After the Christmas festivities have died down, right about now, I tend to do a little stock taking, to see what special drinks are left over. I was pretty much amazed to see a full bottle of Southern Comfort still available! This is not a common occurrence, drinks like this are usually well supped by mid January!
I will assume you all know that Southern Comfort is a liqueur, containing spices and fruit. This has been made since 1974, and was created by Martin Heron of New Orleans, his idea being to come up with a better tasting whiskey. I am sure he was successful. According to legend, the drink was originally called "Cuffs and Buttons" and was used in many cocktails, here are just a few:-
-Alabama Slammer, Red Death and Red Devil, the '57 Chevy, Sloe Comfortable Screw of course, SoCo Hurricane, Princess Peach, Slo Sunrise, Rickstasy, Scarlett O'Hara, SocoCola, SoCoCello, SoCo-LoCo, SoCo Manhattan, Blind Andy, SoCo Andy, Steamboat and Funky Cold Medina. As you will see, there are plenty of these with SoCo in the title, SoCo being short for Southern Comfort of course. Southern Comfort with club soda added is called An Old Woody. Cocktails are all very well of course, but I personally prefer Southern Comfort straight.
The strength of mine is 35% ABV, or alcohol by volume, meaning exactly what it says, not like the old so and so percent proof, which just confused people. There is also the option of 50% ABV, but I think that is a bit too strong. The distinctive bottles are always clear glass, although mine this year has a snazzy film stuck on it. There is a plastic screw cap, and the bottle contains some 70 centilitres. My SoCo was produced in Ireland for the UK market, but most comes from the US. As with all liqueur sold here, it tells you on the label that one bottle is 24.5 UK Units, the UK Government recommends no more than three to four units per day for men, and two to three units for women.
On opening the bottle for the first time, you are met with a lovely spicy aroma. This is a lovely welcome to the drink, and is reminiscent of mulled wine. Southern Comfort is a rich golden brown colour, and once you take a sip, you will feel the lovely warm glow inside your mouth, There is a strong taste of fruit, with a nice lingering afterglow. If you think this is too strong, you can dilute with lemonade (preferably red) or Club Soda. You can add ice of course, it is down to personal taste.
If you have never tried this, I would recommend you ask for it in a bar or club, rather than buy a whole bottle. It is quite an acquired taste, but one I personally enjoy very much. Southern Comfort was also the favourite drink of a certain Janis Joplin! The brand is owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation, who also own Jack Daniel's.