Remember that precautionary jingle that Mom and Pop told you before you went off to college: “Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.” As always, they gave you good advice and saved you from plenty of well-deserved next-day hangovers. Until you discovered your first bomb shot.
Bomb shots, most often found at your local dive-y bars, usually involve dropping a shot of liquor, aka “the bomb,” into either a beer, an energy drink, or some other liquid vessel, and then chugging the mixture that bears a flavor greater than the sum of its parts.
Silly? Yes. Unnecessary? Absolutely. Fun? Almost always.
For the adventurous and risk-takers out there, here are 10 recipes, from well-tested classics to some interesting creations that a number of unknown self-proclaimed mixologists consider their crowning achievements.
Although the “Irish” primarily refers to the recipe’s variety of Irish alcohol, this bomb shot’s name is a reference to the car bombings that occurred in Ireland during the Troubles in Ireland. As a result, it is almost never served in the country due to the name. Americans love it, though. Maybe it’s because it tastes like an alcoholic chocolate milkshake.
½ pint Guinness Stout
½ shot Bailey’s Irish Cream
½ shot Jameson Irish Whiskey
Directions: Float the whiskey over the Irish Cream in the shot glass. Fill a highball glass with Guinness and drop in the shot. The cream curdles quickly, so drink immediately.
Perfect for the upcoming fall season, I came across this bad boy at a dive-y venue last year while the bands were switching sets. The bartender apparently concocted this adult version of Starbucks’ most popular drink off the cuff, and surprisingly, it tasted pretty close to its namesake, but not as sickeningly sweet.
½ pint pumpkin ale
1 shot Patron Cafe XO
Directions: Fill a highball glass with ½ pint of pumpkin ale. Drop the shot of Patron into the highball glass and enjoy immediately.
While the iconic Japanese-inspired dive bar beverage is the most recognized bomb shot, its classic status apparently isn’t recognized in several restaurants who place signs threatening to kick any sake-bombers out. Flavor wise, however, the sake bomb is extremely complex. The warm beer and cold sake combo toys with your taste buds, but as the mixture quickly reaches a lukewarm temperature, the floral sweetness from the sake stands out in contrast to the dry, crisp flavor profile of the beer.
½ pint warm, dry Japanese beer (Sapporo, Asahi, Kirin)
1 shot sake
Directions:The sake bomb’s infamy comes predominantly from its noisy preparation. Fill a highball glass with warm Japanese beer. Balance the shot of sake on a pair of chopsticks over the highball. Chant “ich, ni, san!” (Japanese for “one, two, three!”) or “sake, sake sake!” while pounding on the table, causing the sake to fall into the beer. Enjoy.
Known in France as the “Retreau” (pronounced Rétro), the Skittle Bomb receives its namesake from its candy-like, artificially sweet taste familiar in Skittles, kind of like a better (and classier) version of the alcohol-soaked skittles or gummy bears you had back in the dorm.
½ can Red Bull
1 oz. Cointreau
Directions: Fill a highball glass with Red Bull. Drop the shot of Cointreau into the highball and enjoy.
Oh college. Those mornings you wake up with a second heartbeat in your head because all the future pain and signs that you were going to regret your decisions couldn’t deter you from saying no to temptation. The infamous drink, if you can’t tell from the ingredients, tastes likes someone dumped licorice into your sugary sweet Red Bull, helping to both round out the Jagermeister’s harshness and mellow out the sweetness for a delicious, and addictive, flavor. Not recommended for the faint of heart.
½ can Red Bull poured into a highball
1 shot Jagermeister
Directions:Fill a highball glass with Red Bull. Drop the shot into the highball and enjoy. For the alcohol tough guys, try the Reverse Jagerbomb, which involves switching the ratios (4 oz. Jagermeister, 1 shot (1 oz.) of Red Bull), and say goodbye to consciousness.
Really, the best way to enjoy a Corona is with the iconic twist of lime. Consider this an upgrade, giving you the classic Corona-lime flavor profile with a little extra “umph” in the lime that’ll make you feel like you’re lounging by the beach in Mexico.
½ pint Corona
1 shot Bacardi Limon
Recommended: a wedge of lime
Directions: Fill a highball with Corona and drop the shot into the highball. Finish with a wedge and enjoy.
This beverage is also prepared by drinking your Corona until reaching the bottom of the neck (about 10 oz.), then pouring a shot’s worth of Bacardi Limon into the bottle. Plug with your thumb, inverse, and finish with the wedge.
If you want a bomb with a show, try this one on for size (but preferably while you’re still steady enough to light the shot on fire). Surprisingly, like the Mountain Dew, the Flaming Dr. Pepper tastes like Dr. Pepper due to the amaretto involved. There’s actually no Dr. Pepper involved.
1 pint beer
¾ shot Amaretto
¼ shot Bacardi 151
Directions: Fill a pub glass with a pint of beer. Layer the Bacardi over the Amaretto and light it on fire. Drop the shot into the glass to extinguish the flame and enjoy.
Don’t worry, this isn’t a breaking story about Obama and bombs. This fruity concoction gives a strong orange flavor, but the sweetness of the orange juice helps to mellow the Red Bull’s sourness, giving a more pleasurable and natural taste. Not sure where the name came from.
½ can Red Bull
1 oz. Bacardi O
Splash of orange juice or orange soda
Directions: Fill a highball glass with Red Bull and a splash of orange juice or orange soda. Fill a shot glass with Bacardi O and drop into the highball. Enjoy.
As you can probably guess, this bomb tastes like an ultra-sweet cherry-flavored Red Bull.
½ can Red Bull
1 oz. cherry vodka (although you can substitute the cherry vodka for any other flavor of vodka)
Splash of grenadine
Directions: Fill a highball glass with Red Bull and a splash of grenadine. Fill a shot glass with cherry vodka and drop into the highball. Enjoy.
Better than any caramel apple you’d find at your local autumn harvest festival, this bomb shot taste like your standard caramel apple that’s been injected with Red Bull for a super, sweet-and-sour apple flavor with a nice buttery finish.
½ oz. Apple Sourz
½ oz. butterscotch schnapps
½ can Red Bull
Directions: Fill a highball glass with Red Bull. Pour Apple Sourz and butterscotch schnapps into a shaker with ice. Shake and pour into a shot glass. Drop the mixed shot into the highball and enjoy.