Mixology Monday: Shooters

Darcy O'Neil :: March 12, 2007 9:51 PM

Mixology MondayWell the time has come to discuss the Mixology Monday topic of shooters, being hosted by Rick at the Martini Lounge. The shooter is the cocktail of the college crowd. Yes, the shooter is the cocktail that almost every student, and every new drinker, is introduced too, other than light beer and white zinfandel. They come in groups and push forward, towards the bar, with the brand spanking new inductee, into the alcohol hall of shame. They announce that it’s so and so’s age of majority birthday (19 here) and order them some vile shooter. It’s like Vikings dunking a new born baby into ice cold river water to see if the child is hardy enough to be called a Viking! From that point most people develop a hatred for a particular spirit because of said shooter, unless of course you happen to order a shot from a nice bartender like me.

That's right, unless you are pissing me off for some reason, I'll always make a tasteful shooter. No Pickled Brains, Prairie Fires or Cement Mixers. When I see a rookie, I treat them right, I make them what they want, not what everyone else wants. I also make sure that the alcohol level is a little lower, just so the liver can adapt to this great new poison. So that means fruity shooters like a Broken Down Gold Carts and more manly things like chilled brandy with Kahlua. Why, you ask? Because, I hate it when guys say "I don't drink tequila because it made sick when I was in college". Suck it up princess and stop drinking the cheap crap, tequila is great, but because you didn't exercise choice or self control you blew it.

ShooterThere is also the bartenders perspective of shooters. First they can be a fun way to earn some quick tips when you have a good group of people who are just out for a good time. If the group does a round or two, and leaves it at that, shooters are great. But if it goes too far, we start to see the dark side of the shooter. As a bartender nothing is more irritating than a completely trashed person begging for one more drink after someone bought them four or five shooters. Or worse yet, people trying to cram that one last shooter down some- victims throat, knowing full well that it's coming right back up in short order.

For people who can't handle their alcohol, or don't have the spine to reject a drink, because they are at their limit, shooters are a bad thing. They just have a way of increasing blood alcohol levels way too fast and making for a rough night. I’m talking about me, the bartender, having a rough night, not the drunken wreck blowing chunks in the bathroom, they had a choice. I don't have a choice if the spew all over my bar. But time has taught me to be gentle on the newbie's and it makes everyone's night pleasant by serving rather benign shooters.

Well, enough about the cause and effect of shooters. Even though most shots are crap, there are some decent ones. And no, the ones with sexual names attached are generally not a good bet. Where I work, fine dining, I don't make a lot of shooters but occasionally I get a gaggle of girls celebrating some event and want a round or two. Great, but I don't commit a lot of space in the grey matter for shooters, so I do a lot of them on the fly. And that is exactly what I’m doing today for Mixology Monday.

When I make a shooter, it should look good, so layering, a la pousse café, is key. Next, the flavours need to be relatively compatible, so it at least tastes good. Finally, colour can be helpful in the appearance department, so today I grabbed three bottles of liqueur that I hardly ever use and whipped one up. So here is the random shooter for Mixology Monday:

Mixology Monday Shooter

½ oz Limoncello
½ oz Blue Curacao
½ oz Cherry Brandy

Layer the shooter in the order specified in the recipe.

It looks nice and when I did the taste test, in the traditional down the hatch manner, it wasn't offensive. It doesn't have a lot of alcohol, so it would be good for rookies and it has all sorts of fruity flavours, and the Limoncello makes for a nice clean finish. Anyway, I washed my mouth out with a bottle of Moosehead Pale Ale since my preferred shooter is a nice chilled shot of Canadian whisky or Makers Mark.


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