15 Best Alcohol for Shots: Must Try!

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Shots are all fun and games until you do one too many and ruin your evening. Therefore to do shots and land on your feet, you need to factor a few things into your decision. First, remember how experienced you are with shots.

The second thing to keep in mind is the day you had. If you have a stressful day, you are more likely to get seriously drunk with a small number of shots. You also need to consider your weight, meals, and sleep amount you got the night before.

However, the most crucial factor is the type of alcohol you choose to do shots with. Some alcohols work better for slow sipping, some for shots, and some are perfect for cocktails. So, what is the best alcohol for shots?

In spite of the general conclusion that cheap alcohol is best for shots, I beg to differ. Because you drink shots quickly, it seems that it doesn’t matter what the drink tastes like.

Good-quality alcohol is known to be very delicious and smooth, which are qualities that most of us don’t prioritize when doing shots, as long as the kick is good.

Also, shots usually go with chasers, i.e., drinks you take after the shots to balance you out, thus further eliminating the need for good-quality alcohol for your shots.

However, things are not what they seem, as the quality of alcohol matters a great deal when doing shots.

I would even say that the quality of alcohol is more critical for shots than for cocktails or slow sipping. This is because you chug a shot without allowing your body to get used to the alcohol.

Therefore, it is not uncommon to see someone give up after the second round. With good quality alcohol, it is a different case. Good quality alcohol is easier to process and gives you a gradual kick, letting you have fun longer.

Also Check: How Many Shots To Get Drunk: 16 Types of Alcohol

Also, consider your alcohol tolerance, as even the best alcohol will knock you down in ten seconds if you are a lightweight.

So, to help you have the best possible time next time you do shots and ensure you can function properly the next day, in this article, I will give you a list containing the best alcohol to do shots with.

15 Best Alcohol for Shots

You will find this info very useful, especially if you are a beginner. If you are more experienced in the shot department, this is a chance for you to deepen your knowledge and expand your horizons.

1. Vodka 

Potato VodkaAn old classic is the most appropriate way to open this list. Vodka is the go-to when it comes to shots as it glides smoothly, leaves a nice burn, layers the throat, and has a very potent kick.

Moreover, vodka is easy to chase, so whatever you chug after your vodka shot will do a great job.

A good-quality vodka has an excellent viscosity, fruity flavor, and often a peppery finish, so these are the features you need to look for.

All vodkas bite and sting, so if you are looking to avoid this, you won’t. However, you can always order a shot of a vodka cocktail to milden the aggressiveness.

2. Rum 

Rum Sweet and warming, rum is yet another drink exceptionally well-suited for shots. It works all the way from the nose to the palate to the throat.

Moreover, rum has a very specific kick you cannot miss. It is time and warm, so you will feel the edge taken off without having your legs shake.

A good rum is a sweet rum. It isn’t so thick, as rum isn’t supposed to be very vicious. However, it should be flavorful, with a warm and pleasant burn.

It doesn’t have that vodka bite, so it is a pretty good alternative for vodka if you want to avoid your shot stinging you.

3. Tequila 

tequila shotsTequila is excellent for shots, but you need to pick your poison carefully as there are several types of tequila, and not all appeal to the same people. The most suited for shots is the tequila Blanco or tequila silver.

The Blanco is the tequila that ages the least before bottling and is, therefore, the sharpest one. There is also reposado, a type of tequila aged more than the Blanco and anejo, which is the type that ages the longest.

Even though the anejo and reposado tequilas are considered wasted when taken as a shot, I beg to differ. The anejo and reposado varieties are very smooth and make excellent shots.

When selecting the type of tequila for your shots, make sure you are having a 100% agave tequila of whichever brand.

More: 15 Best Tequila for Shots

4. Bourbon 

High End BourbonEven though bourbon is initially intended to sip slowly and maybe paired with some nuts, or almonds, or hazelnuts, it is also a great drink to do shots with. It is a cleaner drink than whiskey but sharper as well.

If you are a whiskey fan, I don’t recommend you do shots with bourbon, as chances are you won’t like it. On the other hand, if you are still learning and discovering what you like, give bourbon shots a shot.

A good bourbon is an aromatic bourbon with moderate viscosity. Intense notes of corn are always a good sign. Corn bourbon is the best for shots, the rye and corn mixtures are a bit harsher, so you may not like the sensation.

