on the porch. They are a testament to our love for good company, good times, and of course, good drinks. So next time you’re in the mood for a drink, why not go for one of these delectable Southern Cocktails at Americana London? After all, nothing says “welcome” like a well-made cocktail!
These cocktails are the embodiment of the Southern spirit – inventive, bold, and welcoming. Enjoy responsibly, and remember – the best cocktail is the one you enjoy most. Cheers!