The Alabama Slammer cocktail was a hit around bars in the 1970s and into the 1980s. Popular with crowds at college football games, they were a staple drink at the University of Alabama, which is where the drink is said to have originated from.
It comes in two forms, both the shooter and the highball recipe contain the same ingredients. Yet the proportions differ to account for volume and the mixed drink contains a lot more orange juice. It’s fun, fruity, and punchy and once you learn how to make it yourself, you won’t look back.
The Alabama Slammer usually traditionally contains sloe gin, amaretto, and Southern Comfort which adds a slight apricot flavor that compliments the amaretto and gin well. It is then always finished with a dash of orange juice.
Although more popular a few decades ago, the Alabama Slammer is often served as retro-themed parties, when celebrating a University of Alabama Crimson Tide victory or out the garden during summer in when you fancy a fruit throwback.
It was created back in time where bartenders enjoyed mixing very strong drinks and nowadays, even the Southern Comfort and sloe gin are less popular.
So why not treat yourself and allow yourself to go back in time? How exactly do you make it? We’ve written this article to help you out and get you shaking that cocktail mixer in no time.
Brief History Of The Alabama Slammer
The story of the Alabama Slammer, as we have previously mentioned was popular in the 1970s near the University of Alabama.
Its famous school color of crimson is the same as the shot of this drink. It was an era of sweet and fruity drinks, which included sloe gin and Southern Comfort. However, people liked to switch up this recipe so that it wasn’t about ingredients anymore, but more about reaching that perfect crimson color. If it reached this color and had amaretto in it, it could be called an Alabama Slammer.
We have included some recipe variations in this article, but don’t be afraid to experiment yourself, it’s part of the fun! Although the crimson color is the aim, some tall mixed versions of this drink are yellow and use more orange or pineapple juice. These are usually called yellowhammers, which is the state bird of Alabama.
Cocktail or Shot?
This is one of those drinks that can be served as a cocktail, over some ice in a highball glass. But if you’re looking to jumpstart the party, you can serve in shot form too. The portions and the garnish change slightly between the shot and the Alabama Slammer cocktail, but the ingredients are the same!
Here’s what you need for the cocktail:
- 1 oz Southern Comfort
- 1 oz amaretto liqueur
- 1 oz sloe gin
- 2 oz orange juice
- Orange wheel (or slice) and maraschino cherry, to garnish
And here’s what you need for the shot:
- 1/2 oz Southern Comfort
- 1/2 oz amaretto liqueur
- 1/2 oz sloe gin
- 1/2 oz orange juice
The three different liquors used in this Alabama Slammer shot recipe (see also: Cactus Cooler Shot Recipe)are quite mild, meaning the shot itself will only be around 20 percent ABV (40 proof), which is around half of the strength of a straight shot of whiskey. If you wanted something slightly stronger, you can always adapt and mix it up with your preference.
- 1 oz Southern Comfort
- 1 oz amaretto liquor
- 1 oz sloe gin
- 2 oz orange juice
- orange wheel, (used for garnish)
- optional maraschino cherry, (used for garnish)
- Pour out the Southern Comfort, amaretto, sloe gin, and orange juice into a cocktail shaker
- Fill up the shaker with ice and shake vigorously
- Strain into a highball glass and serve over fresh ice
- Use the orange wheel and maraschino cherry for garnish and you’re done!
Highball Recipe Variations
- You can use a dash of grenadine instead of sloe gin and up to 4 ounces of orange juice. For this recipe, the Southern Comfort and amaretto remain at 1-ounce pours.
- You can even use both grenadine and slow gin, this will be incredibly sweet, however, and might require more orange juice.
- Some Alabama Slammer recipes add an extra kick with either vodka or bourbon. Some add a single shot of either liquor and others skip the amaretto entirely, adding 1 ounce of both liquors instead. You would also have to reduce the sloe gin to ¾ ounce for this recipe.
- At Gallettes Tuscaloosa, which is a bar near the Alabama football stadium, the Alabama Slammer is also known as a yellowhammer. This recipe mixes equal parts vodka, light rum, and amaretto with both orange and pineapple juice.
- It’s important to note that although an Alabama Slammer can be delicious, it can also be incredibly strong. Southern Comfort is available at various strengths however and if you opt for the strongest version, the drink will end up with an alcohol content of 18 percent ABV (36 proof). This is high for a highball drink and so if you wanted something light, maybe search for a Southern Comfort that isn’t as strong.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 1 Serving Size: 1 grams
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 276Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 5mgCarbohydrates: 37gFiber: 3gSugar: 30gProtein: 2g
Our Final Thoughts & Alabama Slammer Tips
- The shot recipe shakes up to around 2 ¼ ounces unless it is a tall one and this might not fit all into your shot glass. To fix this, strain it into a rock’s glass or create two shorter shots and cheers with a friend.
- Check out our blueberry gin fizz recipe for a similarly tasty gin cocktail idea.
- You can also build the highball drink directly into the serving glass. To do this, ensure you have mixed well and the flavor becomes one.
- Sloe gin is a liquor rather than a gin and is sometimes used as a base liquor. It is flavored with sloes which is the fruit of a blackthorn bush and many of the sloe gins you can find at the liquor store are overly sweet, leading you to potentially accidentally overpower your Alabama Slammer. If you purchase one of these, use only ½ ounce of sloe gin and pour in some extra orange juice to make up for it.
- Don’t pick the cheapest bottle of sloe gin. If you spend slightly more, you’ll improve not only your Alabama Slammer but all of your sloe gin drinks. We recommend the Monkey (see also: Monkey Shoulder Review)47 Sloe Gin and the Plymouth Sloe Gin.