5. Whiskey

Whiskey-shotA whiskey shot is a flavorful shot; however, not all whiskeys can deliver the same quality. A good whiskey shot is very aromatic, starting slowly and being the most intense mid-palate.

Even though it passes very quickly through your mouth, a good whiskey will leave you with an intense aftertaste echoing the tastes you didn’t have time to explore.

The finish of a good whiskey is always smooth, leaving a warm burn, no bite, and a lingering aftertaste, most often vanilla and smoke.

6. Gin 

gin-tonicGin is an excellent option for shots, but it is a little restrictive, meaning that not everyone would like it. Namely, gin is expressively bitter, so many find it repulsive as they feel as if they are drinking a chemical solution.

Even if you haven’t tasted gin ever in your life, if you don’t like bitter flavors, don’t even give it a chance, but if you like such notes, you will most certainly enjoy it. Good gin is expressively citrus-flavored with hints of coriander and herbs.

7. Brandy 

BrandyBrandy is somewhere between a spirit and wine, which is understandable as it comes mainly from grapes. Its primary purpose is to drink slowly and enjoy it by a roaring fire, which is the complete opposite of the setting in which you do shots.

Nevertheless, it somehow works as a shot too. The floral and fruity aromas and flavors make brandy a very good shot drink, so if you like tame and balanced flavors, give it a shot, you may just fall in love.

A good brandy is smooth with high viscosity and very noticeable aromas and flavors of grapes and natural floral notes.

8. Schnapps 

Schnapps is for the more experienced ones. It is harsh and aggressive, as well as strong and merciless. Taken as a shot, it may make your body shake in just a few short minutes, so don’t have it unless you are completely confident that you can handle it.

If you are more on the mellow side, you should choose a fruity schnapps, peach schnapps, for example. It works great for shots, and it is petty and gentle.

All schnapps sting and bite, and in general, they are pretty cheap. Therefore, fruity/not fruity should be your criterion.

9. Liqueur

A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage recognizable for its very pleasant flavor and aroma. It is usually very gentle with a very high viscosity. Liqueurs are primarily fruity, but there are those tasting like coffee, chocolate, or cocoa.

There is a genuinely vast selection of liqueurs you can choose from, and finding the right one for you is a very easy job. Usually, liqueurs do not bite, so if you taste a biting one, know that it isn’t good.

The lower-end liqueurs may pass for cocktails, but for shots, the bar is set higher. Therefore, know that a good liqueur smells like the taste it has, not like pure alcohol, it doesn’t bite, and it is very flavorful.

More: 26 Best Shots To Order at a Bar

10. Cordials

Cordial is a tremendously flavored liqueur that comes in several flavors such as mint, chocolate, coffee, etc. it is of moderate quality but highly satisfactory. It won’t empty your pockets either, which is a big plus in the pro column.

It is easy to drink, versatile, and tame. However, it has a generous amount of alcohol, so you need to pace yourself with it, as your fun can quickly turn into tears if you aren’t careful with it.

11. Jagermeister

Jagermeister is a genius drink made by combining 56 herbs, so imagine how fully aromatic and flavored it is. Jagermeister is the star of every frat party, as well as adolescent pool parties.

However, Jagermeister doesn’t have to be only a young man’s game, as it tastes even better when you have enough experience to appreciate it.

Even though you gulp it without turning twice to identify so many of those 56 herbs, it won’t leave you indifferent.

It will leave behind a delicious, fresh, and herbal aftertaste lingering on in your mouth. You will feel cleansed from the inside, with your breath smelling like Listerine all night long.

12. Cointreau Triple Sec

Although triple sec liqueurs are more of a cocktail mixer than a shot alcohol, the Cointreau triple sec works excellent for shots. It is a liqueur that tastes like orange; it is sweet, high in viscosity, and very delicious.

Cointreau has also found application in other spheres than drinking, such as baking and cooking, and is, therefore, a very versatile drink you will enjoy doing shots with.

13. Creme De Menthe

Crème de menthe is a sweet and mint-flavored alcoholic drink. It is fresh, herbal, and natural-tasting, so you can easily do shots with it without the stinging and the biting. It is creamy in consistency and pretty high in viscosity.

