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  1. #21
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    The web site has a fair amount of history on it. Here is a synopsis:

    M. W. Heron was born in Ireland on July 4, 1850. His family immigrated to America, settling in St. Louis, Missouri. As a young man, he moved to New Orleans, where he worked as a bartender and rectifier.

    In 1874, while working at McCauley’s Saloon on St. Peter Street, in order to make more palatable “the rough-tasting barrel whiskey coming down the Mississippi from Kentucky and Tennessee,” he created a recipe of peach, orange, vanilla, sugar and cinnamon. He called his new liqueur “Cuffs and Buttons,” a reference to a competitive product called “White Tie and Tales.”

    In 1885, in anticipation of the New Orleans Cotton and Industrial Exposition, he re-launched his product with a new name and slogan: “Southern Comfort, the Grand Old Drink of the South.”

    In 1889, Heron relocated upriver to Memphis, Tennessee, where he opened a bar on Beale Street. There he began to bottle Southern Comfort. It was expensive, at $2.50 a bottle.

    In 1904, Heron moved back to St. Louis, in time for the World’s Fair.

    In 1907, Grant Peoples joined the company and was named Heron’s successor and heir. Heron died in 1920. Peoples owned the rights to Southern Comfort but he couldn’t make or sell it, due to Prohibition. In 1934, with Prohibition repealed, Peoples sold Southern Comfort to the Fowler family of St. Louis, who produced it for the next 40+ years. They introduced the first recipe books for the product, which they delivered as magazine inserts.

    In 1979, the brand was sold to Brown-Forman, which gradually relocated production and marketing to its headquarters in Louisville, Kentucky.

  2. #22
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    Also on the web site, the following:

    This is the home of Southern Comfort®. Its unique flavor of whiskey, fruit and spices is rooted in the spirit of New Orleans. Best enjoyed with friends and any time you want to take an ordinary night and make it legendary.

  3. #23
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    I haven't paid much attention to Southern Comfort since I worked on the brand 20 years ago. Here (and in the following posts) are some pages from the 1983 Christmas recipe book.
    Attached Files Attached Files

  4. #24
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    Another page from 1983. We did as many pages of food recipes as we did of drink recipes. The brand positioning was very different then. The current positioning, I think, is better.
    Attached Files Attached Files
    Last edited by cowdery; 12-12-2006 at 00:00.

  5. #25

    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by TNbourbon View Post
    Gary, the bottles I was looking at were marked '05' and '06' on their bottoms (I don't remember which was which), and remember almost giving up looking for the 'Heron' name on one of them before finally discovering it.
    I've got to get used to the fact I'm now carrying a phone with a camera on it -- if I remember, I'll snap a picture next time I see 'em, if only to jog my memory later.
    Well, remembered last night.
    SCheron_label.jpg SCheron_glass.jpg SCheron_capsule.jpg

    On the left is the 70 proof lower label, which contains Heron's name; center, Heron relief on 100-proofer bottle; right, Heron's name on capsule (both bottles). T.W. Heron does not, however, appear on any label of the 100 proof.
    Tim

  6. #26
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    Thanks Tim. By the way when I said TW Heron initially I meant MW Heron, I found the "M" hard to read (the particular type style used). It seems clear that both bottles contain the same product. It would be interesting however to find a pre-restoration bottle and compare the older and current ones, the change must have occurred in the last 10 years or so based on what Chuck was saying.

    Gary

  7. #27

    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    Quote Originally Posted by Gillman View Post
    ...By the way when I said TW Heron initially I meant MW Heron, I found the "M" hard to read...
    Oops -- me, too!
    Tim

  8. #28
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    I think it's probably fanciful to refer to the current recipe as a "restoration" of M. W. Heron's recipe. More accurately, the recipe has evolved and this is its current incarnation. For one thing, the whole function of a rectifier was to "fix" poor whiskey and make it more palatable. My assumption is that what they're using in Southern Comfort today is at least Early Times and maybe even Old Forester. They're certainly not deliberately making bad whiskey so they can rectify it.

  9. #29
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    The current label (35% ABV) states, "Original New Orleans Recipe". I interpret that to mean someone has the original recipe and reproduced it.

    Gary

  10. #30
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    Re: Southern Comfort 2006

    In contemporary texts, recipes that sound similar to Southern Comfort call for spirits of some kind, sugar, orange juice, lemon juice, citrus peels, "orange-wine", "terra japonica" (?). F.X. Byrn noted that such "shrubs" could be made with rum, brandy, peach brandy, "whisky", "etc.". Some versions might use one or a combination of such spirits, possibly with grain neutral spirits (certainly available in the later 1800's).

    I think the best of such spirits would use only whiskey, and clean spirit if at all such as GNS, but in any case, good whiskey.

    Obviously I don't know if the current Southern Comfort is the same as the original drink. The current label suggests it is and I take it at face value.

    I am well aware that advertising can have an elastic or relative meaning but in this case, based on what I know so far, I think the current Southern Comfort likely is very close to the original.

    Gary
    Last edited by Gillman; 12-17-2006 at 06:50.

 

 

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