July 3, 2009

Southern Comfort Ready-to-Drink Cocktails

Bill Dowd photo

Southern Comfort has been a popular American liqueur since it was created in the late 19th Century in New Orleans. Now, the Brown-Forman label has added two ready-to-drink (RTD) cocktails to its brand portfolio. Both are of the "pour over ice and drink" variety.

• Sweet Tea Cocktail

This flavor actually tastes like, well, sweet tea, with the slight heat of Southern Comfort that touches the back of the tongue and warms the throat in a most pleasant way. Even a vague hint of orange can be detected, adding a complexity to the formula.

Sweet tea, a Southern drink of great popularity, has made its way into the spirits world in the past few years, spurred along perhaps most by the instant popularity of Firefly Sweet Tea Vodka from South Carolina and Burnett's Sweet Tea Vodka from Heaven Hill Distilleries. However, this Southern Comfort version has less alcohol punch, thus making it a more viable libation for warm summer months, or just a casual drink that needs no fussing.

Suggested retail price: $19.99 for the 1.75-liter bottle, the only size being marketed.

• Hurricane Cocktail

The original is a New Orleans staple, purportedly invented at Pat O'Brien's bar in the French Quarter. It should hit the palate of people who like a fruity taste to their light cocktails. The original contained both light and dark rums plus juices from oranges, limes and passion fruit.

The Southern Comfort version has a fresh, light fruity taste and the rosey color of the O'Brien's cocktail that came from the addition of grenadine syrup. In this recipe, one can taste the soft fruits, even a fleeting note of grapefruit in the aftertaste. Very easy to drink.

Suggested retail price: $19.99 for the 1.75-liter bottle, the only size being marketed.

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