Shots & Shooters All Bartenders Should Know


Technically, shots and shooters are a little different. Shooters have a mix to them like a Woo Woo, Purple Hooter, or Lemon Drop. And since they have a mix, they require a larger glass than just a shot glass because it contains the alcohol and splashes of mixes. Rocks glasses work well. You can also use 2-3 ounce shooter glasses.

Note: Since around 2003 or so, bartenders have been making shooters and then pouring them into shot-sized glasses. The amount of alcohol in the shot-sized glass is minimal, yet the young-hip-trendy-nightclub-crowd doesn't seem to mind paying the same price for less alcohol. Pretty stupid, huh? If you care about getting your moneys worth these days then stick with shots (100% alcohol).

I suspect that this evolved after the mid 90s to present "Martini" craze. See, the flavored Martinis of today are really just the 3-5 ounce shooters of yesterday. So when the current generation gets a shooter that contains the same ounce-amount as a flavored Martini then it boggles their mind.

Check out my cool shot and shooter t-shirt here!

Shots fit into a shot glass and should be 100% alcohol like a B-52, Buttery Nipple, Liquid Cocaine, or a shot of tequila.

The thing they both have in common is that you drink both very quickly in one gulp.

Preparation for shots and shooters can be one of three ways; neat, layered, and chilled straight up. Names for shots and shooters can be; shot, shooter, drop, bomb, and slammer.

Know that you can take practically any popular drink and make a shooter from it by reducing the amount of mixer to around two ounces. When ordering shooters at a club, you really want to watch the bartender make them because you can get ripped off. I’ve seen bartenders only put one ounce of alcohol for six shooters filling it up with mixer to make it look like they are giving you a large shooter.

Again know that back in the 1980s and 1990s some bartenders would sometimes present shooters in cocktail/Martini glasses. Sadly, this can't be done today because of the flavored Martini craze. Today anything you pour into a martini glass is called a Martini. Just know that the chugged shooters of yesterday are really just the Martinis that are sipped today.


 

 

 


B-52

This layered shot gets its name from B-52 Stratofortress bomber planes built for the American Air Force in 1954. The planes lasted until 1991 when President Bush took them off alert duty.

Glass: Shot.
1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Irish cream
1/2 ounce Grand Marnier

Mixing Method: Layer in the order given.
Garnish:None.

Note: If you replace the Grand Marnier with Crown Royal it’s called a Duck Fart.

 


Blow Job

This shot started in the late 1980s. It’s novelty has lasted for 20 years and who knows how much longer it will be popular.

Glass: Shot.

1/2 ounce coffee liqueur
1/2 ounce Irish cream

Mixing Method: Layer in the order given.
Garnish: Whipped cream and if it’s your first time, a stem less cherry on top of the whipped cream.

 


The novelty of this shot is that a guest places his or her hands behind their back then leans over the shot and sucks out the whipped cream. Then they wrap their mouth around the glass and drink the shot using only their mouth. Hands stay behind the back the whole time. Recipes for this shot vary. Some bartenders don’t bother with the layering and just pour a shot of coffee liqueur. Others have other combinations, however, it’s all about how you do the shot. Oh, and if it’s your first time, then some bartenders will set a stem-less cherry on top.




 

Buttery Nipple


Glass: Shot
1/2 ounce butterscotch schnapps
1/2 ounce Irish cream


Mixing Method: Layer in the order given.
Garnish: None.


Note: If you are in a college bar then you will get this shot chilled and mixed straight up in a plastic cup.

 

 


Buttery Nipple Family

Slippery Nipple: Irish cream and Sambuca.
Slippery Dick: Irish cream and banana liqueur.

 


 

Shot of Tequila

 


Glass: Shot.
1 1/2 ounces of Tequila
Mixing Method: Neat, however current trends lean towards chilled.
Garnish: Can be salt and lime wedge.


Note: There are many ways that you can present the salt and lime wedge (some guests will ask for lemon). The easiest all-in-one method is to salt 1/4 of the shot glass rim and put the wedge on the rim as well. To keep the lime meat from soaking into the tequila as it sits horizontally, try presenting it vertically. Simply separate the meat and the pith on the end of the lime about 1/4 inch and set on the rim vertically. The pith is the middle white part that’s in between the meat and the skin.


