Great news, Southern Comfort drinkers. Your favorite liqueur from down South will soon include whiskey in its formula. What’s that? You thought it already did? You thought whiskey was the one of the spirit’s main ingredients, along with an unnamed mix of spices and flavorings? Funny story: For at least the last half-century, Southern Comfort has been based on grain neutral spirits—not whiskey—while the drinking world spun on unaware. We’re calling it “SoCogate.”
Southern Comfort wasn’t always so fraudulent; it was born in the 19th century with a whiskey backbone. But, according to The New York Times, Sazerac senior marketing director Kevin Richards admitted that by the time the company bought the Southern Comfort brand in 1979, there wasn’t a dram of whiskey left in the mix. As the company attempts to rebrand the booze—guiding it away from its infamous reputation as college party fodder—they’re downplaying the syrupy liqueur aspects and playing up the hard liquor angle by reintroducing whiskey, drawn from unnamed Sazerac stocks. They’re also redesigning the label to mimic brands trusted by customers like Jim Beam and Jack Daniel’s. Finally, brand reps will be able to deliver the brand’s tagline, “None genuine but mine,” without wincing.
Only time will tell if the brand can win back customers who feel raw over the rouse. We’re taking a fairly relaxed position straight out of SoCo’s greatest brand partner of all time, Gone With the Wind: Frankly, my dear, we don’t give a damn—or, more appropriately, dram.