Southern Comfort: Not Whiskey but Pretty Close
The favorite drink of any Southern American is “sweet anything.” From sweet tea to the special sauce that makes for the best tasting barbecued ribs – “if it ain't sweet, it ain't Southern” – at least that is how the perception goes. This perception is also strangely correct. When it comes to Whiskies, most Southern Whiskies and Bourbons are also mildly sweet. Southern Comfort is no exception, except for the fact that technically, Southern Comfort is a Whiskey-flavored liquor and not Whiskey by itself. The sweet taste can be quite deceiving, as most people who have had this drink already know. While the taste is pleasant, the buildup is slow and because of the sweet taste most people tend to treat it as a mild liquor which it most definitely is not.
Southern Comfort (SoCo) is quite strong and one of the quicker ways to get intoxicated. In the United States, it is available as 100 US proof (50% alcohol by volume) and 70 US proof (35% alcohol by volume) which makes it one of the most intoxicating drinks available. Although used by and large as a mixer, SoCo can also be taken as a shot, with soda water on ice and even used in cooking and grilling. When used as a sauce on meat, it leaves a lovely, sweet aftertaste while the alcohol is burnt away.
According to the history books, Southern Comfort was first made by an Irish boat builder named Martin Wilkes Heron in New Orleans, Louisiana. He then moved to Memphis, Tennessee where he patented his creation and started selling it in bottles as a drink for the Gentleman. Southern Comfort is now the standard mixer that is used to make a large variety of cocktails that include: the Alabama Slammer, Sex on the Beach, Crash & Burn, SoCo-LoCo, and more. It is also available in a variety of flavors and cocktail pre-mixes. Some of the more popular flavors are SoCo Lime, SoCo Lemonade, and SoCo Sweet Tea.