By Sierra Lawson
So you finally made it. You’re in The Hostess City of the South, and you are ready to party hard. Where to even begin?! Let me give you some fun facts about some unique cocktails born and bred in Savannah that are simply a must-have when you visit the city.
Chatham Artillery Punch
This cocktail is probably the one that Savannah is most known for. They say it’s been served since colonial times and was rumored to be first served from large horse barrels with a ladle for soldiers during the Revolutionary War. It’s named after the Chatham Artillery Unit, and may have been created by them too.
If you’re looking for a drink that will pick you up and sit you back down, this punch is just what you need. The recipe tends to vary depending on who makes it, but it’s usually some mix of tea, brandy, champagne, rum, and bourbon.
One sip of this emulsion, and you will surely never be the same.This one is a bonafide crowd-pleaser that needs more ingredients than your usual.
2 quarts green tea
Juice of 1 dozen lemons
1 1/4 pounds Light Brown Sugar
2 quarts dessert wine of choice
2 quarts dark rum
1 quart Hennessy
1 quart dry gin
1 quart rye whiskey
2 cups cherries
2 cups pineapple cubes
2 1/2 quarts champagne
(You have permission to mess with the proportions as much as you want)
Mix tea with lemon juice, then add brown sugar and various alcohols. Let the mixture sit for at least 1 week or preferably 2 weeks, in a covered container.
After the setting period, pour the mixture into a large punch bowl filled with ice.
Add cherries, pineapple cubes, and champagne. Mix and enjoy!
The Martini was not born in Savannah, but it certainly has a strong foothold here. You may have heard of a certain poet and short story writer by the name of Conrad Aiken.
According to Savannah legend, Aiken desired to have his headstone at his grave in Bonaventure Cemetery fashioned into a bench.
The reason? He wanted guests of the city to sit and have a martini with him in spirit. Now, Bonaventure strictly prohibits alcohol, so maybe don’t try that today.
But Savannah knows how to make a mean Martini any place you go, so find a cozy pub and raise one up in Aiken’s honor.
2 1/2 ounces gin
1/2 ounce dry vermouth
1/2 ounce olive brine
Optional garnish: 2 to 4 olives
Add vermouth, gin, and olive brine to a mixer filled to the brim with ice. Shake vigorously. Strain into a chilled martini glass and garnish with olives.
If you’re new to Savannah, Lulu’s Chocolate Bar needs to be a must-visit for you. Lulu’s is a dessert bar that serves a mouth-watering array of cakes, pies, candies, and dessert wines that will hit your sweet spot just right.
The Lulutini is a local favorite that is an irresistible mix of chocolate vodka and liquor that simply can’t be missed.
Fish House Punch
Sorry Charlie’s is one of the most popular restaurants in downtown Savannah. The building is over 200 years old and is the oldest continuously operating building in Savannah.
Fun fact: the fish sign that hangs off the side of the building has been designated as a historical artifact by the Historic Savannah Foundation!
The mouthwatering punch is a boozy mix of brandy, cognac, rum, and lemon juice. According to the restaurant, this recipe has been poured in the Georgia colony since 1732, and it is still a hit to this day!
CBP Pain Cocktail
The Crystal Beer Parlour is one of the longest-running and popular restaurants for Savannah natives and visitors alike. Before the building was a restaurant, it was a grocery store that was open throughout the early 1900s.
The walls are lined with some of Savannah's most infamous residents and cherished memories too long to list.
One of the house favorites is the CBP Pain Killer which is made of rum, cinnamon liquor, coconut creme, pineapple, and orange juice.
Crystal is also famous for having rare and limited edition beers, IPAs, and ciders. Simply a must-have when you come into town!
Dark and Stormy
The Pirate’s House restaurant is the oldest building in the city. In the mid-1700s, the building was intended to be an Inn for seafarers and had visits from more than a few naughty pirates.
The history of the building is long and colorful, but not as colorful as the drinks! Pirate’s house serves an array of beautiful, delicious, and boozy mixtures that will give you a bang for your buck.
The Dark and Stormy is a fan favorite with its mix of rum and ginger beer, which is said to have been a favorite of Pirates back in the day. With that in mind, any trip to Pirate’s House is meant to be a good time. Come for the drinks, stay for the ghosts!
This one isn’t exactly a cocktail, but it’s an honorable mention. Madeira Wine is a dry wine crafted and bottled off the coast of Africa on the Madeira Islands.
The wine soared in popularity in the 17th and 18th centuries and was famously used to toast the Declaration of Independence. The drink was also a favorite of Alexander Hamilton, George Washington, and John Adams, all key characters during and following the American Revolution.
Many people don’t know that many crucial battles, visits from key figures, and emotional uprisings occurred in Savannah.
With a wine so popularly enjoyed by figures so detrimental to our country’s independence, why not raise a glass in memory of those who fought and died on Savannah soil to give our country freedom?
I’ve given you quite a few options to choose from but make no mistake; there is so much more! The only way to find out exactly how much more is to bring your ass to Savannah and experience it for yourself. Pick your poison but don’t get too comfortable with just one drink because cocktails in this city are serious business.