If you aren’t automatically singing “Shots” by LMFAO, who are you?
Whether you know the song or not, as a bartender you will be pouring shots, aka shooters. If you’re not familiar, missed out on the party scene, or haven’t been around alcohol much before, shots are typically 1-ounce portions of liquor, or blends of liquor and juices, that are meant to be consumed at a fast pace.
They’re handy in the realm of drinking as they’re usually quite tasty, quick to drink, and also quick to get your guest intoxicated. Why? There’s just as much alcohol by volume (or ABV) in one shot of liquor compared to 6 ounces of wine or 12 ounces of beer.
Because they’re easy for drinkers and straight to the punch, they’re ordered all the time–especially if you work in a college town. You’ll need to know the best shot recipes in order to be a good bartender.
If you don’t, you can say goodbye to all that glorious money you could be making. But don’t worry, as always the crew at Local Bartending School (LBS) and their leading course instructors are always here to help.
Here are the top shots every bartender needs to know:
1. Irish Car Bomb
St. Patrick’s Day celebrations aren’t the only time to enjoy the Irish Car Bomb. You can (and should) serve this fun beer-and-shot combination all year long.
Irish Car Bombs belong to the group of drinks called Boilermakers. No, not anything to do with Purdue’s mascot, a Boilermaker in bartending-land is a type of drink in which you put a shot of liquor into a beer. In this case, the shot contains a suspect-looking combination of whiskey and Irish cream.
- .5 ounce Irish whiskey
- .5 ounce Baileys Irish cream
- Guinness beer
- Add the Baileys and whiskey into a shot glass, pouring slowly to create a layered effect.
- Serve a pint glass of Gunness, filled about 75% to the top, and the shot to your guest. Instruct them to drop the shot into the beer.
2. Jäger Bomb
Once you’ve been behind the bar for a little while, you’ll learn that Jägermeister is a pretty polarizing drink of choice. Your patrons either hate it or love it, with not much in between.
A Jager bomb combines liquor with Red Bull. It’s quick to the punch for your guests and quick to make on your end.
- 1.5 ounces Jägermeister Liqueur
- .5 can Red Bull
- Fill a shot glass with Jägermeister. Pour half a can of Red Bull into a pint glass.
- Serve to your guest and let them drop the shot into the bigger glass. Then, they chug!
3. Blow Job
This one starts off as one of the many layered shots we know and love.
Be careful searching this one up on the internet. Luckily, we have the recipe right here so you don’t need to go down that hole.
Like most shots, a Blow Job is easy to make and easy to drink. Naturally, your guest can hold it in their hands and take the shot.
But the right way to drink a Blow Job is to consume it hands-free.
Your guest will pick up the entire shot glass with their mouth, tilting their head back and downing it all if they really want to experience a good Blow Job.
- .5 ounce amaretto liqueur
- .5 ounce Irish cream liqueur
- Whipped cream, garnish
- Add the amaretto to the shot glass.
- Slowly pour the Irish cream over the amaretto to layer it.
- Finish with whipped cream and serve for suckin’.
4. Buttery Nipple
What is a Buttery Nipple shot made of? And why is it called Buttery Nipple? You have questions. We have answers.
This popular shot is a product of a time in history when folks loved to name cocktails exotically. Someone combined Irish cream and a bit of butterscotch schnapps to create an awesomely areola-esque concoction.
- 1 ounce butterscotch schnapps
- .5 ounce Irish cream
- Put butterscotch schnapps in a shot glass.
- Float the cream on top of the schnapps with a bar spoon.
- Add a tiny dot of grenadine for a true nipple effect.
5. Alabama Slammer
Although the Alabama Slammer was one of the most popular drink recipes and classic cocktails in the 1970s, 1980s, and even 1990s, it has lost some of its luster in recent bartending times.
But, even such, it’s still popular in parts of its home state and is a favorite choice of mixed drinks at college bars across the country thanks to its fruity taste and peppy effects. So if you’re bartending in Alabama, this one 100% needs to be on your drink resume.
At Crimson Tide tailgates, where it is often served as a shot, the Slammer is said to have originated at the University of Alabama. You can absolutely demonstrate your point by slamming one back. Yummy notes of nutty, herbal notes, baking spices and citrus come through clearly.
The Alabama Slammer slams not only in its tailgating shot form, but is also great served as a cocktail over fresh rocks in a highball.
- .5 ounce sloe gin
- .5 ounce amaretto liqueur
- .5 ounce Southern Comfort
- .25 ounce orange juice
- In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the sloe gin, amaretto, Southern Comfort, and orange juice. Shake, strain, and serve in a shot glass.
A flatliner may sound like a shot that will put your guests to sleep, but it’s actually known to jumpstart things.
“If we send out a round of flatliner shots to a table, you can expect the party to grow like a wildflower,” says bartender Steve Foster. “People go back and forth sending them to each other. It’s definitely a social drink.”
- .5 ounce sambuca
- .5 ounce tequila
- 4-6 drops of Tabasco
- Add the Sambuca to the shot glass. Then add tequila slowly over sambuca. Drip your hot sauce in tequila, it should fall through but not sink into the sambuca. You’ll get an orange middle that looks like… you guessed it. Flatline!
This recipe calls for vodka mixed with orange liqueur and fresh lime juice. The fresh lime juice is in contrast to many recipes calling for sour mix or Rose’s lime cordial, neither of which delivers the same tangy, citrus bite that gives the Kamikaze its backbone.
Fans of the Lemon Drop or even the Cosmopolitan, which was created as a cranberry-spiked riff on the Kamikaze, should enjoy this one. Try variations like raspberry for a seasonal swing on things.
- 1 ounce vodka
- .5 ounce orange liqueur
- .5 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- Add the vodka, orange liqueur, and lime juice to a shaker with ice, and shake thoroughly until well-chilled.
- Strain into two shot glasses.
8. Seven-Headed Dragon
This isn’t just a whiskey shot, this is an everything shot.
A shot that sounds as powerful as it actually is, the Seven-Headed Dragon. Much like the Flatliner, this shot will either get the party started or be the perfect suggestion for a last-call nightcap.
- 1 part Jim Beam
- 1 part Jack Daniel’s
- 1 part Wild Turkey
- 1 part Jagermeister
- 1 part Goldschlager
- 1 part Rumple Minze
- 1 part 151
- Add all equal parts into a shaker tin with ice. Shake and strain into two shot glasses. Get ready for action.
Easy as 123, ABC! This shot is strong, sweet, and includes three ingredients. You guessed it, they start with A, B, and C.
- .33 ounce amaretto
- .33 ounce Bailey’s
- .33 ounce cognac
- Gently layer all three ingredients into a shot glass.
10. Ginger Red-Headed Slut
Forgive the harsh name, whoever named these shots really had a zesty side that’s for sure. To be more inclusive, try calling this shooter recipe the Ginger Red-Headed Shot instead. Or don’t! We can’t tell you what to do.
- 1 ounce peach schnapps
- 1 ounce Jagermeister
- 1 ounce cranberry juice
- Add ice to a shaker and mix all the ingredients. Mix well and strain into large shot glasses.