Our Favorite Shots that Actually Taste Good

Did someone call for a round of shots? There’s nothing quite as fun as gathering your closest friends at the bar and tossing one back in unison. 

bartender pouring shots in to shot glasses

But the truth of the matter is, for some of us, straight shots of liquor just don’t taste good. Whether it’s vodka, tequila, or whiskey, the idea of throwing straight alcohol down your throat just doesn’t sound appealing. 

That’s okay! There’s a shot out there for you that does taste good, and I did the legwork to find it for you. It’s tough work mixing and drinking shots – but someone’s got to do it!

Check out my list of the best tasting shots. 

Keep reading to find your new favorite shot to order at the bar!

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

The pineapple upside-down cake shot is fruity, delicious, and even pretty to look at.

If the stunning fade from yellow to red isn’t enough to draw you in, then perhaps the ingredients will do the trick. 

This shot is made of vanilla vodka, pineapple juice, and grenadine. The vanilla vodka pairs perfectly with the tangy pineapple juice, while the grenadine adds a touch of sweetness and a bold splash of color. 

As pretty as this shot is to look at, it’s very easy to make. And the end result tastes like fruity pineapple cake batter. 


One sure-fire way to make a good shot is to borrow from a cocktail recipe and miniaturize it.

The kamikaze shot is just a smaller version of the kamikaze drink. Of course, if you’ve never had the cocktail, you don’t know what’s in the shot, either. 

The kamikaze shot uses just three ingredients: vodka, triple sec, and lime juice. You’ll notice that the ingredients are similar to that of a margarita, except it uses vodka rather than tequila. 

This shot is best served cold, so to make it, shake up the ingredients with some ice and strain them into shot glasses.

While the shot tastes fantastic and refreshing on its own, you can also follow it up with a lime wedge. 

Mind Eraser

Another shot borrowed from a cocktail, the mind eraser shot is the mini version of the mind eraser cocktail. 

It seems the drink was appropriately named, as the history behind it is a tad unclear. However, most stories agree that the cocktail came to fruition sometime during the 1940s in Brussels as a variation of the Black Russian. 

The shot version of the mind eraser is layered with Kahlua, vodka, and club soda. It sometimes uses Sprite instead of club soda. Carefully layer the Kahlua, vodka, and club soda in that order to nail the appearance. 

Green Tea Shot

A green tea shot may not give you all the health benefits of real green tea, but it will taste just as good. Seriously – even the most committed haters of shots will love this concoction. 

Despite its name, there is no green tea in this shot.

Instead, it’s made of Irish whiskey, peach schnapps, sour mix, and lemon-lime soda. The unlikely combination of these ingredients gives you a shot that looks and tastes like green tea. 

The green tea shot is my go-to option for moments when I don’t want to get too crazy. Its alcohol content is similar to that of one full glass of wine

Alice in Wonderland

We all know Alice in Wonderland is a whimsical, fanciful Disney movie, but did you know it’s also the name of a drink?

Given how trippy the movie’s plot and characters are, it should come as no surprise that someone named a shot after it. 

The Alice in Wonderland shot uses just Grand Marnier and tequila. With two ingredients like those, it’s safe to say this shot is strong. 

The shot is best served cold and best taken quickly. Despite its use of only alcohol, the orange flavor of the Grand Marnier makes it quite tasty. 

Hot Damn

The hot damn shot is yummy and easy to make, but it does come with one rule.

Everyone has to shout “hot damn” after they take it. Trust us, it makes the shot that much better and more fun. 

This shot is a bit more complex than its name. It uses: 

  • Whiskey
  • Orange juice
  • Rum
  • Vodka

All you have to do is shake it with ice and strain it into a shot glass. And since the shot has orange juice in it, we won’t judge you if you take it alongside your breakfast. 

Irish Car Bomb

Despite what popular beliefs there are about the Irish car bomb, it’s not actually an Irish drink.

The shot is entirely American, but because it uses Jameson, Baileys, and Guinness, it’s referred to as Irish. 

This shot is more than a quick shooter. To make it, start with a half-glass or so of Guinness.

Pour half an ounce of Baileys Irish Cream and Jameson Irish Whiskey each into a shot glass. Drop it in the Guinness and chug. 

As tasty as this shot may be, it’s probably not a good idea to order it if you’re ever in Ireland. The word on the streets is that the name is considered highly insensitive.  


The afterburner shot is one with a highly appropriate name. There are two variations of this shot, but they’ll both leave you with a bit of a burn in your throat.

It’s ideal for anyone who loves a bit of a kick in their food and drink. 

The first variation of this shot uses Bacardi rum and Hot and Cool cinnamon schnapps.

The second variation is a mixture of vodka and Tabasco sauce. Pick your poison for something flavorful and zesty. 

