Drinks

Nine Southern Small-Batch Spirits

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Southern Corn Whiskey 
Americus, 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

Serving suggestion:

Southern Old-Fashioned
1 tsp. granulated sugar
1 tsp. water
2 dashes Angostura bitters
1 slice orange peel
2 oz. Southern Corn Whiskey
Maraschino cherry

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 Whiskey Atlanta, 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

Serving suggestion:

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 Gin Kings 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

Serving suggestion:

Simple gin and tonic served with a lime.

Hoodoo Chicory Liqueur Jackson, 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

Serving suggestion:

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 Lightning Little 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

Serving suggestion:

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

Serving suggestion:

Neat.

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

Serving suggestion:

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 Absinthe Nashville, 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

Serving suggestion:

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

Serving suggestion:

Neat.

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