Southern Comfort® Company, Louisville, KY.
Southern Comfort was first produced by Irish bartender Martin Wilkes Heron (1850–1920), the son of a boat-builder. Legend says it was created and sold at McCauley’s Tavern at the corner of Richard and St. Peter Street in the French Quarter of New Orleans, Louisiana. However, St. Peter Street and Richard Street do not intersect, though Richard Street does intersect with S. Peters Street in the Lower Garden District near the Mississippi River.
Heron moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1889, patented his creation, and began selling it in sealed bottles with the slogan "None Genuine But Mine" and "Two per customer. No Gentleman would ask for more." Southern Comfort won the gold medal at the 1904 World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri.
In an episode of The Thirsty Traveler entitled "A River of Whiskey," spirits historian Chris Morris describes the original recipe of Southern Comfort. Heron began with good-quality bourbon and would add: "An inch of vanilla bean, about a quarter of a lemon, half of a cinnamon stick, four cloves, a few cherries, and an orange bit or two. He would let this soak for days. And right when he was ready to finish, he would add his sweetener: he liked to use honey."
Since the 1930s, the image on the label of Southern Comfort has been A Home on the Mississippi, a rendering by Alfred Waud depicting Woodland Plantation, an antebellum mansion in West Pointe a la Hache, Louisiana. Woodland Plantation, which is registered on the National Register of Historic Places, now provides bed-and-breakfast accommodation