With an Accent

Southern bars make delicious rewrites

Southern cuisine has risen to the pinnacle of the national food zeitgeist of late, with the country's chefs clamoring around iconic dishes like fried chicken and pimento cheese.

Southern cocktails have been slower to find a renaissance. But a handful of bars and restaurants are changing that by taking already popular drinks and giving them a unique Southern spin.

At the just-opened SoBou in New Orleans, former New Yorker Abigail Gullo is channeling her new home in the extremely drinkable Arkadonis (see the recipe). A take on the classic Adonis cocktail, it uses an unpredictably delicious sherry made in Arkansas.

Sangria meets the South at Mateo Bar de Tapas in Durham, North Carolina, where it comes in two versions: sweet-tea-based or Cheerwine-based.

And the Charleston institution Hominy Grill also celebrates the cherry soda, adding it to a Negroni for a sparkling sense of home.

But as always, the most famous (and popular) Southern cocktail might be the simplest: bourbon, rocks, glass.