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What does it mean to be a Southerner in the 21st century?

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Clyde May’s Whiskey – As Southern As It Gets

Clyde May's Southern Whiskey

Did y’all know that Alabama has an official state whiskey?

In 2004, the State of Alabama designated Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Style Whiskey as the “official state spirit.” The story behind the founding of Clyde May’s Whiskey is about as Southern as it gets. After serving in World War II, legend has it that Clyde May returned to his native Alabama to raise his eight children and tend to the farm that he had purchased before the war began. Like many farmers at the time, Clyde would distill the excess grains he harvested into corn whiskey. “Branch-farming” he liked to call it. From the 1950s to the 1980s, May managed to produce nearly 300 gallons of whiskey a week just southeast of Montgomery in a still that he had designed and built himself. While much of May’s whiskey was sold un-aged, a portion of the whiskey he produced was aged in charred oak casks. Clyde added oven-dried apples to his barrels. The resulting hints of green apple and cinnamon not only made it smoother than other whiskeys—they’re what made it Alabama Style.

I’d rather break laws than cut corners” ~ Clyde May

Always distilling whiskey outside the law, May was arrested in 1973 and served an 18-month sentence at the Maxwell Air Force Base. “He sure had a reputation for making fine whiskey,” said Thomas Allison, a former officer with the United States Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Upon his release, May gave up his cell to the man who convicted him: Attorney General John Mitchell, who was convicted in 1974 on charges relating to the Watergate scandal.

After May’s death in 1990, his son, Kenny, took up the family business and began working with Kentucky Bourbon Distillers to produce a whiskey in honor of his father. Using his father’s recipe and water imported from Conecuh Ridge, May produced the first legal batch of Clyde May’s Conecuh Ridge Alabama Style Whiskey over a decade ago.

Today, Clyde May’s Whiskey continues to be made from the same recipe that Kenneth’s father perfected nearly 50 years ago: a mash of corn, rye and malted barley. Once the grains are distilled, they are aged in oak barrels for an average of five to six years.

The kind folks over at Clyde May’s reached out to us, as they partnered with King of Pops to produce tasty “poptails” this summer. Clyde May’s Poptails are the coolest cocktails around.

King-of-Pops-Clyde-May's-Poptails---Wrapped

King of Pop’s “Poptails” with Clyde May’s Whiskey.

Here are a few recipes y’all can try.

All of these recipes make delicious cocktails – or you can pour the concoction into popsicle molds and freeze them overnight.

The Clyde Mule

  • Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • Ginger Beer
  • Lime juice – to taste (we added in a dash of peach bitters too)
King-of-Pops-Clyde-May's-Poptails

Y’all can make your own King of Pops “Poptails” at home using Clyde May’s

Grapefruit Whiskey Sour

  • Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • Grapefruit Juice
  • Simple Syrup

Clyde & Coke

  • 2 fl oz Clyde May’s
  • Coca Cola
  • (optional) 1 fl oz Ginger Juice

Pretty Southern Mint Julep – a Pretty Southern original if you don’t have time to prep & cool simple syrup.

  • Clyde May’s Whiskey
  • Ginger Ale
  • Fresh Mint

Have you tried Clyde May’s or one of these delicious King of Pops “Poptails”? Let us know in the comments section below.

 

 

Shaky Boots Survival Guide

Shaky Boots

The first-ever Shaky Boots music festival is set to rock in Georgia this weekend. Pretty Southern will have our boots on the ground at Kennesaw State University, and y’all can follow along with us on Instagram and Twitter. You can even tune in live to see which shows we’re at using the Periscope app. There’s even a Shaky Boots app available for download in iTunes and Google Play.

It’s also a privilege to partner with AT&T as a Digital Ambassador for Shaky Boots!

#GoodToGo AT&T Shaky Boots Survival Kit

Keep up with us on social media at Shaky Boots using #GoodToGo #LoveTheSouth

They sent over a Shaky Boots survival kit complete with a sweet AT&T GoPhone to help make sure we’re #GoodToGo this festival season, plus sunglasses, poncho, sunscreen, water bottle, selfie stick, micro-lens for our camera, and a rocking speaker so we can keep the party going at tailgate.

It’s also thanks to AT&T we’re able to giveaway two (2) tickets for Saturday to two of our lucky readers -one (1) ticket each. If you’ve already got friends going to the show, Pretty Southern and AT&T are going to send you to party with them for free! Let’s see who our winners are…

Here’s the lineup for Saturday and Sunday.

Shaky_Boots_Schedule

Tickets are still available for purchase here. Be sure to keep up with our coverage of the festival using #GoodToGo and #LoveTheSouth

Horseradish Grill Wine Tasting

Wine Horseradish Grill Atlanta

Pretty Southern was privileged to attend a brown bag wine tasting on the patio at Horseradish Grill. This event featured three different varieties ranging in price from $20 to $150 a bottle. The catch is, we didn’t know which wine we were drinking! All the wine was served in brown paper bags. Check out our Tastemade video to see our wine tasting…

Horseradish Grill

Horseradish Grill wine tasting

The “Test your Palate” challenge featured three different kinds of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, and Cabernet Sauvignon, all in brown bags labeled “1, 2, 3″. After tasting each wine, we ranked which ones we thought were the least to most expensive.

