Sipping the South: The essential recipes

Five Southern-style cocktails that every Floridian should know.

click to enlarge Sipping the South: The essential recipes - Chris Fasick
Chris Fasick
Sipping the South: The essential recipes


Through the course of history, there have been countless drinks to come and go without leaving as much as a trace in our memory banks. Then there are the beverages that stand the test of time — the true classics. 

This recipe breakdown will take you on a tour of some essential Southern cocktails worth remembering. A few favorites, such as the Sazerac, go back as far as the 1800s, while the list’s two original formulas use staple spirits and ingredients from the South. Go from Kentucky to Louisiana, then all the way down to FLA.

For more cocktail recipes, be sure to check out my recurring CL column, On the Sauce. There's a new one every Wednesday.

click to enlarge Sipping the South: The essential recipes - Chris Fasick
Chris Fasick
Sipping the South: The essential recipes

Kentucky Mule

Makes 1

A Southern variation on a vodka classic that calls for bourbon.

Ingredients 

2 ounces Kentucky bourbon
4 ounces ginger beer
Lime wheel, for garnish

Directions 

Fill a copper mug with ice, bourbon and ginger beer. Garnish with a lime wheel.

click to enlarge Sipping the South: The essential recipes - Chris Fasick
Chris Fasick
Sipping the South: The essential recipes

Sazerac

Makes 1

This New Orleans mainstay is likely the oldest cocktail on our list.

Ingredients

2 ounces rye whiskey
1 splash simple syrup
2 dashes bitters
1 ounce absinthe

Directions 

Chill a rocks glass by filling it with ice. In a second rocks glass, add rye whiskey, simple syrup and your favorite bitters. Dump out ice from first glass, add absinthe and move glass around to rinse, and then discard. Fill second glass with ice and stir until glass is frosty. Strain into absinthe-washed glass. Garnish with a lemon peel twist.

click to enlarge Sipping the South: The essential recipes - Chris Fasick
Chris Fasick
Sipping the South: The essential recipes

Moonshine Punch

Makes 1

An original that uses the earliest of Southern boozes.

Ingredients

3-4 ounces cherry moonshine
6-8 ounces pomegranate juice
Juice of 1/2 lemon

Directions 

Fill a Mason jar with ice. Add moonshine and pomegranate juice. Squeeze in lemon, and then stir.


Mint Julep

Makes 1

Skip the Derby races and make this beloved sipper at home.

Ingredients

10 mint leaves, plus 1 mint sprig for garnish
2 teaspoons sugar
2.5 ounces Kentucky bourbon
Soda water (optional)

Directions 

In a copper mug or rocks glass, add mint and sugar. Muddle until mint is broken down, and then fill with ice. Add bourbon and stir until copper mug is chilled. Garnish with a mint sprig. For those not up to drinking straight bourbon, top with soda water, if desired.

click to enlarge Sipping the South: The essential recipes - Chip Weiner
Chip Weiner
Sipping the South: The essential recipes

Strawberry-Basil Mojito

Makes 1-2

I cook with my senses, not my brain: taste, texture, scent, appearance, sound. That’s how we make this other original, a Southern-y spin on the mojito. —Cathy Salustri

Ingredients

1 container strawberries, sliced
Fresh basil
Fresh mint
2 counts simple syrup
5 counts rum
Soda water

Directions 

Cover bottom of a cocktail shaker two layers deep with strawberries. Add torn basil and mint (enough to cover the red but not so much that some red doesn’t show through), and then simple syrup. Muddle before adding ice and rum. Shake vigorously. Add soda, or regular, water to fill glass. Serve over ice.

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