Who doesn’t love a good cocktail? We have searched high and low for 51 of the best drinks based either local ingredients or local ties to each state (plus Washington, D.C.). While some of these are only found at local bars, most of these recipes can easily be made at home, even if you have to track down some more non-traditional ingredients!
Alabama: Alabama Slammer
If you know nothing else about Alabama, you should know this drink. This drink was supposedly invented in 1975 at the University of Alabama, becoming popular among college students in the 1980s. The Alabama Slammer is served in a Collins glass and is made with amaretto, Southern Comfort, sloe gin, and orange juice.
Alaska: Midnight Sun
In June, Alaska gets more than 17 hours of daylight, and it seems as though the sun never actually sets. This Midnight Sun cocktail is the perfect drink when you are taking advantage of the long summer days. Mix two parts vodka with one park dry vermouth, one part cherry brandy with ice, stir and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish the drink with a maraschino berry.
Arizona: Melon Ball Cocktail
Arizona is the second biggest producer of cantaloupes in the United States, so it seems fitting to have a cantaloupe flavored drink for the state cocktail. The Melon Ball Cocktail would be a great summer drink, and it consists of melon liquor, orange juice, cantaloupe, sugar, and vodka.
Arkansas: Arkansas Buttermilk
The obvious choice for Arkansas is the Arkansas Razorback, but we went a different route in choosing the lesser-known Arkansas Buttermilk. This is a cocktail that is delicious, but not for the faint of heart – pineapple juice, orange juice, grapefruit juice, lemon juice, grenadine syrup, vodka, and bourbon.
California: Mulholland Drive
Even if you have never been to California, you have seen Mulholland Drive. Not just home to countless celebrities, this road is used in movies, commercials, and music videos regularly, so it definitely represents the Golden State. Made with vanilla bean-infused vodka, ginger syrup, lime and soda, you can grab one of these at Station Hollywood in (you guessed it) Hollywood, California.
Colorado: Palisade Peach Mojito
Colorado is known nationwide for it’s summer Palisade peaches, so this drink is the perfect representative for the Centennial State. It’s also easy to make – just add Palisade peach juice/puree to the classic mojito ingredients (white rum, cane sugar, lime juice, sparkling water and yerba buena).
Connecticut: Connecticut Bullfrog
The bullfrog is the largest frog in the United States and is common throughout Connecticut, and this drink is a tribute to both the state and the amphibian. Make one at home by combining four parts gin with one part rum, one part lemon juice, and one part maple syrup (also something the state is well-known for).
Delaware: The Great Punkin
Delaware is mostly known for being the first state to ratify the constitution, it’s beaches, and Dogfish Head beer. This fall cocktail has been described as tasting like a “slice of pumpkin pie”. You can try it by mixing Dogfish Head’s Punkin Ale and a shot of vanilla vodka in a glass with a cinnamon sugar rim.
Florida: The Rum Runner
This drink originated on the Florida island of Islamorada in the 1950s when bartender Tiki John needed a way to get rid of a surplus of rum. I have a feeling his customers didn’t mind helping him out with this delicious drink, consisting of blackberry brandy, banana liqueur, black rum, 151 proof rum, grenadine, and lime juice.
Georgia: Zombie Apocalypse
More recent history than some of the other cocktails, the Zombie Apocalypse is named after the popular TV show, The Walking Dead, that is filmed in Georgia. Made with light rum, dark rum, 151 proof rum, mezcal, cognac, apry, velvet falernum, orgeat, lime, grenadine, and Angostura bitters, you might be stumbling around like a zombie after a couple of these. Grab one at H Harper Station in Atlanta.