Alabama Slammer is a cocktail made from a mixture of different alcoholic beverages such as amaro, whiskey, and sloe gin, along with orange juice.

Alabama Slammer

What is an Alabama Slammer?

Alabama Slammer is a cocktail made from a mixture of different alcoholic beverages such as amaro, whiskey, and sloe gin, along with orange juice. It is an American cocktail that is especially popular in the southern states of the country. The drink gets its name from the American state it was invented in.

  • This cocktail is a refreshing choice in summer, commonly consumed by the poolside or in barbecues.
  • It features the colors of the sunset and has a sweet taste.

Some other popular cocktails made with orange juice include:

  • Screwdriver
  • Tequila Sunrise
  • Tequila Sunrise Margarita
  • Orange Creamsicle
  • Sex on the Beach
  • Hurricane
  • Alabama Slammer
  • Sangria
  • Cantarito
  • Belmont Breeze
  • Peach Moon
  • The Bronx
  • Monkey Gland

Origin of alabama slammer

The Alabama Slammer’s origin can be traced back to the University of Alabama. It quickly became very popular after it was invented in the 1970s. The recipe for this was first printed in 1971 in the Playboy Bartender’s Guide. A decade later, Mr. Boston Official Bartender’s Guide also published a recipe. Both advocated using lemon juice instead of orange but this changed gradually over time. 


Nutritional profile for Alabama Slammer (1 serving):

Sloe gin contains antioxidants and phenols. The sloe berries provide polyphenols, flavonoids, and antioxidants. Furthermore, consumption of these berries may help in reducing the risk of diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, obesity, cancer, Alzheimer’s Disease, and inflammatory bowel disease. 

Some common ingredients in amaro are gentian, rhubarb, wormwood, cinchona, angelica, myrrh, green cardamom, cinnamon, star anise, sarsaparilla, mint, bitter orange, orris, and yaupon holly. These may provide a host of positive health benefits. Also, whiskey, another main ingredient in this cocktail, contains a blend of fruits and spices, especially the Southern Comfort brand. Additionally, orange juice is high in vitamin C, potassium, folate, magnesium, and iron. Regular intake can help with strengthening the immune system, keeping blood pressure in check, and keeping the bones strong. It promotes fetal growth in pregnant women.

However, overconsumption of any alcohol, including the Alabama Slammer, can lead to several health problems, including affecting the brain’s functioning patterns and general lowering of immunity. Regular consumption of alcohol can increase the risk of heart disease, liver cirrhosis, pancreatitis, high blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, cancer, as well as obesity, depression, and aging.

Commercial production

The 1987 version of The Bartender’s Cherry provides the recipe for Alabama Slammer. It requires vodka, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, lemon juice, orange juice, and syrup. The base spirit may differ and other alcohol, such as rum, may be used. In some cases, no alcohol base is used and the cocktail is only a blend of liqueurs. To prepare Alabama Slammer, the glass is filled with ice and the ingredients added. Then, the orange juice is topped up and the whole mixture is stirred gently. It may be garnished with an orange slice. 

Alabama slammer recipes 

This is a classic cocktail that has been reinvented in many ways. Here are a few recipes:

FDA regulations

All alcohol related products are regulated by the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) in the US. Amaro may not be marketed as a digestive in the US, as it is prohibited under the TTB laws. Also, the TTB classifies sloe gin as a liqueur/cordial and defines it as a liqueur or cordial deriving its main flavor characteristic from sloe berries. There are strict regulations regarding the production of whiskey and its labeling depending on the contents. However, the general definition of whiskey states it is a distilled spirit made from a fermented mash of grain with less than 95% ABV and more than 40% ABV.


Sarah Baird, How the Alabama Slammer Happened, Punch,

Simon Difford, Alabama Slammer – Recipes & History, Difford’s Guide for Discerning Drinkers, 

Ray Isle, Amaro: A Bittersweet Obsession, Food & Wine, 

Oscar Hartzog, These Are the Best Amaro Brands to Try in 2020, Spy, 

IARC Working Group on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans. Alcohol Consumption and Ethyl Carbamate. Lyon (FR): International Agency for Research on Cancer; 2010. (IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans, No. 96.) 1, Exposure Data.,