Drinking shots at a bar can be a memorable experience if you play your cards right. Choosing the right shots to order is crucial, as your experience can quickly move from memorable to one you cannot remember.
Shots are, basically, alcoholic drinks in a shot glass. They are very versatile, and you can have a shot of virtually any alcohol, pure or mixed.
There are drinks made intentionally for shots, as well as drinks that fit excellent as a shot. Wine, for example, is not intended to have as a shot, nor does it go well as a shot.
You can have shots mainly with spirits, preferably unaged, as the aged ones are meant to sip slowly or mixed in a cocktail.
Speaking of cocktails, you can have a shot of any cocktail, but that doesn’t mean that you should. There are cocktails, such as Long Island Iced Tea, Sex on the Beach, or Pina Colada, that don’t do well as a shot.
These cocktails, as well as some others, are very flavorful and sweet, and having them as a shot would mean missing out on the flavor symphony they have to offer.
In addition, if the cocktail is strong, having a shot of it would mean getting very drunk very soon. Having a shot of tequila and a shot of a cocktail containing three different alcohols isn’t the same.
Therefore, if you are having cocktail shots, you should be well informed about their ingredients and flavors. Even though cocktails are the one place you should experiment with alcohol, when it comes to shots, you should be cautious.
Still, shots are best left to the drinker’s preference, and what is recommended doesn’t always mean that it is what you would like.
Nevertheless, if you are an inexperienced shot drinker, you should know a thing or two before chugging that glass.
On the other hand, if you are a seasoned shot enthusiast, it could never hurt to know a bit more.
Essentially, a shot could be any alcohol poured into a shot glass and drank in a single sip. There are drinks that are made for shots, drinks that are made for slow sipping but do well as a shot, and drinks that can shapeshift any way you like them.
More: 27 Cheap Drinks To Order At A Bar
Top 26 Shots To Order at a Bar
Your preference plays the main role here, but you should still know some theory too. In this article, I will give you a list of shots with descriptions so that you have the necessary information and choose the best shots when you are at a bar.
1. Black Jack
Black Jack is a world-known shot made with Jack Daniels, kalua, and triple sec. Mixing the recognizable smooth Jack Daniels, the coffee-flavored kalua, and sharp triple sec, this is definitely not a light shot.
If you are having it for the first time, take your time between shots and chase each shot with a glass of water.
2. Mind Teaser
This honey-sweat and creamy shot are definitely worth trying, made with amaretto, Southern Comfort, and fresh cream. The sweetness of the amaretto combined with the honey and whiskey-flavored Southern comfort, topped with cream, will really ease your mind.
The name does match the drink, as it is very gentle and delicious and a great conversation starter. Still, this shot is more on the strong side, so be careful with the speed and make sure you rest between shots.
More: 30 Sweet & Fruity Drinks To Order at a Bar
3. Brain Hemorrhage
A creepy name for a creepy-looking shot. The name suits the appearance, as it does look like a brain hemorrhage, and if you are easily disgusted, you probably won’t go near it.
Still, the name and the appearance are not everything there is about this shot, as the taste has a little something to do with it. Combining peach schnapps, cream de mente, and Baileys, this is a tasty and refreshing shot.
Containing only two alcohols, which are not overly strong, this is a mellow shot and very pleasant and gentle on the palate. You can chase it with peach juice to accentuate the peachy part or just water to cleanse your palate.
This list would be incomplete without the good old vodka shots. The vodka spirit goes excellent for slow sipping as well as for shots. However, not all vodkas go well both ways.
Younger vodkas are better for shots, while aged vodkas are better for slow sipping. Depending on your mood, you can chase vodka with water, coke, olive juice, pickle juice, or wine.
Vodka shots are pretty strong, so be careful with them and make a longer gap between shots, especially if you are new to this department.
Tequila is an inevitable element of this list. Tequila shots are a world-known party starter, and nothing makes your blood boil like three tequila shots. Still, this is a very risky area as most tequila shots in the bars are cheap tequilas and often not even 100% agave but mixed.
Therefore you need to know your tequila before ordering a shot. The best tequila for shots is the tequila blanco, which is a type of tequila that doesn’t age long, if at all. So, make sure you are having a good tequila before you chug the shots, as bad tequila shots are something you definitely want to avoid.
6. Pink Whitney
This is a type of vodka named after the hockey player Ryan Whitney. It has a pink color and is very gentle, sweet, and refined.
Initially intended for slow sipping and an after-work reward for a job well done, Pink Whitney does exceptionally well as a shot too. Compared to the other vodkas, it has a lower alcohol percentage, making it mild and gentle.
You would have to go significantly overboard to feel sick from Pink Whitney shots.
7. White Russian
The famous White Russian cocktail does excellent as a shot too. Combining vodka, cream, and coffee liquor, it is sweet, coffee-flavored, and delightfully creamy.
A White Russian shot slides gently down the throat without burning you but leaves a coating that you may not like. Therefore, you can chase a White Russian shot with water to strip the additional layer and prepare for the next round.
