When you hear the name B52, you will likely think of the world’s largest bomber that had everyone marveling at its gigantic size. However, another important aspect of that plane, apart from its size, was that it was an engineering masterclass!
That is exactly how I can describe this B52 shot. While it is not the strongest drink you can ever find in a shot glass, the mixture of coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, and Grand Marnier is nothing short of perfection.
If the visual masterpiece of a well-made B52 layered shot is not enough to impress you, your first sip will do the trick. Words are not enough to describe the B 52 shot! You just have to follow this recipe, grab a shot glass, and make a B 52 shot for yourself!
What Is the B52 Shot?
The B 52 shot is a classic multi-layered liquor shot made from three liqueurs chosen carefully for their specific densities.
It was invented by the head bartender of the Banff Springs Hotel, Mr. Peter Fich, in Alberta, in 1970. After becoming an instant hit with the patrons of the Banff Springs Hotel, it wasn’t long before, like its namesake, the B 52 was ready to take over the world.
This shot is made of equal parts triple sec orange liqueur (usually Grand Marnier), Irish cream liqueur, and coffee liqueur.
Unlike many other shots in which the ingredients are not only added randomly but sometimes shaken as well, the B 52 shot (and the B 52 cocktail too) calls for a bit more precision when pouring out the different liquors.
Based on their density, each of the three ingredients is added one at a time, with the heavy coffee liqueur going in first and the much lighter Grand Marnier orange liqueur going in last and sitting at the very top.
Besides having a name that was already made popular by the gigantic aircraft, the B 52 shot is well known for being a visually appealing shot with a rich and sweet taste. Let us look at each of the three liquors that are used in making the B 52 shot and B 52 cocktail:
Many types of coffee liqueur options are available and they can all be used for the B 52 shot. Most people prefer to use Kahlua but you can also try Tia Maria or Sheridan’s, the other two popular options.
If you go for Kahlua, you must know that while it does contain caffeine, it is only about 25% compared to the same volume of coffee.
Your choice of coffee liqueur will also depend on the cost and whether or not you already have the liquor brand on hand. Most bars usually have at least Kahlua going for about $15 to $20 for a 750ml bottle
When it comes to the choice of orange liqueur, this is where a lot of people go for different brands because of the many options available and the confusion regarding the difference between them.
In my case, I love Grand Marnier and it’s the one I use each time I make a b 52 cocktail or shot. Grand Marnier is a mixture of Cognac and Triple Sec with hints of vanilla and oak in its flavors. If, on the rare occasion that I do not have Grand Marnier on hand, my next best alternative is Cointreau, which gives my B 52 cocktail/shot a citrus and slightly sweet taste.
Irish Cream Liqueur
I find that Baileys Irish Cream liqueur is the perfect partner to the vanilla notes in my Grand Marnier. It is perfect for the buttery nipple shot as well! While there are of course a lot of different brands of Irish Cream liqueurs out there, I suggest that you stick to Baileys when making the B 52 shot.
In terms of density and complementing the Grand Marnier and coffee liqueur, this is the best Irish Cream for me. After all, it’s all about making the perfect three-layered shot and with these liquor options, you will not go wrong in that.
How About a B 52 Cocktail Instead?
If you would rather slow down and enjoy a B 52 cocktail instead of a shot, that is OK too. All you will need to do is double up on all the B 52 ingredients and grab a cocktail glass instead of a shot glass.
Be sure to stir your B 52 cocktail first before taking a sip, otherwise, you may just end up drinking a gulp of Grand Marnier, followed by a rough mixture of Irish Cream and Kahlua coffee liqueur!
Variations to this Orange Flavored Liqueur Recipe
Here are some simple variations to your B 52 shot:
- Shake it up if you are not a fan of the layers because it will taste just as good
- Amaretto is the most popular substitute for Irish Cream in this shot recipe
- If you want to create a visually stunning multi-layered B 52 shot, add a bit of Overproof rum on top of the Grand Marnier and set it on fire for a flaming B 52 shot!
The legacy of Peter Fich lives on in his B 52 shot creation! You too can take part and enjoy one of the best-tasting shots and cocktails you will ever try with this simple B 52 shot recipe.
While it is not the strongest shot, the mixture of coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, and Grand Marnier in a B52 shot is nothing short of perfection!
- ½ oz. Kahlua Coffee liqueur
- ½ oz. Baileys Irish Cream
- ½ oz. Grand Marnier Orange liqueur
- Gather all your ingredients and equipment.
- Pour the coffee liqueur in first, taking care not to splash on the sides of the shot glass
- Carefully pour the Irish cream next by using a bar spoon to break the flow and allow the Irish Cream to float on top of the coffee liqueur.
- Again, using a cleaned bar spoon, float the last layer of the B 52 shot, the Grand Marnier, delicately on top of the Irish Cream.
- Your B 52 shot is ready for you to serve and enjoy!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 151Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g