Southern Comfort

On a walking cocktail tour of New Orleans, I had the pleasure of having Billy as a guide. Billy was full of personality and information. It was hard to get lost on this tour with his tall stature and bright Southern Comfort shirt. It was quite obvious he has been doing this for awhile, as he knew everything and answered all sorts of questions.

"Welcome to the Southern Comfort Cocktail Tour! New Orleans is a city with more than 3,000 drinking establishments, more per capita than anywhere else in the United States." stated Billy. He went on to further explain that "Southern Comfort is also a part of the history of alcohol in New Orleans.

In 1874, M.G McCauley, the proprietor of McCauley's Tavern in the French Quarter had just purchased a barrel of whiskey for the hefty amount of $300.00. The problem was the whiskey did not taste very good. So he summoned a young bartender named M.W. Heron, and asked him to work his special talents on the barrels contents. As was the practice in that time, mixologists like Heron often "tinkered" with the lower end "rotgut" whiskey being produced in America at that time to produce a more pleasant taste. Heron signature mixes featured a blending of flavors; vanilla, orange, citrus, herbs, and cinnamon were among the ingredients he added to whiskey barrels to produce what he called "Cuffs and Buttons."

Later, he took that same formula and began bottling the stuff in a squat, long-necked bottle with the black-and-gold label called Southern Comfort!