How to Drink Southern Comfort: Cocktails & Mixers

Make no mistake, SoCo might be a southern classic, but it's a key player in the modern cocktail scene.

Published September 24, 2023
Southern Comfort bottle | Getty Editorial Use

If you travel the roads of whiskey and bourbon, you'll find Southern Comfort somewhere along the hills and valleys, just off the main road. It's not quite whiskey, but instead a liqueur that's whiskey-flavored with smooth and sweet notes.

SoCo, as it is also known, has more fruits and spices than you'll find in the usual whiskeys. Grab a bottle and pour yourself some over ice while you dabble in this comfort. 

What Is Southern Comfort?

As far back as the 1880s, you could find Southern Comfort in New Orleans. Ebbing in and out of popularity, with its peach, orange, and spiced flavors a staple in many homes, the 1940s and Janis Joplin brought SoCo back into the spotlight.

And that's where this liqueur has stayed. Although some enjoy its versatility and frugal price a little more than others, most bars continue to carry SoCo. And Southern Comfort isn't actually a whiskey. Because of all the extra additions, technically, it's a liqueur. 

What Does SoCo Taste Like?

Sweet and oh-so very much smoother than a rye or bourbon, it’s fruity yet spiced, almost like a spiced rum, but with fruit flavors keeping it light and honeyed. Make no mistake, though, SoCo still packs a boozy wallop. 

Try SoCo in Cocktails

While some like SoCo for its unusual flavor, others prefer to mix it into cocktails. 

Alabama Slammer

Refreshing Boozy Southern Alabama Slammer Cocktail

There are few drinks from the 1970s as iconic as the Alabama slammer. As notable as the pink squirrel or grasshopper, you won't need to garnish the slammer with antacids.


  • 1½ ounces Southern Comfort
  • ¾ ounce amaretto
  • ¾ ounce sloe gin
  • 2 ounces freshly squeezed orange juice
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, optional
  • Ice
  • Orange slice for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, Southern Comfort, amaretto, sloe gin, orange juice, and, if desired, lime juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with an orange slice. 

Southern Mule

Moscow Mule Cocktail

SoCo and ginger beer go together like sugar and iced tea, Gasparilla and Tampa, Friday nights and high school football. So of course a southern mule will really kick the tastebuds into high gear with the flavors. 


  • 2 ounces SoCo
  • ½ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Ginger beer to top off
  • Lime wedge and mint sprig for garnish


  1. In a rocks glass or copper mug, add ice, SoCo, and lime juice.
  2. Top off with ginger beer.
  3. Stir briefly to mix.
  4. Garnish with a lime wedge and mint sprig. 

SoCo Manhattan

Homemade Manhattan with a Cherry Garnish

A classic Manhattan cocktail has a signature burn. But when you leave the rye on the shelf in favor of some Southern Comfort, it's suddenly spiced and hits all the right notes.



  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a mixing glass, add ice, SoCo, sweet vermouth, and bitters.
  3. Stir rapidly to chill.
  4. Strain into the chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cocktail cherries.

SoCo Sour

Whiskey sour cocktail with bourbon, lemon juice, egg white and ice, rocks glass on bright green background

The Southern Comfort sour is the perfect medium between a nutty and sweet amaretto sour and the spirit-forward whiskey sour. And we mean perfect.


  • 1½ ounces Southern Comfort
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ½ ounce simple syrup
  • 1 egg white
  • 1-2 dashes aromatic bitters
  • Ice
  • Orange wedge and cherry for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add SoCo, lemon juice, simple syrup, bitters, and egg white. 
  2. Dry shake for approximately 45 seconds to mix ingredients and create a froth.
  3. Add ice to the shaker.
  4. Shake to chill.
  5. Double strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice.
  6. Garnish with an orange wedge and cherry.

Southern Island Iced Tea With SoCo

Southern iced tea

The Long Island Rail Road hops the tracks and heads south for a boozy SoCo twist on the usual southern sweet tea.


  • ¾ ounce Southern Comfort
  • ½ ounce spiced rum
  • ½ ounce vodka
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur
  • 3 ounces iced tea
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Mint sprig for garnish


  1. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, SoCo, spiced rum, vodka, orange liqueur, iced tea, and lemon juice.
  2. Shake to chill.
  3. Strain into a highball glass over fresh ice.
  4. Garnish with a mint sprig. 

What to Mix With Southern Comfort

Curious about other ways to sip some SoCo without going full cocktail? You can enjoy Southern Comfort on its own, enjoying it neat or over some ice. You can even shoot some SoCo, but chill your shot glass first. Naturally, you can shake or stir your SoCo with any of these mixers for a quick and easy highball instead. 

Mastering SoCo Mixology

Take a trip down to the Big Easy for a whiskey-esque flavor that doesn’t have the same burn or bite but still gives you all that flavor that your heart wishes for. With such timeless appeal, indulge in this versatile and tasty southern tradition. 

How to Drink Southern Comfort: Cocktails & Mixers