|Country of origin||United States|
|Proof||100, 80, 70, 42, 30|
Southern Comfort is an American liqueur made from neutral spirits with fruit, spice and whiskey flavorings. The brand was originally created by bartender Martin Wilkes Heron in New Orleans in 1874, and is now owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation. Although the original product contained whiskey, the current formula for Southern Comfort only contains whiskey-tasting flavoring rather than actual whiskey (except for the premium version called "Special Reserve").
In the US Southern Comfort is available as 100 US proof (50% alcohol by volume), 70 US proof (35% alcohol by volume) and 42 US proof (21% alcohol by volume). Southern Comfort Special Reserve, found in duty-free shops, is a blend of Southern Comfort and bourbon, and is 80 US proof (40% alcohol by volume). Southern Comfort Lime, released in the Summer of 2010, is 55 proof (27.5% alcohol by volume)(UK 2013 20% alcohol by volume) and Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry, released in the Summer of 2012, is 70 proof (35% alcohol by volume).
Southern Comfort also produces ready-to-pour cocktails available in the US including Southern Comfort Sweet Tea, Southern Comfort Hurricane and Southern Comfort Lemonade, which are all 30 proof (15% alcohol by volume).
Southern Comfort has expanded over the years and has several product offerings globally. Outside the US, Southern Comfort produces single-serve cocktails, including Southern Comfort Lemonade and Lime in the UK and Southern Comfort and Cola in Australia.
Southern Comfort was first produced by bartender Martin Wilkes Heron (1850–1920), the son of a boat-builder, in 1874 at McCauley’s Tavern in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. According to the New Orleans Convention & Visitors Bureau, McCauley's Tavern was "just off Bourbon Street", and the original form of the drink was called "Cuffs and Buttons".
Heron moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1889, patented his creation, and began selling it in sealed bottles with the slogan "None Genuine But Mine" and "Two per customer. No Gentleman would ask for more." Southern Comfort won the gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
In an episode of The Thirsty Traveler entitled "A River of Whiskey," spirits historian Chris Morris describes the original recipe of Southern Comfort. Heron began with good-quality bourbon and would add: "An inch of vanilla bean, about a quarter of a lemon, half of a cinnamon stick, four cloves, a few cherries, and an orange bit or two. He would let this soak for days. And right when he was ready to finish, he would add his sweetener: he liked to use honey."
Since the 1930s, the image on the label of Southern Comfort has been A Home on the Mississippi, a rendering by Alfred Waud depicting Woodland Plantation, an antebellum mansion in West Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. Woodland Plantation, which is registered on the National Register of Historic Places, now provides bed-and-breakfast accommodation.
One of the earliest Southern Comfort-based cocktails to be marketed was the Scarlett O'Hara, concocted in tribute to the release of the film adaptation of Gone with the Wind in 1939. The mixture includes Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, and fresh lime.
In 2010, the company began marketing a pre-mixed Southern Comfort Lime cocktail. In 2012, it began selling Southern Comfort Bold Black Cherry.
- Regan, Gary (24 June 2011). "Cut the fog with a well-balanced cocktail". The San Francisco Chronicle.
- "New Orleans Restaurants & Cuisine: Southern Comfort". Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- "Our Local Products". Retrieved March 16, 2012.
- Kevin Brauch. "A River of Whiskey". The Thirsty Traveler. Season 4. Episode 402. Fine Living. http://www.fineliving.com/fine/thirsty_traveler/episode/0,1663,FINE_10176_41042,00.html.
- "> History of Southern Comfort". CocktailTimes.com. Retrieved 2012-09-09.
- "Recipe page on official web site". Southerncomfort.com. Retrieved 2013-07-01.