Southland Cocktail Recipe

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Southland Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Southland cocktail is a refreshing and delightful drink that originated in the southern regions of the United States. It was first created in the early 1900s and quickly gained popularity among the high society of the time. The cocktail is often associated with warm summer evenings, garden parties, and elegant gatherings.

  • The Southland cocktail was inspired by the flavors and ingredients found in the southern states of America.
  • It was often enjoyed by the upper class during the early 20th century.
  • The cocktail has evolved over time, with many variations and adaptations being created.

How Southland Tastes?

The Southland cocktail is a harmonious blend of sweet, sour, and fruity flavors. It has a light, refreshing taste with a hint of tartness from the citrus fruits. The cocktail is well-balanced and not overly sweet, making it perfect for sipping on a warm summer evening.

Interesting facts about Southland

  • The Southland cocktail is sometimes referred to as the 'Southern Belle' due to its elegant and sophisticated nature.
  • The cocktail is often garnished with a sprig of fresh mint, which adds a touch of coolness and complements the fruity flavors.
  • The Southland cocktail is a popular choice for outdoor events and celebrations, as it is light, refreshing, and easy to prepare in large quantities.


  • Bourbon: 2 oz(60ml)
  • Lemon juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Simple syrup: 0.5 oz(15ml)
  • Orange juice: 1 oz(30ml)
  • Angostura bitters: 2 dashes
  • Garnish: Mint sprig


Bourbon is the soul of this cocktail. At 2 oz, it's robust enough to structure the drink yet not overpower the mixer's voices. Using less could make it a lemon-orange sip, more and we'd lose the choir of flavors. Removing bourbon would be like skipping the main act in a gig. A rye might step in, adding spicier notes, changing the concert's genre but still rock.

Emma Rose

Lemon Juice

At 1 oz, this citrus sparkles with acidity giving the drink a refreshing edge. More juice could tilt the stage, making it a sour symphony, less and the performance could fall flat. No lemon, no zing! And if you replace it with lime, that's a new kind of tang – think jazz improv against classical discipline.

Alex Green

Simple Syrup

A sweet backdrop at 0.5 oz. It's the gentle nudge, the harmonious backing vocals. Too much, and it's a cloying ballad, too little and the tartness takes center stage. No syrup is like a solo without a band. Swap it with honey syrup, you'll get more body, a folk vibe.

Mary Mitkina

Orange Juice

1 oz adds a sunny melody, the backup singer that complements but doesn’t overshadow the star. More would blur the lines, less and the chorus lacks warmth. Skip it, and the band loses its beat. Blood orange could be a remix with a richer tone, a deep house mix.

Emma Rose

Angostura Bitters

The spice rack, 2 dashes bring complexity, the rhythm guitar that underpins the tune. More bitters could make it an acquired taste, bitter with a capital B. Forget the bitters, and the drink's like a cover song that's just missing something. No Angostura? Try orange bitters for a citrus-forward interpretation.

Alex Green

Mint Sprig

The garnish, the final bow after the set. It's the aroma when you bring the glass to your lips, the olfactory encore. No mint, the show still goes on, but it's that final memorable moment that's missing. Basil could be a highlight reel, a different aromatic riff.

Mary Mitkina

Recipe. How to make Southland Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
  2. Add the bourbon, lemon juice, simple syrup, orange juice, and Angostura bitters to the shaker.
  3. Shake well until chilled and combined.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled glass filled with ice.
  5. Garnish with a sprig of fresh mint.

Pro Tips

  • Use fresh citrus juice for the best flavor. The bottled stuff just doesn't compare.
  • Chill your glass before pouring the cocktail into it. This will keep your drink cooler for longer.
  • Don't skimp on the shaking. It not only mixes the ingredients, but also chills and dilutes the cocktail slightly, which can enhance the flavor.

Perfect Pairings


  • Charcuterie Board: The robust flavor of bourbon pairs nicely with salty and umami-rich meats.

  • Grilled Shrimp: The citrus notes from the lemon and orange juice in the cocktail complement the natural sweetness of the shrimp.


  • BBQ Ribs: The smokiness of the bourbon and the sweetness of the simple syrup echo the flavors found in barbecue sauce.

  • Roasted Duck: The rich flavors of duck will be balanced by the acidity and sweetness of the Southland cocktail.


  • Lemon Tart: The tartness of the lemon juice in the cocktail matches well with the lemon in the dessert.

  • Chocolate Orange Cake: The orange notes in both the cocktail and cake make them a perfect pair.

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What you could change in Southland

  • Bourbon: Can be replaced with another type of whiskey, like rye or Scotch.
  • Simple syrup: If you don't have simple syrup, you can make your own by dissolving equal parts sugar and water over heat.
  • Angostura bitters: Other types of bitters can be used, like orange or peach, for a different flavor profile.

Explore all drinks starting with S here

And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Southland

Add a 0.25 oz of mezcal for a hint of smoke. The earthiness will dance with the bourbon in a smokey tango.

Recipe: Follow the original recipe, including the mezcal with the bourbon. Taste: Expect a smokier, more complex character.

Southland Orchard

Swap orange juice for apple cider. It’s like heading from the citrus grove to the apple orchard.

Recipe: Follow original recipe, sub apple cider for orange juice. Taste: A crisper, autumnal twist with a tart edge.

High Garden

Instead of mint, muddle rosemary and thyme in the shaker before adding liquids. You’ll feel like you’re sipping in a Mediterranean garden. Recipe: Begin with muddling herbs, then follow traditional steps. Keep rosemary sprig for garnish. Taste: Herbal and aromatic, with a touch of savory sophistication.

In case you forgot basics how to make Southland

The basic composition of simple syrup is relatively straightforward – a 1:1 ratio of sugar and water. This mixture is heated until the sugar dissolves, resulting in a clear, sweet syrup.

Learn everything about simple syrup

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Southland

Is Southland cocktail considered a classic cocktail?

While it is not classified as a classic cocktail like the Martini or Negroni, the Southland cocktail has been enjoyed for over a century and is a well-established part of American cocktail culture, particularly in the south.

Can I use other citrus fruits instead of lemon and orange in Southland cocktail?

The Southland cocktail traditionally uses lemon and orange juice. However, bartending is a creative field and you can certainly try out other citrus fruits like grapefruit or lime for a unique twist.

Is there a non-alcoholic version of the Southland cocktail?

Yes, you can make a non-alcoholic version of the Southland cocktail, often called a 'mocktail'. The bourbon can be replaced with a non-alcoholic distilled spirit or simply left out.

What foods pair well with the Southland cocktail?

The Southland cocktail's refreshing and fruity flavors pair well with grilled meats, seafood, and dishes with a bit of spice. It's also a great complement to light summer salads.

How to ensure consistency when preparing the Southland cocktail for a large number of people?

When preparing a large batch, measuring the ingredients accurately is crucial for consistency. Instead of shaking, you can mix the cocktail in a large pitcher or jug. Always do a taste test before serving.

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