It’s no secret that we Southerners like to have a cocktail or two every now and again and lucky for us there are plenty of really great Southern-made spirits out there to mix it up. Whether you’re tailgating before the big game or rocking on the front porch watching the sun go down, whip up a cocktail with one of these liquors made right here in the South.

Well, you can’t talk about Southern liquor without mentioning bourbon, so we’ll jump right into it …

Bourbon

Buffalo Trace Eagle Rare

Maybe it’s the notes of toffee and honey but we can’t get enough of Buffalo Trace’s Eagle Rare Bourbon made in Frankfort, KY. Aged no less than 10 years, it’s so smooth, it’s scary. It’s become our go-to drink for any drinking occasion but we’ve found that you can’t always find it at restaurants and bars — so when we do find it, it’s a must order.

SB Tip: If you ever get the chance to visit the Buffalo Trace Distillery, do it. We went on the tour this summer and were amazed at how beautiful the grounds were and how much history there is surrounding the distillery and distilling process. Plus, it’s supposedly haunted … Oh, and bourbon balls at the end of the tasting never hurt anyone. If you can, get on a tour led by Freddie Johnson. He’s the man and is third generation of his family to work at Buffalo Trace. It’s been months and we still talk about Freddie’s tour …

Eagle Rare|styleblueprint.com

Eagle Rare is a must try. Image: Bourbon of the Day

Freddie Johnson|styleblueprint

Freddie Johnson: the man, the myth, the legend | Image: Facebook

Lewis Redmond Bourbon

Bourbon purists who believe bourbon is only made in Kentucky might disagree with this choice but Dark Corner Distillery in Greenville, SC (yes, THAT Greenville), is breaking all the rules with its Lewis Redmond Carolina Bourbon that’s aptly named after a 19th century outlaw and bootlegger who was pardoned for his crimes under one condition: He had to start making his hand-mashed whiskey for the Palmetto State. We’re glad he did because we’re loving the molasses and peanut accents of this bourbon.

Lewis Redmond Bourbon|styleblueprint.com

Kentucky’s not the only state making bourbon these days. Image: Facebook

13th Colony Sour-Mash Bourbon

Alright, here’s another bourbon we found that’s made outside of Kentucky. This sour-mash bourbon is distilled in Americas, GA, by 13th Colony Distilleries and has been meticulously aged in charred American oak barrels for three years. It has notes of cinnamon, caramel and vanilla creme — but be careful because it packs a big punch at 105-proof!

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American oak barrels at 13th Colony Distilleries. Image: Facebook

Vodka

Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka

We discovered Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka last summer and are really, really happy we did. It’s light and refreshing and makes us nostalgic about picking honeysuckle off the vines as kids. We also love the vodka’s sweet (but not too sweet!) finish that keeps it from having an overwhelming ethanol bite at the end. They have several other flavors including pecan and a seasonal pumpkin spice. Cathead Distillery is located in Jackson, MS.

Cathead Vodka|styleblueprint.com

Take a sip and get nostalgic with Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka. Image: Facebook

Dixie Southern Vodka

Out of Charleston, SC, Dixie Southern Vodka is another great vodka that’s winning the flavor game. With a wide variety including mint, citrus and black pepper, the cocktail combinations you can make with these are endless.

Dixie Southern Vodka|styleblueprint.com

The wide variety of vodka flavors by Dixie Southern Vodka. Image: Facebook

Deep Eddy Ruby Red Vodka

Distilled in Dripping Springs, TX, right outside of Austin, Deep Eddy’s Ruby Red Vodka is a grapefruit-infused vodka that’s so tasty you’ll want it just on the rocks. Deep Eddy’s goes the extra mile distilling their vodkas 10 times, giving it a cleaner and smoother finish, so drink up! It has real fruit in it, so it’s gotta be good for you, right?!

Deep Eddy Ruby Red|styleblueprint.com

We’re big fans of the Ruby Red grapefruit-infused vodka from Deep Eddy. Image: Facebook

Gin

Doc Porter’s Gin

Doc Porter’s Distillery gin made in Charlotte, NC, is a personal favorite of ours because they are very careful about not adding too much juniper during the distilling process, which is what gives a lot of gins a licorice flavor and the reason why some people don’t like to drink it. Doc did it right! It’s the smoothest gin we’ve ever tasted — and know even non-gin drinkers will like this version.

Doc Porter's Gin|styleblueprint.com

We’re happy to have found a gin that even non-gin drinkers will enjoy! Image: Facebook

Cardinal American Dry Gin

Another homegrown, Carolina-made gin that caught our attention is Cardinal American Dry Gin made in Kings Mountain, NC, by Southern Artisan Spirits — the third legal distillery to open in the Tar Heel State. They pride themselves on using all organic ingredients and 11 different botanicals to get what they consider the perfect gin flavor.

Cardinal American Dry Gin| styleblueprint.com

The cardinal on the bottle represents the North Carolina state bird. Image: Facebook

Silverback Distillery Strange Monkey Gin

Strange Monkey Gin from Silverback Distillery located in Afton, VA, captures everything drinkers love about traditional gin — the predominate botanical flavors of juniper, coriander and bitter orange peel. Plus, how cool are the bottles? They’re sure to be a conversation starter at any function.

Strange Monkey Gin|styleblueprint.com

We think these bottles are the bees knees. Image: Facebook

WARNING: Your Southern drawl may become slurred with consumption — and always drink responsibly. Cheers!

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