Sometimes, a regular cocktail just doesn’t do it, especially during the holidays. It’s not that it tastes bad, but sipping something that looks like a regular glass of alcohol doesn’t really scream “holiday spirit,” if you ask me. Behold are some incredible layered drinks for popular occasions.
The idea of layering your alcohol might sound like something from a high school science project—you know, the old oil-versus-water trick—but layered drinks have some serious kick to them, both in presentation and taste. Not to mention a lot of them are downright perfect for major occasions, such as Valentine’s Day and Halloween.
Here are five incredible layered drinks you can make for some of the most popular occasions:
Perfect Occasion: Valentine’s Day
- Cherry liqueur
- Clear orange liqueur
Not everyone supports the idea of Valentine’s Day, but why hate on a day that encourages the sweetest, fruitiest and most mouth-watering flavor combinations? Here’s where the Love Bite comes in. It’s a beautiful layered shooter, fruity in some areas and tart in others, and perfect for a small toast between two or a date with Netflix.
To make it, layer the orange liqueur on top of the cherry liqueur. Finally, top with cream and sprinkle with love—or self-pity, if that’s what you’re into.
Pot o’ Gold
Perfect Occasion: St. Patrick’s Day
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Goldschläger Cinnamon Schnapps
St. Patrick’s Day usually means either way too many beers or way too many green drinks, so I say it’s time we break these traditions by downing some lucky Pots o’ Gold instead. This definitely-not-green drink consists of a sure-fire combination of Bailey’s Irish Cream (Duh!) and Goldschläger Cinnamon Schnapps.
It’s nontraditional, delicious and easy to make. Just layer the cinnamon schnapps on top of the Irish Cream and enjoy. Garnish with a microscopic leprechaun if desired.
Perfect Occasion: Independence Day
- Crème de cacao (white)
- Blue Curacao
If you ever find yourself bored to tears while waiting for a fireworks show to start, consider passing the time by making an American Flag. Not an actual flag, mind you, unless you’re a descendant of Betsy Ross or something. This colorful and oh-so-patriotic combination of red syrup and blue and white liqueurs makes it a guaranteed hit at a Fourth of July barbecue.
Simply layer the ingredients starting with the grenadine and ending with the Blue Curacao. The drink has a couple of variants; one includes swapping the crème de cacao for peppermint schnapps or vodka and the grenadine for cherry brandy. Either way, you will be the one chanting “Amurika!” once you get one of these in your hand (and a sparkler in the other).
Alien Brain Hemorrhage
Perfect Occasion: Halloween
- Peach schnapps
- Bailey’s Irish Cream
- Blue Curacao
Eek! Now this is one scary-looking drink. The Alien Brain Hemorrhage is one of those how-the-heck-did-anyone-come-up-with-this kind of cocktails. Perfect for a Halloween party, the shot looks eerily similar to what we imagine a bloody and stringy section of brain would look like. Weirdly, though, it tastes pretty good.
To make it, fill a shot glass halfway with peach schnapps and then layer Bailey’s Irish Cream on top. Add a dash of Blue Curacao (it will sink past the Irish Cream, giving it that “zombified” glow) and a little grenadine for the goopy brain bits. Prepare yourself for some grossed-out glares.
Perfect Occasion: Christmas
- Green crème de menthe
- Mint or peppermint schnapps
Stuck at one of those boring company Christmas parties? Ask the bartender to whip up a couple of Santa Shots for you and your coworkers. These Christmas-colored shots are simple yet sophisticated and pumped-to-the-max with zesty holiday spirit.
For this concoction, start with the grenadine, and then layer the crème de menthe and schnapps on top (the two may mix together). For an even stronger Christmas twist, use a candy cane to stir your shot or garnish it with a handful of crushed candy cane pieces. Oh, and be sure to offer one to Santa—he’ll need a drink more than anyone.
No matter the occasion, rest assured there’s a layered drink you can make for it. Remember, not only do these drinks look impressive, but they also taste pretty good. So brush up on your layering skills and start planning those lame holiday parties, pronto!