I’m definitely my mama’s daughter because I correctly guessed all three Chardonnays! We’re ready to go back to Horseradish Grill anytime. Every tasting we’ve had there has been amazing (check out our post from the garden party last spring!). For more information about Horseradish Grill, check out their website, Twitter, and Facebook.

 
 
 

Sh%t Southern Women Say – Episode 5

Southern Women Sayings

The lovely ladies of Sh%t Southern Women Say are back and better than ever! This episode features the stellar original cast of Julia Fowler, Kat Bailess, Delaine Yates and Sheila Hawkins, plus a special guest appearance from Alabama native, Kim Kendall (and holy sh%t girl you are so funny). We did miss our Georgia girl, Logan Browning, in this episode and hope to hear from her soon. In the meantime, here are our Top 5 Southern Sayings in Episode 5:

  1. “Always be aware when you’ve had a gracious plenty.”
  2. “She’s got more issues than Better Homes & Gardens.”
  3. “He’s so dumb it took him three days to study for a urine test.”
  4. “The woman is always cussin’ or cryin’.”
  5. “The higher the heels the lower the morals.”

See for yourself! Here’s Episode 5 of Sh%t Southern Women Say

Be sure to keep up with the Southern Women Channel on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

 

 

Jenn Thornton – Pretty Southern Music

Jenn Thornton music

It’s a pleasure and a privilege today to introduce y’all to the music of Jenn Thornton and her debut EP – Roll With It.

Miss Thornton’s sound has the pure, crisp feel of old time country but with a modern twist. A native of Oxford, Ga. (seriously it’s on the map), Jenn was raised on classic country and Southern gospel. Not only did she inherit her grandfather’s guitar but she also inherited his musical talents. After graduating from the University of Georgia, her first gig in the music business was singing in a bluegrass band that was touring out west. Although she enjoyed the tour, an irresistible opportunity was presented to move back to Nashville and pursue her solo career. Jenn jumped head first into the writing scene and began her growth as an artist in country music mecca.

Jenn quickly gained the attention of some of Nashville’s top producers who served as her mentors and helped develop her personal artistic style. With this fire under her seat, she hit the pavement even harder in Music City. Booking out writers rounds, writing sessions, working with stylists, and recording her first solo EP has all just been part of her progress. Her sincere and yet brutally honest approach to story telling only makes one fall more in love with her

Pretty Southern caught up with Jenn to discuss her first EP and what it’s going to take to make her dreams come true.

Jenn Thornton pretty southern music
When did you discover your passion for singing?
I was born with the natural instinct to entertain. From the time I was able to walk and dance, I would jump around on the coffee table, holding the remote as a microphone, singing along to Elvis, Patsy Cline, and the Judds. The desire to sing came along very early too. I grew up in a family full of musical talent. I can’t remember life with out it. My grandfather would always get us together after big family dinners and he and my uncles would play guitars, as me and my family sang old gospel music and of course Hank Williams Jr., Merle Haggard, and other traditional country artists. I come from a family with 12 female cousins. It was practically a family choir! Singing has always been more than just a talent for me. It is a way to connect with myself and others, which is where the true passion lies.

What have you been up to since graduating from UGA?
After graduating with an Agricultural and Applied Economics degree (random I know), I have pretty much gone the complete opposite of my degree. I am very thankful for it and my time well spent at UGA – Go Dawgs! – but my creative side has since taken over. I moved to Jackson Hole, Wy., and worked on a dude ranch as a wrangler. That’s where the opportunity to preform and reconnect with singing began. I played in a popular, local bluegrass band for a while. I decided that I wanted to make singing, songwriting and sharing my music my career. So, I moved to Nashville.

What inspired you to pursue your passion for music?
My true inspiration for what I do comes from the undeniable capability that a song, lyrics, and instruments combined can change one person’s day, month, year, or even life.

The power of a song can reach the saddest and the happiest; when no one else can listen or understand, music can. That’s why I decided not only to sing, but also to write music. I love people and want to share the talents I’ve been given as much as I can.

Jenn Thornton music

What was the album creation and development process like?
Wow! It was incredible! I had never done any studio work prior to this EP. My producer, Nick Baumhardt, was so awesome. I was there for the development of everything. I got the opportunity to work with some incredibly talented musicians. The entire process was very educational for me. I learned a lot about how to listen for certain things and just how important sound levels and placements are in a track. Developing the guitar licks was probably my favorite part because it really made my songs come to life. It was such a rewarding time as a songwriter and a singer!

What’s distinctively Southern about your sound?
Honestly, keeping it country is important to me. I have huge influences in my music from traditional country, Southern rock, gospel, and even some blues. I intentionally wanted to have banjo, fiddle and pedal steel in my songs. All of those instruments are true testaments to country music and provide sound from the past and the present. Oh, and there’s the undeniable twang in my voice that keeps it Southern.

Where do you want to be a year from now?
My primary focus of this year is to tour and continue to grow my fan base. I will be writing and promoting myself as an artist and a songwriter. I hope to be writing for not only myself but for other radio artists in the near future. And I am always open to record labels and radio! This next year holds some exciting times. I can’t wait to see what’s in store.

Jenn’s first EP – Roll With It – is available to download on iTunes for only $5.94. Be sure to Like Jenn Thornton Music on Facebook and we’ll keep y’all posted on her upcoming tour dates.