Every day a different drink. Not just how to make them, but a detailed review of how they actually taste, photos of the drinks, and stories along the way. Starting from the beginning, The Bartender's Black Book will be our guide, taking us

(and our livers) on a journey from which we may never recover. Cheers!

January 26, 2011

#26: Alabama Slammer

3/4 oz Vodka or Orange Vodka
3/4 oz Southern Comfort
3/4 oz Amaretto
Dash of Sloe Gin or Grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a tall glass filled with ice, fill with orange juice, shake, and garnish with an orange.

Let's start by talking about some ingredients we haven't encountered up to this point. Southern Comfort is a liquer made from bourbon, peach, and citrus, created by a bartender in New Orleans in 1874. It will show up in many drinks as we move forward.

Sloe Gin is a gin-based liquer, bright red in color, flavored with sloe (also called blackthorn) berries, a small relative of the plum, and can add both color and sweetness to a drink.

The Alabama Slammer here starts off a series of 6 drinks with the same name. Glancing through the ingredients for these drinks, it looks like it will be interesting to see and taste the differences a few minor variations in ingredients can make.

On to the tasting. The orange juice was not overpowering. I could really taste the spice of the Southern Comfort, but as a pleasant tone to the drink. I could not taste the Amaretto, but it definitely colored the orange juice to a nice deep color. I don't see the need for the Sloe Gin, as this drink is already sweet. It is very refreshing. Not too strong, not too weak. Overall a very nice balance of flavors. I am not sure where the vodka got introduced to this drink, but about half of the variation that I can find use vodka, the other half do not. Not that I'm complaining, I just find it interesting that The Good Book differs in such a substantial way on such a popular drink. If I had my druthers, I would prefer the vodka. Guess it's better to have an ingredient in the recipe that people can take out, rather than trying to figure out what to add in.

Ahh, but we have many more variations on this to come. The other half, the vodka-fearing from the other side of the tracks, may yet have their day.

Have this when hanging out on the porch on a hot, humid summer day.

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