“The Tallulah” | A Southern Whiskey Cocktail
In the words of my grandmother, “a lady can have a drink or two, but more than that, and she’s no lady.”
When I picture southern ladies, I see women like Lemon Breeland from “Hart of Dixie” and those from “Steel Magnolias”, with wide brimmed hats, serving sweet tea on expansive front porches, and freshly baked pies cooling near windowsills. They offer cute catchphrases and life lessons with a musical drawl. I spent the first seven years of my life growing up in southern states... Texas, Oklahoma and Virginia. Not very long in the scheme of a life span, but these were formative years; where I learned how to read, write and speak. So find it ironic that the more I drink, the more that southern twang starts to emerge. Far from lady-like, that’s for sure!
When the occasion is just right, and you’ve found that incredible adult beverage to enjoy... I can just imagine my grandma’s disapproving glance! The Tallulah is just such a cocktail; inviting you to accept “just one more” because, well, it’s so dang good! I’m not really one for hard liquor, but when a great beverage crosses my path, I think it’s my duty to share!
This was the first recipe in The Southerner’s Cookbook that I wanted to try out. It was a gift, and from the first time I thumbed through it, I was drawn to the creative ingredient combination and sweet name. The orgeat (peanut syrup) wasn’t difficult to make, it just required a little planning and patience. I couldn’t seem to locate the orange flower water in stores and was about to order it online when my own mother, of all people, said she might have some. I never would’ve guessed! The unmistakable roasted peanut flavor is such a perfect compliment to the sweet cola and bite from the whiskey. The mixture is shocking, yet not at all surprising.
So go ahead and whip up a batch to serve at your next cocktail hour or gathering. I bet your friends will be pleasantly surprised! Just be sure you’ve surrounded yourself with the closest ones... since I suspect the term “lady-like” will not apply that evening.
- 1 ounce orgeat*
- 1 3/4 ounce Tennessee (bourbon) whiskey (ex: Jack Daniel’s)
Combine the peanut syrup and whiskey in a glass over ice, stir. Add cola and garnish with roasted peanuts, if you like.
Makes one cocktail.
*Orgeat (Peanut Syrup):
- 2 cups unsalted, dry roasted peanuts, shelled
- 1 1/4 cups water
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 ounce brandy (or vodka)
- 1 teaspoon orange flower water
Pulse the peanuts in a food processor.
Combine the sugar and water in a medium saucepan over medium heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is fully dissolved. Allow it to boil for 3 minutes, then add the peanuts. Reduce the heat to low then simmer for 3-5 minutes. Gradually increase the temperature to medium-high. When the mixture is just about to boil, remove it from the heat, cover the pan and set aside for at least 6 hours.
Strain the mixture through a fine mesh sieve or cheesecloth and discard the nuts. Stir in the orange flower water and brandy. Store in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks until ready to use.
This recipe hails from gastropub Ollie Irene in Birmingham, Alabama. Please drink responsibly!