The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails

Sara Camp Milam and Jerry Slater
Photographs by Andrew Thomas Lee

A fun and fabulous SFA cocktail recipe book for the love of entertaining


"The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails is full of tantalizing recipes, beautiful photographs, and wonderful stories of the people and places that helped cocktails flourish in the American South. . . . Though this book is filled with tempting recipes, it is the history of the South, and the stories about how various cocktails came to be, that make this book so fascinating and a pleasure to read. Information on prohibition dance caves, the association between the mint julep and the Antebellum South, or why New Orleans can be considered the center of Southern cocktail making fill the pages of this luscious book."
ForeWord Reviews (starred)

The SFA Guide to Cocktails mixes humor, historical tidbits, and interesting facts that seem ready-made to repeat at a party. If this book were sitting next to me at a bar, I’d gladly buy it a drink just to enjoy its company.”
—Jim Auchmutey, author of The Ultimate Barbecue Sauce Cookbook

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The South’s relationship with drinking is complicated. Although religious and legal mandates discourage the sale and consumption of alcohol, the region has a robust drinking culture. As the home of NASCAR, a sport that arose from the high-speed antics of bootleggers, and Tennessee Williams, a man notorious for both his literary genius and his propensity to imbibe, the Bible Belt has a booze-soaked background. In the recipes and essays in The Southern Foodways Alliance Guide to Cocktails, Jerry Slater and Sara Camp Milam and their cocktail cabinet of contributors bridge the gaps between the culture, history, and practice of drinking in the South.

Nearly one hundred easy-to-follow recipes instruct the home bartender how to create memorable drinks from everyday ingredients, whether they be light tipples or potent bell ringers. Milam and Slater organize their historical how-to by drink family, starting with day-drinking classics suitable for brunches and tailgating, such as the Michelada and the Ruby Slipper. Variations on the French 75, lovingly lauded by food writer Kat Kinsman, and various juleps, cobblers, and shandies are also covered, as are strong finishes such as the Sazerac and the Vieux Carré. A final set of recipes focuses on the punch bowl, with instructions on how to mix such shareable libations as Chatham Artillery Punch and Watermelon Sangria. Milam and Slater also share information on essential tools and glassware to stock the home bar with, as well as mixing and garnishing techniques.

In addition, the book contains fifteen fun and informative essays on drink culture, including a profile of white whiskey whisperer Marvin “Popcorn” Sutton by popular historian Mark Essig, a piece on the kitschy pleasure of collecting figurative decanters by syndicated ¡Ask a Mexican! columnist Gustavo Arellano, and an essay by the dean of cocktail history, David Wondrich, on “The Future of Southern Drinking.” Lest we drink on an empty stomach, recipes for cocktail bites are provided by multiple James Beard Award nominee Vishwesh Bhatt. The Oxford, Mississippi–based Snackbar chef shares recipes for Benedictine Spread, Catfish Rillettes, Deviled Pickled Eggs, Deviled Ham, Okra Chaat, Pickled Shrimp, Shrimp Toast, Snackbar Pimento Cheese, Sweet Potato Biscuits with Pear Jam, and Spicy, Crunchy Black-Eyed Peas.

A Bradley Hale Fund for Southern Studies Publication

Page count: 216
51 color photos
Trim size: 8 x 10


List price: $29.95

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Sara Camp Milam is a former associate editor of the Oxford American and is currently the Southern Foodways Alliance’s managing editor.

Jerry Slater is renowned for his hospitality and spirits expertise. A longtime Southern Foodways Alliance member, he has extensive experience in hospitality and management and has gained critical accolades for his beverage programs, at such venues as the Oakroom at the Seelbach Hotel, One Flew South, and H. Harper Station.

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