Midweek Libations has generally focused on cocktails in the traditional meaning of the word, i.e. a mixed drink of two or more ingredients. Requests have been made (and surprisingly not from college students) to provide recipes for good ‘shooters’ or short cocktails served in a shot glass for rapid consumption.
A shooter, distinguished from a ‘shot’ by having more than one ingredient, can be defined as a one- to four-ounce alcoholic beverage consisting of one or more types of alcohol, or a cocktail of alcohol and other non-alcoholic beverages. Just like cocktails in general, shooters can be mixed or created in many different ways. While many shooters can be made by simply shaking, stirring or just pouring the ingredients, the real art to the shooter lies in the creation of layers within the glass.
Layering or ‘floating’ a drink was reportedly at its peak of popularity in the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, especially in Europe, where bartenders concocted “pousse-cafes” , visually appealing drinks composed of layers of liquors and syrups. The layered shooter is prepared by gently adding each ingredient from densest to least dense, in order to create the appearance of colored stripes when the drink is viewed from the side. The method became popular again in the 1960’s and 70’s and remains popular today.
The names of shooters are quite varied. There may be several names for a shooter of the same ingredients, and there may be different ways of making a shooter of the same name. Many of the names given to different shooters incorporate vulgarities for shock value and to increase word of mouth exposure of the drink. (See previous post on lewd cocktails).
Any cocktail may be served in a shot glass but here are a few real shooters you can get started with.
B-52 - The B-52 is perhaps the quintessential shooter of all time. It layers Kahlua, Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier, and may also be referred to as a KGB. Pour one measure of Kahlua into a shot glass. Carefully pour one measure of Baileys on top, then drizzle the Grand Marnier down the side of the glass or over a bar spoon to float clearly on the Baileys. An alternative to the traditional B-52 is the Russian B-52, with the addition of a layer of vodka floating on top of the Grand Marnier.
Kamikaze - Fill a clean cocktail shaker with ice. Add one measure each of good quality vodka, triple sec (or Cointreau), and freshly squeezed lime juice. Some people use lime cordial (e.g. Roses) but I prefer the zing of the fresh juice. Shake vigorously and strain into a chilled shot glass. Add a small wedge of lime to garnish. One popular variation on this drink is the Southern Comfort Kamikaze or "SoCo" Kamikaze, which is made using Southern Comfort liqueur in place of the vodka.
Flatliner - Pour one measure of Sambuca into a shot glass. Add several (8 to 10) drops of Tabasco sauce to form a thin layer on top of the spirit. Now carefully pour one measure of good quality white tequila (no need to break the bank with Patron but it shouldn’t taste like lighter fluid either) over the back of a teaspoon into the glass to float it on top of the hot sauce. The liquids should remain separate with the Sambuca at the bottom and the tequila at the top. The Tabasco sauce sits in the middle of the glass forming a red line between the two spirits.
Thank you RJH for sharing your knowledge and keeping us toasty! If you have missed any of the past Midweek Libations, you can catch them all HERE .