After getting off work from their jobs in corporate finance, native Chattanoogans Carter Hudlow and Emily Spurling were having dinner in Los Angeles and feeling homesick. After taking a sip of her cocktail, Spurling wondered aloud, "Why can't I get something as good as this at home?" A light bulb went off in her head, and the idea for Pure Southern premixed cocktails was born.
The husband-and-wife team's first three flavors — Carolina Spiked Tea, Alabama Dixie Melon and Tennessee Cucumber Cooler — are some of their favorite recipes they've mixed up for get-togethers with friends and family over the years, and each is crafted using all-natural ingredients. No need to run to the store for vodka or agonize over the perfect tea: All you do is a pour over ice and serve, or add a garnish if the idea of putting in zero effort makes you feel guilty.
"I love the South, and I'm very proud of where I'm from," Spurling says, explaining why they wanted to give their premade cocktails a Southern slant. "I feel like the South sometimes gets overlooked, so I wanted to create a brand that represents the South in a positive light and celebrates it."
The brand is all about getting people together to enjoy one another's company, minus the effort that often goes into entertaining at home. Here's our guide to when and where you'll most appreciate these new Southern cocktails designed with slackers in mind.
Tennessee Cucumber Cooler
Pure Southern's refreshing twist on the mint julep exchanges bourbon for vodka and features cucumber and lime juices. Bring this day-drinker's dream along for a picnic, or throw it in the cooler as you head to a music festival this summer. Add a few cucumber slices if you're feeling fancy.
Alabama Dixie Melon
Inspired by the flavor of fresh-picked melons from Spurling's grandparents' garden, this sweet sensation is ideal to bring to a pool party or for a day on the boat. Throw in a few melon balls to up your game.
Carolina Spiked Tea
Nothing says "Southern" more than porch sippin' sweet tea or lemonade. Hudlow counts this flavor as his favorite. It reminds him of days spent looking out at the mountains from the porch of his family's cabin near Asheville. So be sure to pick up a bottle the next time you plan to while away the hours on a porch swing swapping stories with friends.
Georgia Peach Margarita (available starting this spring)
Hudlow's grandfather, a former peach farmer, inspired Pure Southern's soon-to-be-released tequila-based cocktail. It's the ideal beach beverage. Grab a bottle on your way down south to spend time in the sand, and make a stop at a roadside stand to pick up a few of Georgia's cash crop to use as garnish.