14 Shots, Ranked From Worst To Best - Tasting Table (2023)

14 Shots, Ranked From Worst To Best - Tasting Table (1)

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ByMelissa Nicholson/Jan. 17, 2023 1:39 pm EST

Some liquors are made to simply be drunk and not tasted or at least mixed with something else, while other liquors are best on their own, not to be bothered or offered any help from nearby bottles. When it comes to the liquor shot, things get foggy. There's the cheap tequila or the "Idare you"Jeppson's Malört shots from your college days, and then there's today's menu of shots, which are a mix of spirits and other flavors, with the cutest titles served as a mini cocktail in a shot glass. And, of course, some have fun names but are full of flavors that should be used in a meal but not in your drinking glass.

You'll want to know the most popular shots so that the next time you go out on the town with friends, you can impress them with your wealth of knowledge and know which ones to order and which ones to steer clear of. When it comes to any kind of cocktail, even a shot, there are some mixologists who painstakingly perfect taste and others who quickly throw some gross choices together and just watch it all play out. It's all good. Some shots are made to be tasted, and others are made to be slammed while you hold your breath. Either way — good luck.

14. Liquid Steak

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Filets, New York strip, ribeye — now that's something you can sink your teeth into. Wouldn't it be convenient if you could drink that steak flavor? No, no, it would not be. Sometimes a name says it all. Liquid steak. When is that ever a good idea? The Liquid Steak shot made the top of our list as one of the worst shots you could order.

It's a simple drink, requiring 1.5 ounces of Bacardi rum and a drizzle of Worcestershire sauce. Worcestershire sauce is needed in your classic bloody Mary recipe, but to drink it straight up and unmixed in this shot is a bit too much. Besides, who wants to think of liquified steak while enjoying a drink? It may turn you off from steak altogether, and that's no good thing. Stick with the beef, preferably medium rare, and enjoy a shot that goes well with your meal rather than trying to replicate it in a shot of Bacardi.

13. Birthday Cake

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Who doesn't love birthday cake? Birthday cake is fabulous, but so are a lot of things. We can't drink them all. Cosmopolitanwrites that one of the unique things you can use cake mix for is the Birthday Cake shot. So long cake and ice cream. Now you can conveniently drink your dessert and get back to life.

The Birthday Cake shot is created by mixing dry white cake mix with whipped cream vodka, some half-and-half, and other liquors, such as cake-flavored vodka. Shake it all together, pour it into shot glasses, and then drink up. Is anyone else thinking this doesn't sound like something to swallow in one shot glass-type gulp? Seems it should come with a fork and maybe a candle.

One fun part of Birthday Cake shots, however, is that you can line the rim of the shot glass with frosting and sprinkles. That sounds better than a liquified mix. There are a lot of good cake mixes, but they should probably remain an option for cake, not a drink.

12. Angel of Death

According to Shottys, Jello shots rose in popularity in the 1980s. So did big hair, but all good things must come to an end. The Jello shot, however, is still going strong. Some may find doing shots of a thickened, wiggly substance a bit gross. Others, it seems, really dig it.

The Angel of Death whipped cream vodka Jello shot is a bit of a mouthful to say and a lot of work to make, as far as shots go. It's created with whipped cream vodka, heavy cream, sugar, and gelatin powder. If you feel fancy, they can be topped off with a dollop of whipped cream and chocolate shavings. Use ready-made whipped cream or make homemade whipped creamright in your cocktail shakersince you have your drinking supplies out anyway.

The most dangerous part of any Jello shot is that it may be too easy to drink. The perk is that you can make them ahead of time, just as you would any Jello. Simply pull them out of the fridge when it's time to party.

11. Prairie Oyster

Prepare to ruin your appetite. Okay, maybe not everyone. Obviously, someone is drinking the Prairie Oyster shot, even though it requires swallowing a raw egg. Common history suggests that Prairie Oyster shots have been around since the late 1800s; their staying power derives from a reputation as a hangover cure, per Eater. Perhaps those who enjoy truly are on to something. But is it safe to eat raw eggs? Raw eggs contain some risks, such as salmonella, and the FDArecommends only consuming pasteurized eggs to be safe. Now, on to the Prairie Oyster.

The Prairie Oyster shot gets its name from the fact that it's similar to swallowing a raw oyster. People usually enjoy oysters for more reasons than the texture; however, this slimy shot may do it for you if it's only the texture you crave. Just crack an egg into your glass, top it with Worcestershire, vinegar, horseradish, and salt and pepper, then slam it back. It might not cure your hangover, but it'll sure wake you up.

