A shot of Vodka, some Southern Comfort, sloe gin, orange juice, and a hint of grenadine to add color. This is the preferred drink of choice for the University of Alabama Crimson Tide fans. The Alabama Slammer is one heck of a shot that'll have you singing, Yea Alabama all night long.
Born in (or around) the University of Alabama, this cocktail got its start as a sweet shot you could take with friends while rooting for the team. Unlike today, where drinks are meticulously created for flavor, the classic cocktails of the 1970s were created as if the bartenders were going only for aesthetics. You can't deny that crimson color, but in today's tastes, sloe gin and Southern Comfort are rarely on the top of anyone's "must-have" lists.
According to Punch, the cocktail was introduced nationally in the 1971 edition of the Playboy Bartender's Guide, where the drink recipe included amaretto liqueur and lemon juice. Then in 1984, the drink was revamped a second time in Mr. Boston Official Bartender's Guide, where orange juice was still missing from the recipe.
It wasn't until the 1988 film Cocktail, that the Alabama Slammer got the attention it deserved. In Tom Cruise's "last barman poet" speech, Cruise shared the lines:
I am the world's last barman poet.
I see America drinking the fabulous cocktails I make.
Americans getting stinking on something I stir or shake.
The Sex on the Beach,
The Schnapps made from peach,
The Velvet Hammer,
The Alabama Slammer.
From then on, the shot got transformed into a pitcher cocktail at TGI-Fridays for years.
How To Make an Alabama Slammer
While this drink was originally created to be taken as a shot, it is very easily transformed into a cocktail with the addition of ice and a highball glass. Add all ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice and shake until combined. Pour into a highball glass filled with ice and garnish with a cherry and slice of orange.