Nashville Hot Cocktails

Written By: Danno Landon

One big reason as to why I like Nashville hot chicken is because of how simple it is. When done well, it can be one of the most memory provoking foods around.  Growing up in a small suburb of Chicago, I wasn’t exposed to Nashville hot chicken until a few years ago. For me, Nashville Hot Chicken has an almost childlike whimsicality to it. The dish seems almost like when a kid is first starting to cook and overloads the sauce with spice because, hey the more the better! The inspiration behind these drinks was to find a way to cool down after eating meat-sweat inducing/ludicrously spicy chicken, that to make or eat, is a true labor of love. I did a play on childhood favorites for the cocktails because everyone needs a little throwback to the past while also serving as a nice cool down from the hot chicken.

The root beer float cocktail came out of a conversation with our R+D manager, Kurt. I took it one step further by creating a shake, but it would work in non-shake form as well. Bourbon or Tennessee whiskey is used, playing well with the creaminess, sweetness, and the unique flavor of the root beer.

Root Beer Float
Makes 4 tall glasses

  • 6 oz Bourbon
  • 1 12 oz bottle Not Your Father’s Root Beer or Favorite Root Beer
  • 12 oz Vanilla Ice cream*
  • Ice

Combine Bourbon, Root Beer, and Ice cream in blender and blend till smooth. Add enough ice to give it a shake consistency. Serve in a tall glass. 
*Side Note: Bourbon ice cream is unbelievably good, when made right. It takes all the harsh alcohol notes out and leaves you with a pure smooth barrel, vanilla and buttery flavor. Use that, if you can find it.

The slush cocktail came about when as a kid, I used to float different flavors of slush, one on top of each other, so I could try all the flavors in one cup. This slush cocktail combines sweetness from coke, tartness from lemon, and when paired with a chaser of sour beer plus the spice and meatiness of the chicken, you have 4 sensations all working in harmony at once.  The fun thing about this cocktail is you can substitute almost any base alcohol and it will still work.

Lemon Coke Slushie
Makes 4 tall glasses

  • 6 oz Limoncello
  • 12 oz Squirt soda
  • 6 oz Bourbon
  • 12 oz Coca-Cola
  • Ice

Combine limoncello and Squirt with ice in blender and blend until thick slush forms. Fill a tall glass halfway with slush mixture. Next combine bourbon and Coke with ice in blender and blend again until thick a thick slush forms. Slowly pour over limoncello slush. Drink with a big straw.