8. Black Russian
This simple two-ingredient shot is definitely something worth trying. Containing nothing more than just vodka and kalua, it is tasty and aromatic, but don’t underestimate its strength.
It mixes two alcohols with nothing in the middle to milden them up. So even though it tastes predominantly like coffee with a mild vodka burn, you should be careful with it and leave enough space between shots.
Maybe the most popular on this list, the Kamikaze drink originating as a cocktail, is nowadays more drank as a shot. Not many know that Kamikaze is an actual cocktail, served in a decorated glass, as we all recognize it better in a shaker.
It is a very refreshing and elevating drink containing vodka, triple sec, and lime juice. The lime juice pierces the alcohols involved in this drink, making it lemony fresh. However, this isn’t a mild drink, and you should drink it reasonably.
Chase it with lemonade to dim the vodka burn and accentuate the lime flavor.
Although gin is a more of a cocktail drink, you can easily turn it into a great shot just by adding a little lemon juice. The sharpness and bitterness of the gin mildens and tones down from the lemon juice, turning the shot into a pleasurable experience.
Still, if you don’t like gin, don’t drink a gin shot, as the lemon juice won’t change the gin flavor but merely tone it down. Chase this shot with tonic bitter lemon for some extra edge.
More: 25 Best Tasting Alcoholic Drinks You Must Try!
11. Jello Shots
Known and loved by mostly by the younger shot drinkers, the jello shots can be made with any ingredients, as long as they contain vodka.
So, in essence, a jello shot is a shot in the form of jello, whereby you mix vodka, another ingredient, often fruit juice, and you add gelatin. You let the mixture chill in the fridge and you have jello shots.
Jello shots are usually sweet, but they are most certainly very strong. As the vodka sharpness is almost completely absent, there’s nothing to warn you, and you can have many shots. Still, you need to pace yourself, as you can easily get very drunk very quickly.
Chase the jello shot with the juice that is already in the shots.
12. Mind Eraser
Made with kalua, vodka, and lemon-lime soda, this drink is pretty strong, but the name is more threatening than the shot, so you’re safe. Still, having on too many could indeed erase your mind, as the lemon-lime soda contains citric acid, which, mixed with alcohol, seems to enhance its effects.
Nevertheless, a reasonable number of Mind Eraser shots won’t do you any harm, but it will make you become friends with everyone present at the bar. Chase it with still or sparkly water.
This rather vulgarly named shot is surprisingly mild and gentle, with a taste far more refined than its name. Nevertheless, it deserves a place on this list, as it is indeed delicious.
Combining Baileys, kalua, amaretto, and whipped cream, this shot resembles a cake in a shot glass. It is very sweet, with subtle coffee notes and a creamy, almost silky consistency.
Still, combining three alcohols, it isn’t light, so you need to be careful. Chase it with mineral water to accentuate the sweetness and add some sharpness.
14. Mellon Ball
Combining vodka, melon liquor, and orange or pineapple juice, this is probably the tastiest shot on this list. It is fruity, sweet, and mild, as it doesn’t contain much alcohol.
You won’t feel the vodka burn unless you are very sensitive, and you will enjoy the abundance of fruity flavors in this shot.
15. Mad Dog
Another shot with a very descriptive name, and yes, mad dog indeed. Made with vodka, raspberry syrup, and tabasco sauce, if a single word describes this shot, that’s fiery.
The raspberry syrup will do a great job covering the vodka sting, while the tabasco sauce will mask the sugariness of the raspberry syrup. All in all, the ingredients are highly compatible and complement each other amazingly.
Still, if you don’t like tabasco sauce, you probably shouldn’t have this shot, as it does dominate the flavors.
16. Liquid Cocaine
Bitter but delicious, the Liquid Cocaine shots are loved and very popular worldwide. This drink is said to have the same effects as cocaine does, hence the name. It is a very energetically elevating drink, and it definitely deserves a spot on this list.
It mixes Jagermeister, overproof rum, and cinnamon or peppermint schnapps. The alcohol content is definitely not to be underestimated, as this is a strong drink. Still, if you know what you are doing, you can have a really good time with this drink.
If you are new to the shots department, leave enough space between shots and chase each shot with water.
This two-ingredient shot is a very aggressive drink, so take your time with it. Combining Jagermeister and Red Bull, this is a very elevating drink, filling you with energy and enthusiasm. However, you mustn’t forget that with each shot, you are one shot closer to dropping flat on the floor.
Mixing Red Bull with alcohol is very fun at first, but as the sugar content increases, the body is more and more dehydrated, so the fun is likely to stop very abruptly.
Therefore, take your time, be cautious, and hydrate between shots.
18. Chuck Norris
Hearing the name of the shot, you probably expect a very rough drink. However, the taste of the shot is not as rough as you may think. Combining cherry vodka, liquid ice, energy drink, and hot sauce, the taste is somewhere between sweet and hot, but nothing you cannot handle.
