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.
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.
- The Joy of Mixology by Gary Regan