20 Most Popular Shots & Shooter Recipes for 2022

Best shots & easy shots for bartenders

Regardless of who you are and what you do, knowing some of the best shots recipes is always useful. And I mean going beyond the standard tequila, sambuca and Jager shots (even though these are all great!). 

These are the best shots for a number of reasons:

  • They’re a quick route to inebriation,
  • They’re fun to have with friends, and
  • When made well, they actually taste pretty good.

If you’re a bartender, knowing the best shots and shooters is even more important because it will help make your bar that much more entertaining. Below, you’ll find 20 of the most popular shots for bartenders around the world.

Some taste great, while others are just for fun, and others are perfect for those who have already passed the point of inebriation!

If your guest asks for a recommendation (let’s face it, they mostly do when they want to order an interesting shot), weigh up what you think they’re looking for and choose one of these best shots that is most appropriate.

Bottoms up!

20 Most Popular Shots

  1. ABC
  2. Alabama Slammer
  3. B-52
  4. Blowjob
  5. Boilermaker
  6. Brain Damage/Hemorrhage Shot
  7. Cement Mixer
  8. Flatliner
  9. Hand Grenade
  10. Irish Car Bomb
  11. Kamikaze
  12. Lemon Drop
  13. Jager Bomb
  14. Jam Donut
  15. Red Headed Slut
  16. Skittle Bomb
  17. Slippery Nipple
  18. Tom the Bomb
  19. Vegas Bomb
  20. Wet Pussy

Note: Some of these easy shots for bartenders are made to serve more than 1 shooter. You may notice that these recipes use less liquid than the amount they’re meant to pour, i.e. the ingredients total 3 shots instead of 4. The reason being, these recipes are shaken over ice so the mix dilutes and stretches them into 4. If you need to make more or less, adjust the recipes as required whilst keeping the proportions the same. 

ABC

ABC shot recipeThe ABC shot is an acronym that stands for the ingredients used – Absinthe, Bacardi 151, and Chartreuse. According to the Urban Dictionary, “it’s a deadly combination causing intoxication and loss of willpower very quickly.”

Considering the strength of its ingredients, it’s a very appropriate definition.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/3 shot absinthe
  • 1/3 shot Bacardi 151 Overproof Rum
  • 1/3 shot Chartreuse

Build in any order in a shot glass.

Alabama Slammer (Serves 4)

No-one really knows where this drink came from, but it’s still one of the best shots in the world. One story goes that it was created at the University of Alabama in 1975 as the South’s answer to the popular frat cocktail, the Long Island Iced Tea. Similarly to the Long Island Iced Tea, it’s surprisingly tasty and it has a cult-like following. It’s essential to know if you’re bartending in the States.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/2 shot amaretto
  • 1/2 shot sloe gin
  • 1/2 shot Southern Comfort
  • 1 1/2 shots orange juice

Shake & strain into 4 shot glasses. Bottoms up!

Note: It’s also possible to make this as a highball cocktail by adding 1/2 a shot extra of all the ingredients and shaking & straining it into an ice-filled highball glass instead.

B-52

B-52 Shot recipeA very popular shot in France, the B-52 shot is a pousse-café shot recipe that can be lit on fire. However, it can only be lit on fire when a triple sec that’s high in alcohol content is used – like Cointreau. The triple sec must also be poured at room temperature. But even then, it’s difficult to achieve so don’t brag you can light it on fire until you’ve practiced first!

Despite this being a showy shot, it actually tastes great. Also feel free to experiment with the triple sec used. Grand Marnier is another popular choice.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/3 shot Kahlua coffee liqueur
  • 1/3 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 1/3 shot triple sec

Layer in the order given above in a shot glass. Light on fire (optional).

Blowjob

Blowjob Shot recipeYou probably won’t be making these in more sophisticated cocktail bars, but the blowjob shooter is one of the best shots to make in rowdy pubs and bars.

It’s meant to be drunk with your hands behind your back so that you only touch the glass with your mouth. I wonder why…

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/2 shot Kahlua
  • 1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Top with whipped cream

Layer in the order given above in a shot glass. Instruct the drinker to keep their hands behind their back when they ‘shoot’ it.

Boilermaker

How to Make a Boilermaker ShotAlso known as ‘a shot and a beer,’ the Boilermaker isn’t your average shooter because you’re actually drinking a pint of beer with it! But it’s extremely popular and one of the first bomb recipes to be created. 

Serve in a 1 Shot glass & 1 Pint glass

  • 1 shot whisk(e)y
  • 1 pint of lager

Serve in separate glasses. Instruct the drinker to drop (bomb) the whiskey into the pint of beer and chug.