It isn’t very strong, as it contains only vodka mixed with non-alcoholic ingredients, but it is pretty elevating due to the sugar from the energy drink. The hot sauce is there to give you an additional kick.
19. Cherry Cheesecake
Combining cherry vodka, grenadine, pineapple juice, and vanilla, this shot is indeed a cheesecake in a shot glass. It tastes fruity and sweet, and it is more on the mellow side. So, if you like the milder side of shots, this is for you.
With a relatively low alcohol content, the vodka burn is almost unnoticeable in this drink, whereby the intense fruity flavors are the signature of the shot.
Related: 25 Drinks That Don’t Taste Like Alcohol
20. Water Moccasin
Named after a snake, this drink does have a bite. Bitter and fruity at the same time, it combines whiskey, peach schnapps, triple sec, simple syrup, and lime juice.
Mixing three types of alcohol, you can expect this shot to rough you up a little, but the sweetness of the syrup and the freshness of the lime juice will balance everything up.
Be warned; this is a stronger shot, so be careful and hydrate between shots.
21. Tootsie Roll Shot
A true sweet delight, this drink is as cute as it sounds. Made with only kalua and orange juice, you can expect a tasty coffee and orange flavor without any burn, sting, or bite.
This is definitely a great introduction to the shot department and an excellent place to start from. The Tootsie Roll is a mild and gentle shot, so don’t worry about getting woozy too soon.
Chase it with orange juice to enhance the sweet orange freshness.
22. Tennessee Log Jumper
Combining 99 bananas liqueur, Island Blue Pucker liqueur, red bull, and pineapple juice, this is a double-flavored drink. It is as bitter as it is sweet. The liqueurs give it a sharp and edgy taste, while the pineapple juice smoothens everything out and gives this drink an almost creamy dimension.
Combine it with a vanilla-tasting chaser or a pineapple juice. This is a strong shot, as it mixes two alcohols, so try to stay hydrated.
23. Pineapple Upside Down
This is a vodka cake that resembles a sunset in a glass. Combining pineapple juice, vanilla vodka, and grenadine, this shot is definitely among the tastiest on this list.
With a relatively low alcohol content, the Pineapple Upside Down is a relatively mellow and gentle drink. Still, depending on the mixologist making it, it may be a bit harsher, so always be cautious when you have your first shot.
24. Bazooka Joe
Tasting like the Bazooka bubble gum most of us grew up chewing, this drink is an absolute blast from the past, and whether you like it or not, it won’t leave you indifferent.
Combining Bailey’s, banana cream, and blue curacao, this drink is sweet, gentle, and mild. With the relatively low alcohol content, you can have more Bazooka Joes and enjoy a fragment of your childhood without worrying.
Ouzo is a Greek drink very popular in the Balkan countries and has been especially indented for shots. You may not find it in all bars, but if you do, don’t hesitate to give it a chance.
It is a sharp and sweet drink, but definitely a strong one. So once you come to your third shot, you shout definitely have something to eat before you continue with the next round.
Mexico has tequila; the Balkans have rakija. This is a national drink in the Balkan countries and Turkey, and its purpose is to drink as shots. There are many kinds of rakija, starting with grape rakija, plum, cherry, pear, etc.
The stronger types of rakija, such as the white rakija, are very hard to drink and are better left to the very experienced rakija drinkers. The other types, such as the yellow rakija, are mellower and tend to be fruitier and sweeter.
Be very careful with this drink, as it is exceptionally strong.
Classic Shots To Order at a Bar
Vodka, tequila, and whiskey shots are the classic way to go at a bar. You can also order Hairy Navel, vodka, and Red Bull, or Old Fashioned shots.
Vodka martini shots are also one of the standard ones, as well as Cosmopolitan shots, along with rum and coke shots.
Rum Shots To Order at a Bar
Rum and lemon juice is a great rum shot. Big Bang rum shooter, as well as turquoise rum, are one of the sweeter and fruitier solutions.
Rum and sprite is a classic rum shot, and the captain on acid shot is one of the more colorful ones.
Simple Shots To Order at a Bar
The pure alcohol shots, such as whiskey, tequila, and vodka shots would be the simplest shots you could do at a bar. Also, you can have two ingredient shots such as Jagerbombs, lemon drops, Skittle bombs, Kamikaze, or Negro.
Fruity Shots To Order at a Bar
Fruity shots are definitely among the most popular ones, as the taste of alcohol is dimmed and toned down by the taste of fruit. They usually combine vanilla flavors too, so they taste like cake in a shot glass. Pineapple upside down, cherry cheesecake, Pink Whitney, and melon ball are some of the most popular fruity shots.
Also, lemonhead shots, lemon tree shots, and lemon drop shots are for you if you like expressive citrus flavors. The screwdriver shot is for you if you enjoy the intense orange flavor, and the blueberry shooter and blushing bride shot are for those who enjoy the berry fruit flavor.
Mystic mango shot and peachy keen shot are for those of you who like expressively sweet flavors with a bit of a sticky coating afterward.