The Alabama Slammer cocktail offers a tart, sweet, fruity flavor with a subtle almond flavor.
It’s easy to make in about five minutes.
Though I’d say it’s a little too long to slam, however, tailgaters will tell you, drink too many of them, and your head will be slamming with pain the next day.
Who invented the Alabama Slammer?
The exact origins of the Alabama Slammer cocktail are unclear, and there are several different claims about who invented the drink. Here are a few of the most popular theories:
- University of Alabama: Some sources credit a bartender at the University of Alabama with inventing the drink in the 1970s. The story goes that the bartender created the drink for a customer who was from California and was looking for something sweet and fruity to drink. The name “Alabama Slammer” is said to have come from the customer’s teasing that the drink would “slam” them down. It’s the Alabama Crimson Tide Football team’s signature cocktail. The drink is crimson, like the University of Alabama.
- John “Fuzzy” Bishop: Another claim is that the Alabama Slammer was created by a man named John “Fuzzy” Bishop, who was a bartender at a bar in Tuscaloosa, Alabama in the 1970s. Bishop is said to have created the drink for a customer who was from California, and the drink became popular among the college crowd.
- Southern Comfort: Some sources credit the creators of Southern Comfort with inventing the Alabama Slammer as a way to market their product. Southern Comfort is a liqueur that is often used in the drink, and the company included a recipe for the Alabama Slammer on their product labels in the 1980s.
- The Playboy Bartender’s Guide: In 1971, it appeared in The Playboy Bartender’s Guide by Thomas Mario.
- Cocktail, the Movie: Some may remember it in the 1988 Cocktail movie, based on the novel by Heywood Gould that was semi-autobiographical and starred Tom Cruise. In the movie, Cruise’s character, Brian, gives “The World’s Last Bartender” speech:
I am the last barman poet
I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make
Americans getting stinky on something I stir or shake
The sex on the beach
The schnapps made from peach
The velvet hammer
The Alabama slammer.
I make things with juice and froth
The pink squirrel
The three-toed sloth.
I make drinks so sweet and snazzy
The iced tea
The death spasm
The Singapore sling
America, you’ve just been devoted to every flavor I got
But if you want to get loaded
Why don’t you just order a shot?
Bar is open.
Regardless of its origins, the Alabama Slammer has become a popular cocktail in the United States and is enjoyed by many people today.
Southern Comfort in an Alabama Slammer:
Let’s face it, with a name featuring Alabama; Southern roots will come into play.
The traditional alcohol features “Southern Comfort,” but it’s not a whiskey but a liqueur.
It was created in New Orleans in 1874 by Martin Wilkes Heron, a bartender in the French Quarter.
To add sweetness and smoothness, he blended fruits and spices like orange, sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon with low-quality whiskey and peach brandy.
Feel free to substitute the whiskey in this recipe with Southern Comfort if you want the more traditional cocktail
Sloe Gin Varies from Gin:
Sloe gin and gin are two different spirits with distinct characteristics and production methods.
Gin is a clear spirit made from a base of neutral grain alcohol and flavored with botanicals, most notably juniper berries. Other botanicals commonly used in gin include coriander, angelica root, citrus peel, and orris root. These ingredients are added during distillation or after the distillation process through steeping or infusion.
Sloe gin, on the other hand, is a liqueur made by steeping sloe berries in gin along with sugar. Sloe berries are the fruit of the blackthorn bush and have a tart and slightly bitter taste. The steeping process allows the flavor of the sloe berries to infuse into the gin, creating a sweet and fruity liqueur. The sugar added to the mixture helps to balance out the tartness of the sloe berries and creates a smoother, more approachable flavor.
In terms of taste, sloe gin is sweeter and fruitier than gin, with a lower alcohol content. It is typically enjoyed as a sipping liqueur or as a component in cocktails, such as the classic Sloe Gin Fizz.
Overall, while gin and sloe gin share a similar base spirit, they differ significantly in terms of flavor profile and production methods.
Alabama Slammer Cocktail Recipe:
Here’s a classic recipe for an Alabama Slammer cocktail:
- 1 oz sloe gin
- 1 oz Southern Comfort
- 1 oz amaretto
- 2 oz orange juice
- Splash of grenadine
- Orange slice (for garnish)
How to Make an Alabama Slammer
- Fill a shaker with ice.
- Add sloe gin, Southern Comfort, amaretto, and orange juice to the shaker.
- Shake well until the mixture is chilled.
- Strain the mixture into a tall glass filled with ice.
- Add a splash of grenadine to the top of the drink.
- Garnish with an orange slice.
- For a less sweet version of the cocktail, you can reduce the amount of amaretto or use a lighter, unsweetened almond liqueur instead.
- You can also adjust the amount of orange juice or grenadine to your taste preferences.
- If you don’t have a shaker, you can use a jar or another container with a tight-fitting lid to mix the ingredients.
What Cocktails are Similar to an Alabama Slammer?
The Alabama Slammer is a fruity and sweet cocktail, and there are several similar cocktails that you might enjoy. Here are a few options:
- Sloe Comfortable Screw: This cocktail is similar to the Alabama Slammer but replaces the amaretto with vodka. The recipe typically includes 1 oz sloe gin, 1 oz Southern Comfort, 1 oz vodka, and orange juice.
- Fuzzy Navel: This cocktail is a classic fruity drink made with peach schnapps and orange juice. To make a Fuzzy Navel, simply mix 1 oz peach schnapps with 4 oz orange juice in a glass filled with ice.
- Sex on the Beach: This tropical cocktail is made with vodka, peach schnapps, orange juice, and cranberry juice. To make a Sex on the Beach, mix 1 oz vodka, 1 oz peach schnapps, 2 oz orange juice, and 2 oz cranberry juice in a shaker filled with ice. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a slice of orange.
- Woo Woo: This simple cocktail is made with vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. Mix 1 oz vodka, 1 oz peach schnapps, and 2 oz cranberry juice in a shaker with ice. Strain into a glass filled with ice and garnish with a wedge of lime.
All of these cocktails share a similar sweet and fruity flavor profile to the Alabama Slammer, so if you enjoy that drink, you’ll likely enjoy these as well.
- 1 ounce amaretto liqueur
- 1-ounce whiskey
- 1/2 ounce sloe gin
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 cup ice, plus more to fill a glass
- 1 cherry, optional, for garnish
- 1 Orange wheel for garnish
- Prepare glass by filling it with
- Combine the amaretto, whiskey, sloe
gin, and lemon juice in a cocktail shaker.
- Add the ice to the shaker and shake
- Strain the cocktail liquid into the
- Garnish with a cherry and an orange wheel on the glass rim.