Brain Damage/Hemorrhage Shot

How to Make a Brain Damage ShotFor killing brain cells – the brain damage shot (also known as the brain hemorrhage shot) is one of the best shots for a perfect for Halloween. When made properly, it looks like brains & blood. Surprisingly, it doesn’t taste too bad either

Serve in a 1 Shot glass

  • 0.66oz (20ml) Archer’s Peach Schnapps
  • 0.33oz (10ml) Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • 2-3 drops of grenadine

Pour the peach schnapps into the shot glass. Layer the Bailey’s on top by pouring it slowly onto the back of a bar spoon. From several inches above, carefully drop the grenadine through the baileys to create that gruesome brainy look.

Cement Mixer

Cement mixer shooter photoIt’s worth emphasizing straight away that you don’t order a cement mixer shot for its taste… It’s a nasty combination of Irish cream and lime juice that’s designed to make the drinker suffer.

You’re meant to mix this drink in your mouth before swallowing so that the lime cordial & Irish cream combine and react to make the cream curdle. Very quickly, it starts to feel like you’ve got cement in your mouth – not the greatest experience in the world but hilarious to watch!

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/2 shot Irish cream
  • 1/2 shot lime cordial

Carefully layer in the order given above in a shot glass. Instruct the drinker to mix the drink in their mouth for 10 seconds before swallowing. Enjoy watching!

Flatliner

This is a fantastic shot that you can have a lot of fun with. The Tabasco sauce makes it interesting by adding heat to the mix and when made properly. Keep in mind that the more hot sauce you add, the worse it will be.

Hint: When you’re breaking in a new bartender, this shot does wonders.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/2 shot sambuca
  • 1/2 shot tequila
  • 4-7 drops Tabasco sauce

Add the sambuca to the shot glass. Layer the tequila on top. Drop the Tabasco sauce around in a circle – the Tabasco sauce should fall through the tequila and create an even layer on top of the Sambucca giving the appearance that the Tabasco sauce is suspended half-way through the glass.

Hand Grenade

Be careful when you’re serving the Hand Grenade. The combination of 2 shots of alcohol and a half a can of Red Bull make it the most deadly recipe (along with ‘Tom the Bomb’) on this list. It’s a fun drink to introduce to rowdy groups of guys.

Serve in 2 Shot glasses & 1 Pint glass

  • 1 shot white rum
  • 1 shot Jaegermeister
  • 1/2 can Red Bull

Pour the white rum & Jaeger into separate shot glasses. Pour the red bull into a pint glass. Balance the shot glasses against the edges of the rim of the pint glass with the white rum balancing on top. Instruct the drinker to shoot the white rum. The Jaeger shot will drop into the red bull and then instruct the drinker to scull this ‘bomb’ in quick succession.

Irish Car Bomb

Irish Car Bomb ShooterIt’s no secret that the Irish know how to drink, so it might come as no surprise that such a deadly concoction should be named after them. Strangely enough though, it was created in the US. Its name stems from the fact that it uses all Irish ingredients – Irish whiskey, Bailey’s and Guinness.

The Irish Car Bomb needs to be shot fast. The longer it sits there after it’s been ‘bombed,’ the worse it gets because the Bailey’s starts to curdle as soon as it hits the Guinness. So whenever you serve, remember to instruct the drinker to chug quickly.

Serve in 1 Shot glass & 1 Pint glass

  • 1/2 shot Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 shot Irish whiskey
  • Half a pint of Guinness

Pour the Baileys into a shot glass. Layer the Irish whiskey on top. Instruct the drinker to drop (i.e. bomb) the shot glass into the half pint of Guinness.

Jager Bomb

Jager bomb shooter recipeMany of us have forgotten a night of shenanigans thanks to the jager bomb. The mix of energy drink and alcohol may not be the healthiest combination, but that doesn’t stop people from loving it. It’s arguably the most popular shots all over the world. 

Interestingly, it’s called different things in different languages. One of my favorites comes from Finland, where they appropriately call it ‘Battery Acid,’ I’m assuming because of how they make you feel the next day.

Serve in 1 Shot glass & 1 Rocks glass

  • 1 shot Jaegermeister
  • 1/3 can Red Bull

Pour the Jaeger into a shot glass and the Red Bull into a rocks glass. Instruct the drinker to drop the shot of Jaeger into the rocks glass and chug.

Jam Donut

A very sweet & delicious shooter that tastes like a Jam Donut. It’s not very strong and it used to be my go-to shooter before I came across the Kamikaze.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/3 shot Chambord raspberry liqueur
  • 2/3 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
  • Simple syrup (to wet the rim of glass)
  • White sugar (to rim glass)

Line the rim of the shot glass with simple syrup. Rim the edges with white sugar. Add the Chambord and layer the Bailey’s on top.

Kamikaze (Serves 4)

The historian David Wondrich believes that the Kamikaze may have been the original ‘shooter’ recipe, coming out of the 70s. It’s done a lot of damage ever since and it’s still ordered as one of the best shots all over the world.

Despite its origins as a shooter, the Kamikaze has also evolved into a sophisticated cocktail recipe that’s it’s in the same league as the margarita and daiquiri. Essentially, it’s a margarita or daiquiri made with vodka.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1 1/2 shots vodka
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1/2 shot fresh lime juice

Shake & strain into 4 shot glasses.