10. Cement Mixer

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The Cement Mixer got its name because it has been described as feeling like cement in one's mouth, per Money Inc. It literally coats the teeth and makes them feel like they're wrapped in concrete. Yum. If you enjoy curdled milk, you may like this one. It consists of two ingredients in equal parts: Irish creamand lime juice. Do you see where this is going? The lime juice is poured on top of the Irish cream, which causes the cream to curdle, then the drink is swallowed as a shot. It begs the question: why?

Apparently, some people enjoy the flavor. It's also sometimes used as a deterrent to drinking. According to Cement Science, some bars in college areas offer the Cement Mixer to young people who think they are ready to party and drink. The Cement Mixer is known to make people sick with its curdled texture, so the hope is that when getting a new drinker to have one, they may not want to drink much of any type of alcohol afterward.

9. Kamikaze

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There are a lot of drinks you can mix with vodka, and the Kamikaze is among some of the most well-known that use it. The Kamikaze is a classic liquor shot because it's been around a while, and you won't find a bartender who hasn't made one.

European Bartender School writes that the Kamikaze shot was invented at an American-occupied Garrison pub in Japan during World War II and became popular in the 1970s. It's still going strong today and even has some variations, such as gin instead of vodka or turning it into a full cocktail drink rather than a shot.

The shot consists of vodka, Triple Sec, and lime juice. This is a boozy shot that actually tastes good and has no unusual textures or unidentified flavors. The Triple Sec adds sweetness, while the lime adds a little sourness. The Kamikaze is easy to throw back and has a unique history. If you aren't used to shots of liquor, this is a good one to start with.

8. Pineapple Upside Down

Although shots named after food are sometimes scary and downright gross since they actually add food or spices that shouldn't be in a drink, the Pineapple Upside-Down cake shot only has the yummy flavors — no chunks of cake or pineapple.

The cake has a fun history dating back to the roaring 1920s when it appeared in cookbooks, per Quaint Cooking. It reached its peak popularity in the 50s and 60s, and your grandmother or great-grandmother likely served it at potlucks and holidays. The flavor of the iconic cake includes cherries and pineapple, making it destined to end up as a name for a liquor shot (sorry, grandma).

The ingredients, such as grenadine and pineapple juice, are acheap vodka trickto make even the worst-made versions of the spirit taste better. The shot is also pretty if you don't shake the ingredients altogether and instead enjoy the layers of red and yellow. Why waste time baking? They say to drink your vegetables, so why your pineapple upside-down cake?

7. Green Tea

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Before you go bragging to your friends, telling them the only way you'll do a shot of liquor is if it's a nutritious one, such as the Green Tea shot, there's something you should know. The classic Green Tea shot recipe doesn't contain green tea. Sorry. It only looks like the light green colored tea that's known for its many nutritional benefits. That's where it gets its name and where the similarities stop. Still, that doesn't mean it isn't delicious. It is.

You'll need four liquids and a shaker to make the Green Tea shot, including Sprite or any lemon-lime soda, an Irish whiskey, sour mix, and peach schnapps. It's recommended that you skip a premade sour mix and opt for a homemade one instead. Thecitrus in the real fruit of a sour mix will make the Green Tea shot really pop. It's tough to beat freshly squeezed lemon and lime juice.

6. Alice in Wonderland

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If you love tequila, you'll love the Alice in Wonderland shot. It's simple and delicious, but don't go drinking one every day. If you drink tequila every day, you'll build up a tolerance, which means you can drink more before you reach any embarrassing drunken episodes, but you'll still feel like you have a hangover the next morning. Life can be so unfair.

The Alice in Wonderland shot is made up of orange liqueur and tequila, preferably reposado, chilled. The orange liqueur adds just enough sweetness without turning this shot into an overly sweet one that tastes like a fruit punch. You can also turn the Alice in Wonderland into a full-fledged cocktail using the orange liqueur, Southern Comfort, and amaretto (the latter two in place of tequila). Or, keep the tequila and join Alice down the rabbit hole.

The Alice in Wonderland shot is perfect for costume parties because of the name, but it's also perfect when you're hanging with friends and want to do some shots that actually taste like a decent cocktail.

5. Dublin Drop

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Guinness may be an Irish beer, but beer drinkers from all over the world love the dark, smooth stuff, not just on St. Patty's Day. According to Best Beer HQ, Dublin's most visited tourist attraction is the Guinness brewery, with over one million guests each year.

