Madame Barfly: Mix It Up, Take a Shot

Shot glass with whiskey - Jupiterimages |
Shot glass with whiskey
Close-up of a slice of lemon - Stockbyte | Stockbyte
Close-up of a slice of lemon

Shots cut to the chase. Whether you need some quick courage for that karaoke performance or don’t want a drink that sloshes on your dancing shoes, shots are great when you want to get that buzz rolling in one fell shoot.

So, why not make it delicious?

When it comes to shots, many — myself included — have been known to simply go for the hard stuff, straight up. But mixed shots can be fun, and absolutely delicious, when the moment calls for it.

For you burly men out there who say you’re too hard to drink so-called “girly” shots — you can’t hide from Madame Barfly. Even the manliest of men succumb to a pink drink every now and again.

Plus, mixed shots aren’t quite as intimidating. When you’re at a wedding and you’re trying to get those fuddy-duddies in your family to chill out, a birthday cake shot is far more welcoming than a mean-smelling slug of Jack Daniels. Not everyone in the group may go as hard as you, sir. Break out the Bailey’s and take yourself a little less seriously.

With St. Patrick’s Day around the corner, it’s car bomb season. The unfortunate name aside, it’s a delicious shot that has the added bonus of being an experience. Fair warning: if you can’t chug, leave this bomb to the pros.

Start with a pint glass. Fill it about three-quarters of the way with Guinness. Separately, fill a classic shot glass halfway with whiskey, halfway with Bailey’s. Hover the shot glass above the Guinness and mentally prepare yourself for the chug-fest that is about to ensue. Breathe in. Breathe out.

Drop the shot glass into the Guinness and gulp it all down. It’s an adult version of a rootbeer float … if you only had seconds to finish it. If you fail to chug a car bomb properly, the Bailey’s will curdle into a boozy, gray cottage cheese. You don’t want this.

The birthday cake shot is always a fun one. Grab a lemon wedge, some sugar, and a shot of Frangelico hazelnut liqueur. Pour the sugar on a plate and roll the lemon in it. Grab the shot, down that sucker, and chase it with a swift bite to the sugar-lemon. Close your eyes and it tastes just like cake.

For another tasty treat, mix equal parts Bailey’s, Kahlua, and Amaretto into a shot glass. Need I say more?

This next one is my new favorite; it tastes shockingly like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Pour equal parts Frangelico and Chambord raspberry liqueur into a glass, then top it off with Buttershots. Yum!

If you’re ready to get fancy with it, you could try some layering to add a wow factor to your mixology. Fill two-thirds of a shot glass with Patron XO Café. Take a small tablespoon and slowly pour Bailey’s over the upside-down spoon, so that it trickles down the side of the shot glass and tops off the coffee liquor.

They call this one the baby Guinness because the Bailey’s floats on top, making it look like a mini-draft. When I tried it a couple of weeks ago, the bartender placed a maraschino cherry over the spoon so that the Bailey’s trickled over it as it poured into the glass, adding extra flavoring. He then handed me the Bailey’s coated cherry for my eating pleasure before drinking the shot. Dessert in a glass!

And for those straight-liquor drinkers having difficulty wrapping their brains around the dessert-like mixers, this one’s for you. It’s called the three wise men and consists of equal parts Johnny Walker, Jack Daniels, and Jim Bean. One shot, three times the burn.

I don’t recommend drinking more than a couple of these in one night. My imbibing research left me with a nasty sugar headache. But discovering the PB&J shot — and passing it on to you, dear reader — makes it all worth it.•

Contact Amanda Drane at

Amanda Drane

Author: Amanda Drane

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