It should be rather obvious that the Rhett Butler cocktail is named after the classic figure from "Gone With the Wind." It doesn't stop here, there is also a Scarlet O'Hara cocktail and both have the smooth, Southern base of Southern Comfort.
It's interesting to see that the gentleman's tribute drink is a little more of a sour drink than the sweet cranberry of the Southern belle's cocktail. Both are great drinks, especially if you have a bottle of So Co around, and the pair are perfect for a party's feature drink menu.
- 2 ounces Southern Comfort
- 1/2 ounce orange curaçao
- 1/2 ounce lime juice (fresh)
- 1/2 ounce lemon juice (fresh)
- Garnish: lemon twist
Gather the ingredients.
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the Southern Comfort, orange curaçao, and lime and lemon juices.
Garnish with a lemon peel.
Serve and enjoy!
- Freshly squeezed citrus juices will make a better Rhett Butler cocktail. For the lime, squeeze the juice of half a lime into the shaker; the lemon will require a little less juice than what half the fruit yields.
- Though orange curaçao is often used in this cocktail, you can use other light orange liqueur options if you like. Triple sec is a great alternative, and premium brands like Cointreau and Combier are preferred for a well-balanced drink.
- Adjust the orange, lemon, and lime flavors to suit your taste. You might also want to adapt the recipe for a particular strength of Southern Comfort. For instance, with 100-proof So Co, adding a little more juice may be a good choice to tame down the extra alcohol.
As you might imagine, the name Rhett Butler has been used a number of times for various cocktail recipes. They don't always agree, though this recipe is one of the more common versions you'll find.
- A few suggest replacing the two juices with 1/2 ounce of sour mix. This makes sense because the syrup is typically flavored with lemon and lime, though the extra sugar will result in a sweeter drink.
- Some recipes simply call for whiskey rather than the fruity whiskey blend of Southern Comfort. To keep the Southern charm, choose something regional like Tennessee whiskey or Kentucky bourbon (well-crafted moonshine would be appropriate as well). You'll also find that some of these use blue curaçao, so while the orange accent remains, the drink will be a completely different color.
- One modern take from a Mississippi restaurant pairs Southern Comfort with sweet vermouth, simple syrup, and lemon and pineapple juices, topping it off with club soda.
How Strong Is a Rhett Butler Cocktail?
The Rhett Butler is the more robust of the two cocktails. That's rather fitting given the character's bolder personality. Yet, Southern comfort is bottled at a variety of strengths, so you'll find it at 100-proof, 70-proof, and 42-proof. Taking the middle ground, the drink shakes up to 21 percent ABV (42 proof). This places it in the realm of the vodka cosmopolitan and with 100-proof So Co, it becomes similar to the whiskey Manhattan.