The best thing about crème de menthe is that it gives you the urge to drink water after doing the shots, so you will stay hydrated all night long.

14. Cocktail Shots


If you don’t want to put any thought into the type of alcohol for your shot, go simple and order shots made of your favorite cocktail. A good-quality alcohol is irreplaceable, but cocktails work with lower-end alcohols too, so either way, you are good.

You can have shots of any cocktail you like. Therefore you can have sex on the beach shots, pina colada shots, tequila sunrise or mojito shots, or any other cocktail you can possibly think of.

One of the most popular cocktails for shots is Kamikaze, so if you can’t think of anything else, go with that one; you won’t be disappointed.

15. Absinth

Absinth is a highly flavorful drink made mainly of anise. It has a strong herbal aroma, high viscosity, and a kick you cannot even imagine.

It has been known as hallucinogenic, but that is just a myth that increased the sale of absinth in the 90s, without that even being the purpose of those rumors.

The chemical in absinth is wormwood, which, yes, can cause hallucinations, but only if taken in massive doses. You will live three lives, drinking absinth every day without reaching that amount.

Absinth shots are very delicious and very cheerful, meaning that they are instant spirit-raisers. Some like to set the absinth shot on fire and drink it that way for extra effect, but that is an absolutely unnecessary fire hazard, so feel free to have it as it is.

What Is a Good Alcohol for Shots?

Vodka, tequila, bourbon, whiskey, schnapps, brandy, rum, gin, and liqueur are the basics for shots. If you don’t feel particularly creative, order a shot of either of those and since it is a shot, even the best one won’t set you back a lot, so you can afford a good-quality shot.

You can also do shots with cocktails, as each cocktail can be drunk in the form of a shot. Also, you can have absinth, Jagermeister, or another herbal drink that won’t burn you but will give you a fantastic kick.

Another good drink for shots is beer. However, beer is not so popular as a sot because drinking beer so fast will make your stomach bloat significantly due to the yeast.

What Is the Easiest Alcohol To Take Shots Of?

Anything flavored without a sting and a bite is an easy shot drink. Popularly called “kiddie booze,” these drinks are very gentle and mild in terms of flavor, and they often resemble juice more than alcohol.

Such drinks are mostly liqueurs as well as fruit cocktail slots. Therefore, if you are just dipping your toes in the shots department, liqueurs and cocktail sots are an excellent place to start exploring the art of doing shots.

What Is the Strongest Alcohol For Shots?

The strongest alcohol for shots is definitely vodka. Although a high-quality vodka is very aromatic and full-flavored, it is still aggressive and sharp, with a strong bite and a mighty sting. Drinking vodka straight is one thing, but drinking vodka as a sot is completely another.

It is not uncommon for a person to vomit right after drinking a shot of vodka and not because they got drunk, but because it is that merciless. Chugging that huge shot-sized vodka sip will definitely take its toll on you, stinging you and burning you on the inside.

Moreover, if you are not a vodka aficionado, you are likely oblivious to the fact that there are vodkas with astronomical alcohol amounts, so that, too, is a problem in itself. So, be very careful when having vodka shots.

Tequila is a close second, though, especially tequila Blanco as it also has a considerable bite and sting. However, tequila is inherently gentler than vodka, so if you don’t have much shot experience but you want to take a stroll on the wild side, I recommend you go with tequila shots before you dare having vodka shots.

For the experienced drinkers, vodka and tequila shots are the best ones as they have mastered the technique of doing shots, but as with everything, there is a learning curve with that too.

What Is the Most Popular Alcohol for Shots?

To say that there is one most popular alcohol for shots worldwide would be a very inaccurate statement, as alcohol and culture are very closely connected. So, the most popular shot of alcohol varies depending on the part of the world.

Generally, the most popular alcohol for shots is vodka, but not everywhere. Recently, Pink Whitney vodka has gained rising popularity in the shots department for being very gentle and very mild. Liqueurs are also a very popular shot decision, as well as tequila and gin.



Chad Smith

Meet Chad Smith, a seasoned bartender with a passion for mixology. He's the founder of Tin Roof Drink Community, a blog where he shares expert tips, creative recipes, and fosters a vibrant community of cocktail enthusiasts and aspiring bartenders. Join Chad as he takes you on a flavorful journey through the world of drinks. Cheers!

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