Southern Comfort: Now With Real Whiskey

The New York Times: “Sazerac Company bought Southern Comfort from the liquor conglomerate Brown-Forman last year … A new-and-improved Southern Comfort will hit the shelves in July, with a redesigned label and bottle. Flavored versions like Lime Comfort and Caramel Comfort will be phased out. But, most important, Southern Comfort will get back the one ingredient that many people have long assumed it contained: whiskey.”

“Once upon a time, Southern Comfort did include whiskey, though the complete formula has always been kept a secret. It was created by Martin W. Heron, purportedly while working at a New Orleans saloon … But by the time Brown-Forman bought the brand in 1979, the kick inside the bottle was provided not by whiskey, but by grain neutral spirit — basically a generic alcohol free of character, not unlike vodka.”

“In addition to the existing 70-proof and 100-proof versions, the company will introduce an 80-proof Southern Comfort that is considerably more whiskey-forward. Sazerac is also working on other whiskey-focused renditions, including Southern Comfort Rye and Southern Comfort Barrel Select … Sazerac thinks that the drink’s future depends on consumers’ thinking ‘whiskey’ and not ‘liqueur’ when they buy or order it.”

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