Southern Corn WhiskeyAmericus, Georgia The only craft distillery in Georgia, Thirteenth Colony makes two varieties of vodka and an award-winning gin. But distiller Graham Arthur also produces a limited run of this Southern Corn Whiskey, developed from a traditional regional recipe and aged in old oak barrels. 13colony.net
In an old-fashioned glass, muddle the sugar, water, bitters, and orange peel together until the sugar has dissolved. Fill glass with ice, add whiskey, and stir. Garnish with a cherry.
American Spirit WhiskeyAtlanta, Georgia/Charleston, South Carolina Somewhere between moonshine and bourbon, this white whiskey is ultra-filtered to mellow the bite typical in most un-aged whiskies. Its versatility makes it a great base spirit for cocktails. americanspiritwhiskey.com
White Christmas Julep 1 oz. American Spirit Whiskey ½ oz. peppermint schnapps ½ oz. creme de cacao 3 oz. half-and-half
Combine ingredients in a cocktail glass over ice and stir. Garnish with a mint leaf.
Cardinal GinKings Mountain, North Carolina Operating out of an old textile mill, the Mauney family spent two years developing the recipe for their Cardinal Gin—a smooth Western-style gin in which fresh organic botanicals trump the usually dominant juniper. southernartisanspirits.com
Simple gin and tonic served with a lime.
Hoodoo Chicory LiqueurJackson, Mississippi From the makers of Cathead vodka comes Hoodoo, a brand-new chicory liqueur reminiscent of New Orleans–style coffee. Not too sweet, not too bitter. catheadvodka.com
Café Au Lait 5 oz. brewed coffee, hot 2½ oz. steamed milk 2 oz. Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur
In a cappuccino cup, combine coffee and steamed milk. Then add liqueur and stir.
Arkansas LightningLittle Rock, Arkansas A traditional moonshine early bootleggers would appreciate, Arkansas Lightning is pot-distilled and made with Arkansas corn and wheat. Careful, this stuff’s bottled at 125 proof. arkansaslightning.com
Lightning Tea 1 oz. Arkansas Lightning 7 oz. sweet tea
Mix in a tall glass with ice.
Lewis Redmond Carolina Bourbon Whiskey Greenville, South Carolina Tucked in the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains (Carolina moonshine country), Dark Corner Distillery has just released South Carolina’s first hand-mashed bourbon since Prohibition—named for the notorious nineteenth-century bootlegger Lewis Redmond. darkcornerdistillery.com
Smith’s Premium Vodka Smithville, Texas Farm to bottle—and back again. This vodka from Bone Spirits is triple-distilled and made with locally sourced Texas grains. After distillation, the fermented grains are given back to the farmers to be used as fertilizer or livestock feed. bonespirits.com
Smith’s White Russian 1½ oz. Smith's Vodka 1 oz. Kahlua 1 oz. light cream
In a shaker half filled with ice cubes, combine all ingredients and shake well. Strain into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice cubes.
RED AbsintheNashville, Tennessee Inside the former home of Yazoo Brewery, Corsair distillers Darek Bell and Andrew Webber like to experiment. If you’re feeling adventurous yourself, try their RED Absinthe—a traditional nineteenth-century recipe augmented with citrus, tarragon, and red hibiscus for floral notes and color. corsairartisan.com
Love in the Afternoon Bitters (Angostura or Peychaud's) Sugar cube 1 oz. Corsair Red Absinthe 4 oz. dry champagne
Shake one dash bitters onto sugar cube. Pour absinthe into flute, and add cube. Slowly add bubbly.
No. 1 Texas Single Malt Whisky Waco, Texas Centuries-old Scottish distilling tradition gets a Texas transformation with this award-winning single-malt whiskey from the folks at Balcones. From inspecting raw ingredients to bottling and labeling, they take the handcrafted moniker seriously. balconesdistilling.com