Which Fruit Is Used to Flavor Southern Comfort?

While the exact recipe for Southern Comfort is a tightly guarded secret, its website hints that more than one fruit is used in making the liqueur. Southern Comfort is a brand of liqueur that came from a drink that was created by Martin Wilkes Heron at McCauley’s Saloon in New Orleans in 1885.

The story goes that patrons of McCauley’s wanted a drink that went down smoother than the usual unrefined whiskey and bourbon. In response, Heron reportedly mixed fruits and spices with bourbon and called the drink Cuffs & Buttons. Heron soon renamed his creation Southern Comfort, which won a medal in Paris in 1900.

Before Heron passed on in 1920, he reportedly shared his secret recipe for Southern Comfort with a confidant who held on to the recipe until the Prohibition was lifted. The confidant then sold the recipe to the Fowler family, who began marketing the liqueur.

Although the original recipe included bourbon, experts agree that Southern Comfort is made using 100 percent grain neutral spirit as base. This also is contrary to the popular notion that the liqueur is a whiskey.

According to Chuck Cowdery, a former employee at Southern Comfort, the other ingredients of the drink are fruit concentrate and sugar. The fruit concentrate is made in a facility in Puerto Rico and the dominant fruit is apricot.