Passion shots are very popular with tequila so you may have guests ask for a saltshaker. What they do is lick a part of their partner’s body, sprinkle the salt on the wet spot and place the lime meat side out in lips/teeth in their partner’s mouth. Then the guest will lick the salt, drink the tequila, and take a bite of the lime.



 


When someone orders a shot of tequila I ask with a smile, do you want the training wheels? It takes them a couple of seconds to understand that I mean the salt and the lime. They seem to like it. Also, when I have a group of guests that order around of tequila shots, I set them up on a cloth napkin covered tray with a martini glass full of lemons and limes in the middle. Not only is it a nice presentation for the guests, it’s easier for me than having to deal with so many shot glasses at one time. Also, almost everyone seems to set the shot glasses back on the tray, making cleanup easier.

 



Slammer

 


Glass: Rocks.
1 1/2 ounces tequila
3 ounces of sprite or 7up



Mixing Method: Pour the tequila and the soda in a rocks glass then lay a cocktail napkin on top and slam it on the bar top. It will fizz up then chug.
Garnish: None.

 


 

Liquid Cocaine

Glass: Shot glass.
1 1/3 ounces of Jägermeister
1 1/3 ounces of Goldschlager
1 1/3 ounces of Rumple Minze


Mixing Method: Pour all 3 in a shot glass.
Garnish: None.

 


Note: These three items are normally kept cold behind the bar.

 




Chocolate Cake

Glass: Shot glass.
3/4 ounce of citrus vodka
3/4 ounce of Frangelico


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: Lemon wedge.


Note: You drink the shot then bite into the lemon and for some weird reason it tastes like chocolate cake. Well, there is a very small amount of cocoa in the Frangelico, but with all the lemon it’s seems like it would be impossible to taste.

 


 

Boilermaker

The original Boilermaker is a shot of bourbon or whiskey dropped in a beer. Make sure that you take a look at its family to see how it has evolved.


Glass: Shot glass and a beer glass.
1 1/2 ounces bourbon or whiskey
1/2 glass of beer


Mixing Method: Pour a shot of bourbon in the shot glass and fill half of a glass with beer. Drop the shot in the beer and chug.
Garnish: None.



Boilermaker Family

Flaming Dr. Pepper: 1/8 ounce grenadine, 1 ounce amaretto, and 1/4 ounce of 151 rum in the shot glass and a half a glass of beer. Light the shot, drop it in and chug. It’s supposed to taste like Dr. Pepper.
Irish Car Bomb: Irish cream and Irish whiskey in the shot glass dropped into a half a glass of Guinness.
Jäger Bomb: shot of Jägermeister dropped into Red Bull energy drink.

 


KamiKaze
(ka-mee-KA-zee)

 

 


The KamiKaze is a Japanese word ( that means "Divine Wind") and refers to the suicide planes filled with explosives from World War II that would crash into American ships.


Glass: Rocks. Can be served on the rocks for sipping or chilled straight up as a shooter. You must ask before making the drink unless the guest specifies.

1 1/2 ounces of vodka
1/2 ounce of triple sec
1/4 ounce of limejuice

Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: Lime wedge

If you are served a KamiKaze at your local watering hole in a shot glass then you are being ripped off. Think about it. How do they fit 1 1/2 ounces of vodka, 1/2 ounce of triple sec, and 1/4 ounce of lime juice in a shot glass? Plus, don't forget that you are shaking it so at least 1/2 ounce of water will be melted into the drink.

So what are they doing? They are pouring you less booze but still charging you for it.

Note: A KamiKaze is just a Vodka Gimlet with triple sec added.

 


Lemondrop

 


Glass: Rocks.
1 1/2 ounces citrus flavored vodka
1/2 ounce triple sec
2 ounces sour mix


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: sugared rim with a sugar coated lemon wedge.


Note: There’s another kind of Lemondrop that is a shot made with a sugar rimmed shot glass and chilled citrus vodka only.


I have a favorite decadent Lemondrop I make for special guests. You need a saucer, sugar, book of matches, a sliced lemon, citrus vodka, and Grand Marnier. Lay the lemon slice on the saucer and cover with sugar. Pour some Grand Marnier on top of the sugar to make it flammable then light. As the sugar is being crystallized into the lemon, chill a shot of citrus vodka. By the time you're done the flame will have died down. Drink the chilled shot then bite into the warm sugary lemon. Pick up the saucer and pour the leftover Grand Marnier into the shot glass and drink.

