Discover the irresistible layers of the B-52, a perfect addition to your shot repertoire. And we’re here to unveil the secrets to crafting this visually appealing and flavorful shooter.
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Have you ever tried a B-52 shot? You know, the drink named after that cool B-52 bomber plane? This little cocktail is like a party in a glass, with three eye-catching layers: rich coffee liqueur as the base, topped off with smooth Irish cream and the cherry on top? A zest of orange-flavored liqueur. And you can even set it on fire if you want! Once you’ve had a B-52, it’s pretty hard to forget.
You know I’m a big fan of good shots, another one you can find on my blog is the Blow Job shot. Don’t let the name turn you off, it’s all about fun and flavor, it’s layered like a decadent dessert in a glass. You have your Amaretto and Irish cream swirling together in a creamy, dreamy combo, then it’s topped with a dollop of whipped cream.
But don’t think the B-52 is living in the shadow of its cheeky sibling! Both these shots have their own unique vibes and taste explosions going on.
The liqueurs I mention below are the best known of their kind but there are other kinds that come with a slight tweak in taste you may prefer.
- 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur (e.g., Kahlua)
- 1/2 oz. Irish cream liqueur (e.g., Baileys)
- 1/2 oz. orange liqueur (e.g., Grand Marnier)
- A shot glass – to layer and serve
- A bar spoon – to slow down the pour and create distinct layers
- A speed pourer – I really recommend using one, it makes a huge difference
- A lighter (optional) – to ignite the cocktail for an exciting presentation
- A flameproof straw (optional) – to consume the flaming B-52 shot in one go.
The Coffee Liqueur
Start with the coffee liqueur by carefully pouring it into the shot glass. (You can also use the coffee liqueur — Kahlua, in this case — to make the perfect Espresso Martini.)
The Irish Cream
Gently pour the Irish cream liqueur on top of the coffee liqueur, using the back of a spoon to slow down the pour. This will help create a distinct layer for each liqueur.
The Orange Liqueur
Pour the orange liqueur onto the Irish cream layer, again using the back of a spoon to slow down the pour and create a final layer. (The orange liqueur would also make a nice addition to a fruity Miami Vice cocktail.)
Consume it as a single shot without mixing the layers for the best taste. Option: Ignite with a lighter and drink with a flameproof straw in one go.
Tips and Tricks
Layering Techniques: Layering is crucial for achieving the B-52’s distinctive appearance. Use a speed pourer and a bar spoon to ensure a delicate pour, or try placing the spoon upside down on the inside of the shot glass, with the tip touching the side.
Taking the Shot: Just gulp down the shot all at once without disturbing those pretty layers. The flavors will mix inside your mouth.
Ignite with Caution: If you’re feeling a little daring, turning your B-52 shot into a little fire show can be super fun! But remember, safety first, always! If you’re going to set the top of your shot on fire, make sure you’ve got a long lighter, and keep a fire extinguisher or a damp cloth within arm’s reach, just in case. You will need a flame-proof straw to drink it while still lit.
Chill Your Liqueurs: Make sure to put your liqueurs in the fridge before mixing up your B-52. This not only jazzes up the taste but also helps those layers slide smoothly into place,.
Low-Carb B-52: If you’re looking for a healthier twist, replace the coffee liqueur with a sugar-free coffee syrup or even a homemade coffee essence made from a concentrated cold brew. Use a low-carb Irish cream alternative or make your own with a blend of heavy cream, whiskey, vanilla, cocoa, and a sugar substitute like erythritol. Finally, swap out the orange liqueur for an orange-flavored water enhancer or a few drops of orange essential oil.
B-52 on the Rocks: Transform your B-52 into a refreshing, sippable drink by serving it on the rocks. Pour equal parts coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, and orange liqueur into an old-fashioned glass filled with ice, and gently stir to mix.
B-53: It’s the sequel! The B-53 is a small yet significant twist on the classic B-52. Replace the orange liqueur with hazelnut liqueur (such as Frangelico), while keeping the coffee liqueur and Irish cream layers.
This drink is only 130-150 calories. That’s based on using half an ounce each of coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and orange liqueur. Of course, different brands can be a little more or less on the calorie scale.
The B-52 is all about that big flavor hit with just one sip. But if you want, you can go rogue and give it a little stir before drinking. It’s all good.
Just swap out the liqueurs with their non-alcoholic variants. Coffee and Irish cream syrups are great non-boozy substitutes, and a dash of orange juice or syrup will do the trick instead of orange liqueur.
Indeed, it is! Your shot gets its cool name from the B-52 Stratofortress bomber! Yes, that seriously epic, long-range bomber from the U.S. Air Force. The whole layered look of the shot reminded someone of this amazing plane, and voila – the B-52 was born!
I make a delicious Crepe Cake with Baileys Coffee Creamer Chocolate Ganache that, as the name suggests, is made with Baileys. The chocolate and coffee flavors in both the shot and the dessert will blow your mind.
How to make a b-52 ahead of time
If you’re planning to serve up B-52 shots at your next bash but need to prep in advance, here’s how to do it:
Layering Ahead: Layer up your shots in the same order as always — coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and orange liqueur. Ideally, make them close to party time because the layers will start to blend eventually.
Storing B-52 Shots: Once layered, pop them straight in the fridge. Make sure they have their own space (i.e., no squishing or stacking stuff on top). The big risk is that the layers mix up. They’ll stay fresh and delicious for a few hours.
Storing Liquors: Don’t forget about your liqueur bottles, either. They like it cool, dark, and sealed tight. Regular storage works, but for an added bonus, you could chill them in the fridge to keep flavors on point.
- 1/2 oz. coffee liqueur e.g., Kahlua
- 1/2 oz. Irish cream liqueur e.g., Baileys
- 1/2 oz. orange liqueur e.g., Grand Marnier
- Layer the ingredients in a shot glass. Start with the coffee liqueur by carefully pouring it into the shot glass.
- Gently pour the Irish cream liqueur on top of the coffee liqueur, using the back of a spoon to slow down the pour. This will help create a distinct layer for each liqueur.
- Pour the orange liqueur onto the Irish cream layer, again using the back of a spoon to slow down the pour and create a final layer.
- For the best experience, consume it as a single shot without mixing the layers. Alternatively, you can ignite it with a lighter and drink it through a flame-proof straw in one go.
Tips & Notes:
- Your shot gets its cool name from the B-52 Stratofortress bomber! Yes, that seriously epic, long-range bomber from the U.S. Air Force. The whole layered look of the shot reminded someone of this amazing plane, and voila – the B-52 was born!
Recipes written and produced on Food Faith Fitness are for informational purposes only.