The Cathead Cooler was inspired by a drink I had at Old Bull Tavern in Beaufort, South Carolina. With summery flavors like honeysuckle, mint, cucumber, and lemon, it’s a little sweet, a little tangy, and totally refreshing. Top it off with St. Germain and spicy ginger beer to give it a unique taste that is out of this world.
This year we decided to take a trip to Beaufort, South Carolina to learn all about the gastronomical culture of the area. Being landlocked in the Atlanta area, it was a huge treat to explore a southern coastal area.
We tried wonderful restaurants, spent times at farms and produce stands, spent a day at Lady’s Island Oyster farm, and went to Penn Center National Historic Site, where we learned about the Gullah culture.
Every night after a long day of exploring the area and with a belly full of whatever delicious dinner we had that night, we would walk over to Old Bull Tavern. Not only was the food out of this world, but our favorite bartender Gabriel would greet us by asking about our culinary adventure of the day as he mixed up a Cathead Cooler.
The variety of flavors in this cocktail are incredible. It’s tart and sweet, flowery and herbal, spicy and bubbly. I didn’t ask Gabriel how to make the Cathead Cooler while I was there, but I did make note of the ingredients from the menu so I could try my best to recreate it when I got home: Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka, St. Germain, lemon, mint, cucumber, and ginger beer.
To me, this drink was a special part of my trip to Beaufort so I’m here today to memorialize it as best I can, with my recreation of the Old Bull Tavern original.
So tell me… How many times have you read the word Cathead so far and thought, “Cathead? Like the head of a cat? What a weird name!”? You’re not wrong. But, a glance at the bottle of Cathead Honeysuckle Vodka told me the interesting history of the word.
In Mississippi where the vodka is distilled, “Cathead” is a compliment, first coined by the blues musicians of the area and used to refer to musicians they respected. The friends that began this distillery are blues fans who use the name and the company to pay respect to and support the musicians, artists, and artisans of the area.
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On to the recipe! First, you drop a couple slices of cucumber and a few fresh mint leaves in a rocks glass. Put 2 teaspoons of freshly-squeezed lemon juice on top and muddle them well to release all the juices and oils.
Top with the honeysuckle vodka and St. Germain, an elderflower liqueur. Add ice and fill to the brim with ginger beer. Give it a little stir and garnish with fresh honeysuckle blossoms, mint leaves, or a cucumber slice.
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- Put cucumber, mint, and lemon juice in a rocks glass. Muddle well.
- Add Cathead Honeysuckle and St. Germain. Top with ice.
- Add ginger beer. stir to combine. Enjoy!