Get ready for football season with an Alabama Slammer

Brian Rung

The “back to school” sales are in full swing and we're winding down our summer vacations, these are signs of good things to come. That's right, we are literally weeks away from college football!
The official Week 1 Kickoff will take place on Saturday September 3, but if you can't wait that long there will be “Week Zero” action during the weekend of 8/27.
To the surprise of absolutely nobody, the pollsters and the oddsmakers have the Alabama Crimson Tide as the favorite to win it all at SoFi Stadium (Inglewood, CA) on January 9.
Last year's National Champion Georgia Bulldogs enter the season with the second-best odds to win the Championship, ahead of the Ohio State Buckeyes coming in with the third-best odds.
This week we will toast The Tide and the 2022 college football season with one of the most enduring Southeastern cocktails, the Alabama Slammer.
The Alabama Slammer was wildly popular in college bars of the 80s, both in and outside of Alabama. The cocktail is strong, sweet, easy to drink, and can be served as a highball or as a shooter.
Very little is known about the origin of the Slammer other than it was invented at The University of Alabama around 1975, and that it is the “official” drink of the Crimson Tide.
This is the first Sunday Cocktail of the year to pour the three spirits used in the Alabama Slammer: sloe gin, amaretto, and Southern Comfort.
Sloe gin: Sloe gin is a berry-based liqueur, not a traditional “gin.” There are many Alabama Slammer recipes in cyberspace that call for grenadine in place of sloe gin due to the limited availability of sloe gin.
The decline in the availability of sloe gin over the last few decades coincided with the decline in popularity of the signature sloe gin cocktail, the Sloe Gin Fizz. Lack of availability may have been an issue up to a few years ago, but it is certainly not the case today.
Sloe gin has made a comeback and several gin distillers are again offering sloe gin as the appreciation for classic cocktails continues to grow. Your local spirits retailer will likely have a few sloe gin offerings, the most widely available brands are Plymouth, Hayman's, and Bol's.
Amaretto: If you do not have amaretto in your home bar, be sure to include a bottle on the shopping list for your next trip to your local spirits retailer.
Amaretto is a sweet almond-based Italian liqueur that can be enjoyed as a stand-alone drink or in one of the many amaretto cocktails. Several distillers produce their own brand of amaretto, but Disaronno is the most widely used brand in US bars and restaurants.
Southern Comfort: “SoCo” is often referred to as whiskey, which it is not. The original recipe was bourbon-based, but included the added sweetness of vanilla bean, cherry, orange, cinnamon, honey, and a few other ingredients.
Southern Comfort was invented in New Orleans by Martin Wilkes Heron, a bartender at McCauley's Tavern in the French Quarter.
Heron patented his creation in 1889 and Southern Comfort would eventually win a gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis.
There are several Southern Comfort offerings available in the US, I recommend either the 70 proof or the 100 proof for use in the Alabama Slammer.
The Crimson Tide opens the 2022 campaign at home against Utah State on Saturday September 3, 6:30 PM.
The Alabama Slammer is built in a shaker, served in a Collins (tall) glass.
Fill shaker with ice
Add 1 oz Southern Comfort
Add 1 oz amaretto
Add 1 oz sloe gin
Add 2 oz orange juice
Shake and strain into ice-filled highball glass.
Until next week, enjoy responsibly.