Alabama Slammer

The Alabama Slammer cocktail, supposedly first mixed at the University of Alabama in the early 1970s, is a remnant of a dark time in cocktails. The libationary art had dwindled to a sad state affairs, dominated by colorful, syrupy-sweet fruit drinks designed to lure young women into discotheques.

The Alabama Slammer ought to be a dusty relic of a dreary age – but surprisingly, the drink is actually kinda-sorta good when elevated with fresh ingredients and spirits and re-jiggered by Dale DeGroff.

The sloe gin you use makes a difference – the corn syrup swill you find in most grocery stores in the US doesn’t hold a candle to the real thing. For the best possible drink, use a high-quality true sloe gin, and squeeze your own fresh oranges. This drink is typically served as a shooter, but we love it as a long drink over ice, with an extra helping of orange juice on top to round it off.

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Shake with ice and strain into several shot glasses, or just pour it all into an ice-filled tall glass. Dash the top of each with grenadine or a bit more sloe gin.

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