Nothing says summer more than a Southern Comfort cocktail. And when you’re looking for a southern-inspired drink to enjoy on a hot summer day, there’s nothing more delicious than a Scarlett O’Hara.
This Scarlett O’Hara punch cocktail is perfect for just about any summer get-together, whether you’re hosting a cocktail party or a BBQ.
On top of being refreshing, this punch cocktail is also super simple to make. In fact, you can mix it up, right in your pitcher! All you need are a few simple ingredients and ice for serving and you’re ready to enjoy this classic southern drink.
Named for the leading lady in the famous southern film, Gone With the Wind, The Scarlett O’Hara is a beautiful red cocktail that has been popular for decades. The drink was introduced shortly after the film’s release in 1940 and has been a southern staple ever since. In fact, it was this drink that made Southern Comfort famous!
What You’ll Need to Make The Scarlett O’Hara:
- Southern Comfort
- Cranberry juice
- Lime juice
- Lime sparkling mineral water
- Lime wedges
How to Make a Scarlett O’Hara Cocktail:
- Fill a large pitcher halfway full of ice, then pour in the Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, and lime juice. Stir to mix well.
- Top off the pitcher with the lime sparkling mineral water and lime wedges.
- Fill glasses with ice and pour the drink in. Garnish each drink with a wedge of lime and enjoy.
Tips and Tricks
- For the best flavor, use the 70 US Proof Southern Comfort for this recipe. It provides a delicious kick to the drink that you won’t get from any other whiskey. For a stronger drink with more alcohol content, you could also use an 80- or 100-proof Southern Comfort, but it may be a good idea to increase the amount of cranberry juice in the recipe to offset the increased alcohol content.
- To add more sweetness to the drink, replace the lime sparkling mineral water with a lemon-lime sparkling drink or your favorite lemon-lime soda. Or use a plain, clear soda, like club soda or ginger ale, to add some fizz to your drink without changing the flavor.
- You can also make this a single drink by building the drink in a collins or old-fashioned glass filled with ice. Add two ounces Southern Comfort, ½ ounce lime juice, four ounces cranberry juice, and top it off with lime mineral water and a lime wedge.
Scarlett O’Hara Variations
The classic flavors in this drink pair perfectly together. You’ll love how the tartness of the cranberry and lime juices counterbalance the sweetness of the Southern Comfort.
But just like any classic drink that has been enjoyed over the years, The Scarlett O’Hara has many variations on the traditional recipe. Try one of these recipes the next time you’re in the mood to change up your drink:
- Skip the mineral water. My recipe is perfect for creating a party punch, but when you’re building an individual drink, try leaving out the mineral water. This single-serving drink is a popular way to serve a Scarlett O’Hara when ordered at a bar.
- Shake the drink instead of building it in a glass. While most bartenders build the Scarlett O’Hara directly in the glass, some prefer to shake it to give the cocktail a different taste. Shaking a cocktail can chill the ingredients and help aerate the citrus, giving the drink a completely different flavor. Try shaking your Scarlett O’Hara by filling a cocktail shaker with ice, then adding two ounces Southern Comfort, ½ ounce lime juice, and four ounces cranberry juice. Shake until blended, then strain the drink over ice in a fresh glass.
- Increase or decrease the cranberry juice. Depending on how strong you like your cocktails, you can increase or decrease the amount of cranberry juice in the drink. When serving the cocktail in a tall glass, like a highball, adding more cranberry juice is a good idea. Or you could serve the drink in a short class and reduce the amount of cranberry juice to two ounces, creating a stronger drink with more Southern Comfort flavor.
Is Southern Comfort Whiskey or Bourbon?
The star of a Scarlett O’Hara cocktail is the Southern Comfort, but have you ever wondered what type of alcohol Southern Comfort actually is?
While it is whiskey flavored, Southern Comfort is neither a whiskey nor a bourbon. It’s a liqueur. The alcohol was originally made using unrefined whiskey, combined with fruits and spices to mask the harsh flavor of the liquor.
Today, Southern Comfort is made from a grain-neutral spirit base, similar to vodka, and flavored with fruit, spices, and a small amount of bourbon. So, while you might find a bottle of Southern Comfort in the whiskey section of your liquor store, it doesn’t have any whiskey in it at all!
For the beer tasting, select a nice variety of local brews plus a couple of fallback favorites. Just remember not to forget the bottle opener! Using shot glasses is a perfect size for those who prefer to taste them all.
Think southern hospitality, turn on some country music, then sit back and enjoy a great evening with friends!
Other Cocktail Recipes to Try:
- Blueberry Buck cocktail, a cousin to the Moscow Mule
- Classic Bourbon Old Fashioned
- The White Lady Cocktail, it’s just beautiful
How to Make the Scarlett O’Hara Cocktail Punch:
- 2 cups Southern Comfort
- 10 oz cranberry juice
- 3/4 cup lime juice
- 20 oz lime sparkling mineral water
- 2 limes, cut into wedges plus extra for garnish
- In a large pitcher, fill it with ice to 1/3 of the way full.
- Add the Southern Comfort, cranberry juice, lime juice, and mix well.
- Top it off with the lime sparkling mineral water.
- Add in the wedges from 2 limes.
Use the 70 US proof Southern Comfort for this recipe.
You can also use a lemon lime sparkling drink as well if you want it to be on the sweet side.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 213Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 8mgCarbohydrates: 20gFiber: 3gSugar: 7gProtein: 1g
Original Post: 8/8/2017 Updated 5/4/2021
Stacey is a Southern girl with a taste for travel, thriving on the discovery of the world through food. After spending many years traveling and living overseas, she’s now back home in her beloved deep south enjoying life with her three little ones and loving the adventure. She’s a food stylist and food photographer, as well as, the creative behind Little Figgy Food, where she loves to inspire others to try new flavors and foodie techniques.