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Article Highlight: Jello Shots: Kicking it Up With Colorful Recipes

Images of jello shots are often conjured up when people envision their college years and the parties they attended. But experimenting with chilled gelatin isn't just for the youngest drinkers around; jello shots… Keep reading »

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Different alcoholic shots cocktails served on bar counter

Having a handful of good shot recipes in your back pocket gives you great entertainment options for your next party. Alcohol shooters run the gamut in flavors from strong, to tart, to tropical, to savory, so when you are looking for shot drinks for your next gathering, you have plenty of options.

Explore Essential Shot Recipes

There are a number of shot recipes that are classics. These are shots most people have heard of and probably ordered or seen ordered at a bar before. For example, jello shots are having a moment, and they all follow a basic recipe with nearly endless variations based on gelatin flavors, what type of liquor you add, what juices or other liquid ingredients you choose, whether you use flavored spirits, if you add additional liqueurs, and even have options for adding things such as fruits or herbs. Other shot drinks are timeless classics, such as the snakebite, which is a simple combination of Yukon Jack and lime juice.

Make Your Own Creative Alcohol Shooters

There are no hard and fast rules for making an enjoyable alcohol shooter. It largely depends on your own personal tastes. However, consider some of these simple ideas for creating creative shot drinks sure to please a crowd.

Play With Temperature

Different ingredients taste better at the right temperature.

  • Shots containing juices should be served chilled.
  • Some shots with warmer-flavored spirits, such as brandy or whiskey, may be better at room temperature.
  • Some shots are tasty gently warmed, such as a shot containing Cognac and orange liqueur.
  • If you're adventurous, try a flamed shot. But make sure your hair is tied back and you aren't wearing loose or flammable clothing before you attempt it.
    Barman preparing a shot

Put Something Yummy on the Rim

Add an additional element of flavor or texture to your shot by running a citrus wedge around the rim of the shot glass and then dipping it in something. Things to try include:

  • Sugar (try different kinds such as white sugar, lemon sugar, brown sugar, coconut sugar, etc.)
  • Salt
  • Candy sprinkles
  • Crushed graham crackers
  • Cocoa powder
  • Chili powder (cut it with either salt or sugar)
  • Crushed candy
  • Spices blended with sugar or salt
  • Cookie or cake crumbs
  • Coffee grounds
  • Ground tea leaves or herbs

Introduce Fun Flavors

It's an exciting time in mixology, with tons of flavoring ingredients to add to alcohol shots. Some to try:

  • Try flavored spirits, such as vanilla vodka or cinnamon whiskey.
  • Use cocktail bitters in interesting flavors such as celery, mole, or cardamom.
  • Try cocktail flavoring drops in tasty flavors such as black pepper, habanero, or rosemary.
  • Use infused simple syrups to add flavor and sweetness.
  • Add a dash of a flavored liqueur, such as a coffee-flavored liqueur.
  • Add creamy ingredients, such as Irish cream or RumChata.
  • Use exotic fruit juices.

Play With Garnishes

When you garnish an alcohol shot, it needs to be done to scale. The standard shot glass is between 1.5 and 3 ounces, so you'll want to make sure the garnish you use is small and something that, if accidentally swallowed whole, won't cause choking. Some to try:

  • Freshly grated nutmeg or cinnamon
  • A small marshmallow that has been brûléed
  • Blueberry
  • Raspberry
  • Tiny fruit slice
  • Small herb sprig
  • Sugar sprinkles
  • Whipped cream

Learn to Layer

There's no magic to layered shots. All that's required is a simple understanding of ingredient density and some careful techniques.

  • Heavy ingredients should be on the bottom layers. These include heavy syrups with high sugar content and syrupy liqueurs.
  • Creamy ingredients and lower-sugar alcoholic ingredients come next, as they have moderate viscosity.
  • Lighter ingredients go on top, such as pure spirits, lighter liqueurs, light juices, and fizzy ingredients.
  • Pour ingredients slowly and carefully over the back of a spoon into the shot glass to create layers. This takes practice, so don't worry if you don't get it perfect right away.

Play With Color

You can also create colorful shots by using brightly colored ingredients and different juices. Some colorful ingredients you might want to consider include:

  • Absinthe, which is bright green
  • Colored curaçaos, especially blue curaçao
  • Colorful liqueurs
  • Cranberry juice, which has a mellow burgundy color
  • Syrups with food coloring added
  • Grenadine, which is bright red
  • Midori, which is bright green
  • Hpnotiq, which is sky-blue
  • Campari or Aperol, which are sunset orange
  • Crème de violette, which is violet

Sweeten With Syrups

Add sweetness and an extra layer of flavor by purchasing or creating your own infused simple syrups. You can also use other syrup based sweeteners for sweetness, such as honey, agave nectar, or pure maple syrup.

Shot Drinks for Everyone

Make your own creative shots, or try some of LoveToKnow's delicious shot recipes. You're sure to find a shot that you love.

Shot & Shooter Recipes for Every Taste