Alabama has hundreds of signature dishes, but you have to wash them down with something equally special, right? We’ve compiled just a few of the state’s best-loved cocktails, locally brewed beer and even wine.
Served by Dram Whiskey Bar, Mountain Brook
Clearly, bourbon is this elegant watering hole’s forte. But in the Smokehouse, the spirit is infused with bacon — yes, really — and mixed with a bit of honey. It even comes garnished with a crisp bacon slice.
Served by Bottega Café, Birmingham
The drinks at famed Chef Frank Stitt’s Italian restaurant are all top-notch, but this original creation is the one you’ll see everybody sipping on the patio. The simple combination of vodka, orange liqueur and orange juice is refreshing and pairs excellently with food.
Served by LuLu’s at Homeport Marina, Gulf Shores
It’s only appropriate that the beach bar owned by Jimmy Buffet’s sister Lucy serves an array of tropical beverages. The specialty of the house is this powerful combo of grapefruit vodka, coconut rum, cranberry and lime.
Served by Niffer’s Place, Auburn
Bring some friends and share this massive concoction, which does indeed come in a fishbowl and is available in several flavors. Niffer’s, a campus favorite, has been serving greasy snacks and tasty libations to Auburn students for more than 20 years.
Served by Ollie Irene, Mountain Brook
Dropping a handful of peanuts into a bottle of Coca-Cola is a Southern tradition, and this cocktail takes that even further, adding house-made peanut syrup to a Jack and Coke. It’s unbelievably delicious.
St G Shandy
Served by El Rey Burrito Lounge, Montgomery
Besides having Montgomery’s best beer selection, El Rey also offers cocktail menus that change with the seasons. The highlight of the fall list is this mix of St-Germain elderflower liqueur, lemon, club soda and — appropriately enough — German pilsner.
Spicy Peach Margarita
Served by Little Savannah, Birmingham
Bartender Steva Casey whips up an amazing assortment of sophisticated cocktails with names inspired from literature at this neighborhood favorite. Her twist on the margarita uses ginger, jalapeño and locally grown peaches to create something deliciously different.
Southern Swamp Water
Served by True Montgomery, Montgomery
This cloudy green drink looks like its namesake but tastes much better. It’s an unusual combo of kumquat, celery and vodka that must be sipped to be appreciated.
Served by Gallettes, Tuscaloosa
During Crimson Tide home games, Gallettes gets as many as 5,000 orders for its signature drink. That makes sense since it’s the closest bar to Bryant-Denny Stadium. The ingredients are a secret, but suffice it to say this cocktail is sweet, fruity and very strong.
Lily Flagg Milk Stout
Brewed by Straight to Ale, Huntsville
Named for a local cow that won national awards for its milk production in the late 1800s, this rich and creamy beer is best enjoyed in the taproom of the brewery that makes it, though you can also get it at many bars in the Huntsville area.
Spring Street Saison
Brewed by Avondale Brewing Co., Birmingham
Bringing a classic Belgian-style beer to Sweet Home Alabama, this brew has a sweet, malty flavor that as you swallow morphs into a complex mix of spice and fruit flavors.
Bottled by Vizzini Farms Winery, Calera
Alabama’s wineries may not be the nation’s most famous, but they create many distinctive bottlings. This sweet red has the unmistakable tang of muscadine, marking it as Southern through and through.
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