Lemon Drop (Serves 4)

This sweet & sour shooter is deceptively strong because of how great it tastes. The lemon drop is a great shooter for the ‘sour’ lovers out there.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1 1/2 shot citrus vodka
  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1/2 shot fresh lemon juice
  • White sugar to rim the glass.
  • 1 lemon wedge for garnish.

Line the rims of the shot glasses with simple syrup, then Rim the edges with white sugar. Shake & strain into 4 sugar-rimmed shot glasses. Instruct the drinker to shoot it and then bite into the lemon wedge after.

Red Headed Slut (Serves 4)

Also known as a ‘Ginger B*tch’ or a ‘Ginger Headed Slut,’ it’s a popular shot recipe made all over the world. The cranberry juice and shaking it over ice dilutes the alcoholic content enough to make it taste great without knocking your socks off.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1 shot Jägermeister
  • 1 shot peach schnapps
  • 1 shot cranberry juice

Shake & strain into 4 shot glasses.

Skittle Bomb

As the name suggests, this bomb tastes like skittles. For customers who want a ‘bomb’ but they’re not fans of Jager, this is the perfect substitute – it’s delicious.

Serve in 1 Shot glass & 1 Rocks glass

  • 1 shot triple sec
  • 1/3 can Red Bull

Pour the triple sec into a shot glass and the Red Bull into a rocks glass. Instruct the drinker to drop the shot of triple sec into the rocks glass and skull.

Slippery Nipple

Slippery Nipple Shot RecipeA very popular short from its start in the 1980s, the slippery nipple is a humorously (or shockingly, depending on your perspective!) named shooter that tastes quite good too. It has many variations, which you can discover here, with the recipe below being the original.

Note: Many people confuse this shot with the ‘buttery nipple,’ which calls for butterscotch schnapps instead of sambuca.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 1/2 shot Sambuca
  • 1/2 shot Bailey’s Irish Cream

Pour sambuca into your shot glass. Gently layer the Irish cream on top.

Tom the Bomb

A variation to the hand-grenade, I created this drink as a 22-year-old bartender in my first full-time hospitality job when I was serving Contiki Tours & hen parties. It combines a skittle bomb with a shot of tequila. Surprisingly, I gained a few loyal customers out of this drink. They started coming to our bar specifically to get smashed off this deadly concoction.

Serve in 2 Shot glasses & 1 Pint glass

  • 1 shot Cointreau
  • 1 shot tequila
  • 1/2 can Red Bull.

Pour the Cointreau & tequila into separate shot glasses. Pout the red bull into a pint glass. Balance the shot glasses against the edges of the rim of the pint/rocks glass with the tequila balancing on top. Instruct the drinker to shoot the tequila. The Cointreau shot will drop into the red bull and then instruct the drinker to scull this ‘bomb’ in quick succession.

Vegas Bomb

Another worrisome combination of caffeine, sugar and alcohol, the Vegas Bomb is one of the more easy shots for bartenders out there. Its purpose: rocket-fuel for party goers in crazy party towns like Las Vegas & Ibiza. 

Serve in 1 Shot glass & 1 Rocks glass

  • 1/2 shot Canadian whisky
  • 1/2 shot butterscotch schnapps
  • 1/2 can energy drink (usually red bull)

Pour the butterscotch schnapps into a shot glass. Layer the whisky on top. Pour the energy drink into a separate rocks glass. Instruct the drinker to drop the shot into the rocks glass and chug.

Wet Pussy (serves 4)

The wet pussy shot is quite popular among the young Australian & American female populations. It’s not a very strong drink… but it’s fun.

Serve in a Shot glass

  • 3/4 shot vodka
  • 3/4 shot peach schnapps
  • 3/4 shot cranberry juice
  • 3/4 shot fresh lime juice

Shake & strain into 4 shot glasses.

Conclusion of Best Shots

Regardless of where you work, it’s likely you’ll need to know a few of our shot recipes. The 20 best shots above are a great start, but there are plenty of great and easy shots for bartenders out there. So what about you?

What recipes have you found work well behind the bar this year? Let me know in the comments section below. Bonus points if you’ve got a good story around it ;-).

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3 thoughts on “20 Most Popular Shots & Shooter Recipes for 2022”

  1. Your blowjob is missing Amaretto, equal measures, layered topped with squirty whipped cream.

    A couple of these are just cocktails split into classes to be honest, also really shocked there wasn’t a brain damage on here!

    Apart from that, it’s an alright list!

    1. Thanks for the feedback Jack! I’m definitely considering adding the Brain Damage, a few people have mentioned it 🙂

  2. Best shooter I have had the pleasure of creating – The Sweet Finish

    1/4 Shot Creme de Banana
    1/4 Shot Creme de Cacao
    1/2 Shot Baileys Irish Cream
    (optional top with whipping cream)

    Enjoy…

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