is supported by our Pitmaster Club. Also, when you buy with links on our site we may earn a finder’s fee. Click to see how we test and review products.

Hot Southern Comfort Cider Recipe

Share on:

Southern Comfort was my drink of choice in college where I was introduced to it by watching Janis Joplin guzzle it straight from the bottle at a concert in West Palm Beach in 1969 a few weeks before her appearance at Woodstock. I have an indelible memory of sitting on a large flat rock in the Mississippi River about 15 feet apart my best friend, Peter Potterfield, and the two of us tossing a flask of Southern Comfort back and forth, allowing it to plunk into the water just in front of us, sink, and bob to the surface. It was a long two-pint day that day in 1971, but we got the job done, we solved the world’s problems.

This warm cocktail recipe is the perfect cold weather drink, après ski if you will, or après snow blower. I’ve tried it with other liquors and liqueurs, but Southern Comfort is my fave. It is technically a liqueur, but not as sticky sweet as most, and at 70 proof it is mellower than the 100 proof stuff that Potterfield and I drank. The drink was created by Martin Wilkes Heron, a bartender, in 1874 at McCauley’s Tavern in the French Quarter of New Orleans, LA, and he called it Cuffs & Buttons at first.

Heron, it is said, was looking for a way to make raw unaged clear moonshine taste better by adding fruits and sugar. The current recipe is a secret, but my research and my palate tell me it is a blend of neutral spirits (vodka) with sugar, apricot and/or peach, with perhaps a whisp of citrus. Maybe there’s even eye of newt, bats wings, and belly button lint. Whatever, it has the right balance for sipping without making your lips stick together, and it works perfectly in this warm beverage.

For the record, nobody paid me to talk about Southern Comfort.

And by the way, Potterfield has gone on to become a writer too, world famous as an outdoor adventure journalist and author of the book Classic Hikes of North America: 25 Breathtaking Treks in the United States and Canada.

Hot Southern Comfort Cider Recipe

Hot Southern Comfort cider in glass with cinnamon stick
Tried this recipe?Tell others what you thought of it and give it a star rating below.
2.47 from 32 votes
Try this delicious twist on the traditional hot cider, featuring Southern Comfort.
Serve with: Your favorite holiday snacks.

difficulty scale


Servings: 5 8-ounce (28mL) mugs


Prep Time: 25 minutes


  • 3 cups apple cider
  • 1 cup cranberry juice
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 15 cinnamon sticks
  • 1 cup Southern Comfort
Optional. 1 teaspoon vanilla and a twist of orange skin.
About cider. You can make this with filtered apple juice but it is much much better with cider, which is brown and cloudy with apple particles.

Metric conversion:

These recipes were created in US Customary measurements and the conversion to metric is being done by calculations. They should be accurate, but it is possible there could be an error. If you find one, please let us know in the comments at the bottom of the page


  • Fire up. pre-heat a smoker to 225°F (107°C). Alternatively, you can set up a charcoal grill for 2-zone cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill's charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the smoker or grill vents to bring the temperature to about 225°F (107°C) and add 2 to 3 chunks of your favorite smoking wood to the charcoal for flavor. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 225°F (107°C) on the indirect side.
  • Cook. Place the butter in a heat resistant bowl and place it on the smoker or on the cool side of the grill. Smoke the butter for about 20 minutes. It will melt but become infused with seductive smoke. Then chill. I usually smoke a whole stick or two when I am smoking something else, then freeze it for whenever I need smoked butter.
  • Add all the ingredients except the Southern Comfort to a non reactive pan and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Add the southern comfort for about a minute, just enough to warm it but not boil off the alcohol.
  • Serve. Pour into glasses, add a cinnamon stick, and serve immediately while it is still hot.

Nutrition per Serving

Serving: 6oz | Calories: 238kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 6mg | Sodium: 7mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 27g | Vitamin A: 94IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 17mg | Iron: 1mg

Related articles

Published On: 6/12/2015 Last Modified: 2/13/2024

Share on:
  • Meathead, Founder And BBQ Hall of Famer - Founder and publisher of, Meathead is known as the site's Hedonism Evangelist and BBQ Whisperer. He is also the author of the New York Times Best Seller "Meathead, The Science of Great Barbecue and Grilling", and is a BBQ Hall Of Fame inductee.


High quality websites are expensive to run. If you help us, we’ll pay you back bigtime with an ad-free experience and a lot of freebies!

Millions come to every month for high quality tested recipes, tips on technique, science, mythbusting, product reviews, and inspiration. But it is expensive to run a website with more than 2,000 pages and we don’t have a big corporate partner to subsidize us.

Our most important source of sustenance is people who join our Pitmaster Club. But please don’t think of it as a donation. Members get MANY great benefits. We block all third-party ads, we give members free ebooks, magazines, interviews, webinars, more recipes, a monthly sweepstakes with prizes worth up to $2,000, discounts on products, and best of all a community of like-minded cooks free of flame wars. Click below to see all the benefits, take a free 30 day trial, and help keep this site alive.

Post comments and questions below


1) Please try the search box at the top of every page before you ask for help.

2) Try to post your question to the appropriate page.

3) Tell us everything we need to know to help such as the type of cooker and thermometer. Dial thermometers are often off by as much as 50°F so if you are not using a good digital thermometer we probably can’t help you with time and temp questions. Please read this article about thermometers.

4) If you are a member of the Pitmaster Club, your comments login is probably different.

5) Posts with links in them may not appear immediately.



Click to comment or ask a question...


These are not paid ads, they are a curated selection of products we love.

All of the products below have been tested and are highly recommended. Click here to read more about our review process.

Use Our Links To Help Keep Us Alive

Many merchants pay us a small referral fee when you click our “buy now” links. This has zero impact on the price you pay but helps support the site.