The Alabama Slammer has been around since the 70s. There are a few minor variations on it. The most common version blends Southern Comfort with amaretto, sloe gin and orange juice.
Just thinking about it could make your mouth water, right?
The Southern Comfort in an Alabama Slammer
Southern Comfort is a whiskey-based liqueur. It was originally developed in New Orleans. It has a complex flavor of apricot or peach with spice. You also get some oak notes from the whiskey.
You can buy it in different proof levels. The flavor profile stays roughly the same with all of them. But the whiskey notes get a little stronger.
For the Alabama Slammer, you should use the higher proof version. That’s all the hard liquor this drink is going to get.
What the Alabama Slammer tastes like
In this drink recipe, the cherry notes from the amaretto and sloe gin come through strong. They almost dominate the Southern Comfort.
But this is one of those drink recipes where you can’t easily identify different notes. It all blends wonderfully into one sweet, fruity flavor. This cocktail has a good balance of sweetness and tartness, and it’s never boring.
At this point, we need to talk about sloe gin. Most of the bottles you find of sloe gin are sickeningly sweet. They taste more like a berry syrup for pancakes than anything to do with gin. So you may have the impression that sloe gin is pretty disgusting.
But not all bottles are created equal. A higher quality one has tartness, depth and a higher proof. If you can find Plymouth Sloe Gin, that’s a good bottle for making cocktails.
If you can’t find that exact brand, look for a sloe gin that’s a higher proof than other brands. Something in the 40-50 proof range. (That’s 20-25% alcohol.)
Whatever sloe gin you or your bartender use, the Southern Comfort adds a note that’s nice and mellow. Combined with the orange juice’s tartness, it keeps the Alabama Slammer from being overly sweet.
For this drink recipe, you really want to use the higher proof Southern Comfort and the higher proof sloe gin. That will give you a decent amount of kick.
And that’s how it was meant to be made. It’s also how most bartenders make it. Otherwise, it’s just a bunch of weak, sweet liqueurs.
In any case, the Alabama Slammer has also got a good bit of orange juice. It’s the kind of drink you’re supposed to sip and savor, enjoying the taste of it. Often, you only need one or two at most.
Enjoying the Alabama Slammer
This drink is perfect for drinking by the pool. You should also try serving at a barbecue. It’s a great drink for hot afternoons. It’s also perfect for unwinding at the end of a long work week.
Some restaurants mix them up by the pitcher. Now that’s also something you can also do at home for a get-together. That way, guests can serve themselves refills so you don’t have to tend bar the whole time.
And it’s a drink that most people enjoy. That’s what makes it a classic. If you’re serving it at a party, most everyone will love you for it. Just have some beer or wine on hand for anyone who doesn’t like it.
If you like the Alabama Slammer, check out some other drinks featuring Southern Comfort. The Angel Highball is wonderfully simple with Southern Comfort and orange soda. It’s a nice, laid back, easy going drink.
The Hawaiian Redneck is all about the pineapple juice. But it also has rum and Southern Comfort. That makes for a tasty drink that feels tropical, but with a twist.