How To Make A Layered Shot

Light shooter

How To Make A layered Shot


Shots, also called shooters, are alcoholic mixed drinks that typically contain between one to two ounces of liquor. They can be shaken, layered, or simply poured. Layered shots are fun, colourful, and guaranteed to impress your friends or bar patrons.

Layering tools


Start out with the right tools and your adventure in layering should be absolutely jolly.

~~ Bar spoons work well with wide shot glass.

~~ A stemmed maraschino cherry is great when you need to layer drinks in a pinch, and it fits into most shot glasses. It is my preferred tool.

~~ Small baking measuring spoons work wonderfully because of their narrow shape. Use the 1/8 tsp, 1/4 tsp, or 1/2 tsp size.

~~ The tapered small flow pourer is better than the others because it gives you more control.

~~ A small carafe with a pouring lip is a great tool for layering.  You transfer the liquor into the carafe and then you can see it going down towards the lip, therefore anticipating the flow of the liquor to slow it down. I often use a carafe at home, but it is not practical in a bar environment.

Layering method


Layered shots are basically made by floating liquors (usually liqueurs) on top of one another. The process involves pouring the heaviest liquid first followed by a succession of progressively lighter ones. Part of the success of a nice looking layered shot lies in the ability to pour steadily and slowly, in order to keep the various ingredients separate. The other important point to consider is the density/gravity of the liquid. A liquor with less sugar but higher alcohol content will have a lower gravity (i.e. Grand Marnier has a lower gravity than Kahlúa ). Visit and download the Cocktail Hunter Gravity Chart as a reference. Note that the density varies from brand to brand.

~~ Start by pouring the heaviest liquid directly into the glass.

~~ You can use many different tools to help you successfully pour additional layers.  If you are using a spoon,  place it on top of the liquid, keeping the end of the spoon against the wall of the glass, or if sing a cherry, put half of it into the liquid, then pour the next liquid on top of the first liquid, slowly and steadily. Refer to the pictures above.

Layered shooters blog


Practice makes perfect. The good news, of course, is that you can drink your errors. Try these four easy-to-follow recipes.

1. Cherry Pop   2. B52 Shot   3.  Jelly Fish   4. The Queen Banana Split