 


 

Purple Hooter

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce raspsberry liqueur
2 ounces sour mix


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.


Note: Some bartenders put equal amounts of pineapple juice and sour mix to distinguish it from a Grape Crush/Grape Nehi.

 


Purple Hooter Family

Grape Crush (also called Grape Nehi); vodka, raspberry liqueur, sour, and sprite or 7up. Can be a shooter or tall drink.

 


Woo Woo

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce peach schnapps
2 ounces cranberry juice


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 



Washington Apple

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce Crown Royal
1 ounce sour apple liqueur
2 ounces cranberry juice


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 


 

Red Snapper

 

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce Crown Royal
1 ounce amaretto
2 ounces cranberry juice


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 


 

Redheaded Slut

 

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce Jägermeister
1 ounce peach schnapps
2 ounces cranberry juice


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 


Surfer on Acid


Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce Jägermeister
1 ounce coconut rum
2 ounces pineapple juice
Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 




Mind Eraser

Glass: Rocks.
1 ounce vodka
1 ounce coffee liqueur
Fill with soda water


Mixing Method: Build over ice.
Garnish: Large straw.


Note: Stick the straw in and quickly suck it down.

 


 

Soco & Lime


Glass: Rocks.
2 ounces of Southern Comfort
1/2 ounce Rose’s lime juice


Mixing Method: Shake and strain.
Garnish: None.

 


Jell-O® Shots

 


To make Jell-O® shots
you simply replace the cold water portion of the Jell-O® box directions with the alcohol.
You want to pour the mixture into small plastic portion cups. 1-2 ounce cups can be bought in bulk at restaurant supply stores in your city or online. You can also buy lids making them portable. Paper portion cups are really better because it’s easier to squeeze into your mouth. The paper cups are sometimes called nut cups. And can be found at party stores in the wedding section. These are slightly larger than the paper soufflé cups meant to hold ketchup at MacDonald’s® condiment bar.


You’ll have to make some space in your fridge to set the Jell-O® shots. The cheapest method is to measure the space in your fridge and cut out cardboard or foam board squares to create a stacking system; cardboard, layer of shots, cardboard, layer of shots, cardboard, layer of shots, and so on. As to what kind of Jell-O® shots to make, well, it’s unlimited only by your imagination. Most people start with a real drink and then look for the flavors of Jell-O® and spirits to make them into miniature bite sized versions.

 


Here are the Jell-O® flavors as of 2006: Apricot,Berry Blue, Black Cherry, Cherry, Cranberry, Cranberry-Raspberry, Grape, Pineapple, Lemon, Lime, Mixed Fruit, Orange, Peach, Raspberry, Strawberry, Strawberry-Banana, Strawberry-Kiwi, Wild Strawberry, Green Apple, Watermelon, Wild Berry, and Magical Twist.
And sugar-free flavors include: Black Cherry, Cherry, Cranberry, Lemon, Lime, Mixed Fruit, Orange, Peach, Raspberry-Strawberry, Strawberry-Banana, Strawberry-Kiwi,Wild Berry.


Can you see all the possibilities?


You can find many novelty shot accessories at my Bar Store such as test tubes, injectors, shooter belts with holsters, bomber cups, drink backpacks, and more.

 

Older Shots and Shooters to learn later


Russian Quaalude: vodka, Irish cream, and Frangelico shaken and strained.
Cement Mixer: Irish cream and Rose’s limejuice. It feels gross in your mouth and id often used as a gag shot.
Prairie Fire: shot of tequila with 5 dashes of Tabasco.
Jelly Bean: equal amounts of blackberry brandy and anisette or Sambuca.
Snake Bite: Yukon Jack and Rose’s limejuice shaken and strained.
Watermelon: Southern comfort, crème de noya, and orange juice shaken and strained.
Snowshoe: shot of chilled Wild Turkey and peppermint schnapps

 

The Juicy Family The Shot Family
The Creamy Family The Classic Family
The Sour Family The Highball Family
The Tropical Family The Stick Family
The Hot Family Misc. Family