Guinness also has some unexpected uses, so even if you aren't a beer drinker, you can enjoy it in bread recipes, use it as a meat marinade, and even try Guinness with your ice cream. Still, true Guinness lovers who can't get enough will consider the Dublin Drop the best liquor shot out there.

My Bartender explains that the shot wasn't created in Ireland but in Connecticut by a fellow named Charles Burke Cronin in 1979 at Wilson's saloon. Maybe that explains its formerly offensive name. Either way, it isn't a true Dublin Drop without three important ingredients: Guinness, Irish whiskey, and Irish cream. This shot is unique because it isn't done like a traditional shot. The Irish whiskey and cream are mixed in a shot glass, then gently dropped, shot glass, and all into a pint of Guinness (the pint is only filled part way to allow room). This drink is an Irish beer and whiskey lover's dream.

4. Hot Damn

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With a name like Hot Damn, it's got to be a fun shot. At the least, it's fun to say. Thankfully, the Hot Damn shot is tasty as well. You don't see much rum used in shots because there are so many rums worth sippingon their own. On top of that, it's not common to mix whiskey with rum and vodka. However, it's a good idea. Mixing types of alcohol that can hold up just fine independently, especially rum and whiskey, brings a new sense of notes to your palate and senses. Rum has a little spice to it, and those notes meld well with the often caramel and vanilla essence of whiskey.

Hot damn not only mixes all those liquors together, but the drink also calls for fresh squeezed orange juice, which turns down the heat on all those strong spirits and brings some sweetness to the shot. Plus, you can all yell "Hot damn!" when you're done. Certainly, the bartender has never heard that one before.

3. Jolly Rancher

Yes, it's a real thing. Even though it stuck in your teeth as a kid, that candy you loved has grown up and had a boozy shot named after it. Recreating the flavor of Jolly Rancher candies in a shot is nothing short of brilliant. They have that perfect balance of sweet and sour, a common drink theme, especially shots. There are ways to melt Jolly Ranchers and use them in recipes, but this particular shot is named after the fruity candies; it doesn't actually need a Jolly Rancher, though the garnish is nice.

Grab your cranberry juice, pineapple juice, apple vodka, peach schnapps, some ice, and a shaker, and shake it all together. The color is pretty pink, just like some of the candies. You can even prepare these shots ahead of time in your shaker without ice. Then, when it's party time, add the cold cubes and serve in shot glasses.

2. Motor Oil

You may be surprised to see a name like motor oil make it to the top of the list for one of the best shots to drink. In this case, don't judge a book by its cover. The name is, well...gross. However, the drink is yummy. It's a unique shot with a slew of unusual contestants. Jägermeister is the star, followed by peppermint schnapps, Goldschlager, and Malibu Rum.

Obviously, Jägermeister hails from Germany, but what exactly is Jagermeister? It's a liqueur, more specifically known as a digestif. In case you're unfamiliar, adigestif is an alcoholic drink that is served after a meal to help settle your stomach. Usually, they are served neat, but in this case, Jägermeister gives the Motor Oil shot a whirl.

Its many ingredients combine to create a strong black licorice flavor. The costars in the shot, Goldschlager with its cinnamon notes and fancy gold flakes, peppermint schnapps, with its cool minty flavor, and Malibu rum with coconut sweetness all mix together to form a unique and fun taste, even if it does look like motor oil.

1. White Gummy Bear

This time, the named candy is actually in the drink recipe. Who doesn't love gummy bears? The history of the gummy bear is as sweet as the candy itself. A man named Hans Riegel of Bonn, Germany, had a candy business in the 1920s and found his hard candies weren't selling well, so he created a softer treat using a gelatin base, and boom ... the gummy candy was created (viaSmithsonian Magazine). Though they come in many colors and flavors, those little white ones have an unidentified, perfectly sweet flavor. The White Gummy Bear shot calls for raspberry vodka, peach schnapps, sweet and sour mix, lemon-lime soda, and those darling white gummy bears sprinkled on top (chew them up before downing your shot).

You could really change up this shot quite easily. There are many flavors of Svedka vodka, and a few of them would work perfectly in the White Gummy Bear shot, such as peach, cherry limeade, or orange cream pop. The smooth, saccharine, tangy mix is a winning combination every time, especially when a cute little bear is staring up at you from the bottom of the glass.

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