Jolly Rancher

If you’re like me and fun, fruity, and colorful drinks are your kind of drink, you need to try the Jolly Rancher shot.

The best part about this shot is that it’s easy to switch up the colors and flavors. 

For instance, the original shot uses vodka, melon liqueur, and cranberry juice. However, if you don’t like melon, try making it with green apple vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. 

And if you’re feeling extra fun, use cranberry gelatin instead of cranberry juice to make Jell-O shots. 

The Jolly Rancher shot can also quickly turn into a full cocktail with the addition of some ginger ale. 


Layered shots are always extra fun. Who doesn’t love a shot that tastes good and looks pretty? The B-52 shot uses these ingredients:

With some careful pouring and the spoon technique, you can create this shot for yourself and nail the distinct colors of the three layers.

The last ingredient, the overproof rum, is the best part. Add just a teaspoon to the very top and light it with a match.

Before you do the shot, blow out the flame – trust me on this one. It’s just a little more fun than your average shot. The story behind this shot is that the bartender famously named it after the band. 

Red-Headed Slut

I get it – in today’s current state of affairs, the name of this shot is probably a little shameful. But many bartenders know what it is and how to make it, so the name sticks around. 

This simple yet delicious shot uses Jagermeister, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice. The cranberry juice gives the shot its fitting name, as it turns the whole drink a lovely shade of red. 

Given the ingredients, it’s quite an interesting combination. The Jagermeister gives it a black licorice flavor, but it’s also fruity and tart due to the juice and schnapps.

It’s certainly worth trying if you don’t like straight liquor shots. 

Motor Oil

Here’s another great shot for all of those licorice lovers out there.

Motor oil gets its name from the simple fact that it looks like motor oil. That’s not exactly a selling point here, but it gets better. 

This classic recipe combines a series of fascinating ingredients that you typically wouldn’t find thrown together: 

  • Jagermeister
  • Peppermint schnapps
  • Goldschlager
  • Coconut rum

Have I lost you yet? It’s as simple as mixing these four ingredients in a shaker with ice and straining them into a glass.

The result is a sharp, peppermint-cinnamon-coconut flavor that’s truly unique. Give it a try! 

Tootsie Roll

If the tootsie roll shot sounds sweet and delicious, that’s because it is. It’s quite impressive just how much this shot tastes like the famous candy – chocolate flavor and all. 

To make this shot, all you need is Kahlua and orange juice. That’s right – it’s a simple, two-ingredient mixture.

These ingredients may not sound like a Tootsie Roll, but trust me, the flavors are eerily similar. 

Of course, if you can’t get enough of the orange juice flavor, you can always add more orange juice than Kahlua.

But if you want the true Tootsie Roll nostalgia, aim for one-third orange juice and two-thirds Kahlua. 

White Gummy Bear

There’s a reason why gummy bear candy has remained popular for so long. These adorable little gummies are sweet and tangy and make a great snack. 

So, why not turn that flavor into a fun and tasty shot? 

The gummy bear shot will turn you into a vodka fan. It uses these ingredients: 

Combine these ingredients for a medium-strength, fruity-flavored shot that will go down like juice.

If you’re feeling extra fun and fanciful, try garnishing the shot glass with gummy bears. Mix and match your colors to suit your style. 

Everyone knows that Girl Scout Cookies only come around once a year. And once they’re gone, you have to wait until next year to get your fix of those famous Thin Mints.

If you’re craving one of these popular cookies but don’t have any in your pantry, you should try this shot.

The Girl Scout Cookie shot takes the flavor of a Thin Mint and turns it into a drink.

The most common version of this shot uses coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and peppermint schnapps. 

However, some people like to replace the coffee liqueur with chocolate liqueur or even Jagermeister. We recommend trying the original and swapping these out to see what you like best.

Serve it mixed and chilled, or attempt a fun layered shot using the spoon method with the coffee liqueur on the bottom and the schnapps on top. 

I get it –  when you’re out with your friends and someone yells, “shots!” you run the other direction. Shots of liquor are not for everyone. They can be overly strong and bitter, and sometimes they taste like straight-up rubbing alcohol. 

But disliking shots of straight liquor doesn’t mean you have to miss out on all the fun. The best tasting shots are the ones with fun flavors, mixtures of ingredients, and careful combinations. 

Impress your bartender with your vast knowledge of specialty shots and try one of these recipes out for yourself.

Looking for a full drink? Check out some essential cocktails for when you’re not sure what to order.

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Written by Brian Nagele

Brian has over 20 years experience in the restaurant and hospitality industry. As a former restaurant owner, he knows about running a food business and loves to eat and enjoy cocktails on a regular basis. He constantly travels to new cities tasting and reviewing the most popular spots.