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What Is the B-52 Cocktail?
The B-52 is a cocktail built and served in a shot glass, that is made with equal parts coffee liqueur, Irish cream liqueur, and orange-flavored liqueur. The shot takes advantage of the specific density of each liqueur, and is typically served “layered,” or poured carefully so that each liqueur forms a distinct layer in the glass. The B-52 is rich, sweet, and visually appealing, making it one of the more well-known shot recipes.
What Is the History of the B-52 Cocktail?
The most likely origin of the B-52 drink recipe is with Peter Fich, head bartender at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta. Fich liked to name his creations after his favorite bands, which means that the B-52 cocktail was named after the popular band, the B-52s, and not after the B-52 Stratofortress bomber.
7 Variations on the B-52
The B-52 is a layered shot famous for having a wide number of variations. Here are some of the most common:
- Flaming B-52: Set on fire before being served; often topped with a thin layer of overproof rum for easy lighting
- B-51: Substitutes Frangelico hazelnut liqueur for orange liqueur
- B-52 in the desert: Substitutes tequila for Irish cream
- B-53: Substitutes sambuca for Irish cream
- B-54: Substitutes amaretto almond liqueur for orange liqueur
- B-55: Substitutes absinthe for orange liqueur
- B-57: Substitutes peppermint schnapps for Irish cream
B-52 Cocktail Recipe
Prep Time4 min
Total Time4 min
- ½ ounce coffee liqueur
- ½ ounce Irish cream, preferably Bailey’s
- ½ ounce orange liqueur, preferably Grand Marnier
- Pour the coffee liqueur into a shot glass.
- Carefully pour the Irish cream into the glass over the back of a spoon (preferably a bar spoon); the Irish cream should float atop the coffee liqueur.
- Carefully pour the orange liqueur using the same layering method. Serve.
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