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Unique Irish Shot Recipes for a Spirited St. Patrick’s Day

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Along with food eaten on Saint Patrick’s Day, Irish-inspired shots have become more bold and daring. With a variety of new flavors emerging each year, there’s always a fresh twist on the traditional Irish Car Bomb, Whiskey Ginger, and Irish Flag shots.

The beverage menu staples of these unique Irish shots, like Irish cream liqueurs, are sometimes relatively new on the scene. Baileys Irish Cream, for instance, was only created in 1974. It makes sense that each year brings an exciting change to many well-received recipes.

Here, you’ll find a dive into the layers of Irish-inspired shots. From ingredients to preparation and presentation, let’s explore recipes for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day menu. Whether your a business owner or St. Patrick’s Day enthusiast, this post will help you develop the right flavors for an Irish-inspired celebration.

Key Takeaway: Irish shots draw on unique ingredients, especially Baileys Irish Cream and whiskey brands like Jameson, to create drinking experiences layered with flavor.
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Trends for Irish-Inspired Shots

Many are surprised to learn that Irish shots take a wide and sweeping range of flavors from all corners of the available beverage inventory. They also command different prices based on how much shots cost to make with their ingredients.

Beginning with the classic and creamy Baileys, these ingredients extend to the tart and fruity aling with the earthiness of Irish whiskey. Some shots can even sport a crisp, sour “pickleback” on occasion. Overall, their diversity and vibrant colors often help them appeal to more people.

Below, explore some of the diverse flavors and liquor options to choose from as you decide on which Irish shots as St. Patrick’s Day drinks. Then, move onto unique ingredients, presentation, ways to incorporate Irish flavors.

Surprising Ingredients in Irish Shot Recipes

Irish shots draw on many common liquors including Irish whiskey and peach schnapps. Many will use Jack Daniel’s, Irish Mist, and Baileys Irish Cream. Of course, Guinness and Jameson also have their importance for making the Irish-inspired shot.

As time presses on, Irish shots are continually creative, drawing in liquors that may not be traditionally associated with tradition. For instance, many coffee liqueurs and orange liqueurs can pair well with whiskey and beer shots. They can also include many surprising, non-alcoholic ingredients as well. The Irish Breakfast shot calls for bacon and orange juice for example.

New, Unique Presentations for Irish Shots

Irish shots should be garnished to enhance their appeal and taste. There are many ingredients to choose from as popular Irish alcohols and liqueurs continue to gain popularity among drinkers.

Shots using Guinness brand beers, for example, can be sprinkled with cocoa powder or given a chocolate coffee bean for added flavor and visual texture. There’s also plenty of opportunity to dip the rim in chocolate for sweeter touch during the customer’s drinking experience, especially when using liqueurs like Baileys.

Of course, the carved peel of citrus and decorative ice also have their place. Whatever you choose to create a unique shot, some of these ideas may get you started with thinking about how to bring out flavors and attract a crowd to your drinks.

Irish Car Bomb Recipe

A few years after Baileys Irish Cream was introduced, the Irish Car Bomb shot was created by Charles Cronin Oat in 1979. At the time, he was the owner of a saloon in Connecticut. He named the drink in reference to its Irish ingredients and the bubbling and splashing that happens when the shot glass is dropped into a pint of Guinness stout.


  • Irish whiskey
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Guinness stout


Combine Irish whiskey and Baileys Irish Cream in equal parts into a shot glass. Add the Baileys first, then slowly add whiskey to create a layered effect in the glass. When ready to serve, drop the shot glass into a half-full glass of Guinness. You can also choose a gluten-free beer if needed.

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Baby Guinness Shot Recipe

Unlike many Irish-inspired shots, the Baby Guinness shot is genuinely believed to have been invented in Dublin as early as the 1980s. This shot is a layered shooter, filling two thirds of the shot glass with coffee liqueur and the rest containing carefully poured Irish cream. The result should resemble a draft of Guinness with a foam-colored top over a darker body.


  • Coffee liqueur
  • Irish cream


In order to make your Baby Guinness shot look authentic, use the back of a spoon while pouring out the Irish cream over your chosen coffee liqueur. This will give the shot a more accurate and enticing appearance with a thin white layer at the top to resemble a freshly poured pint of stout.

Nutty Irishman Shots Recipe

The Nutty Irishman shot draws on the classic Irish coffee. It can also be made into a larger cocktail drink, but contains the same ingredients as a shot. The hazelnut-flavored liqueur gives the drink a signature coffee sensation unlike most alcohol shots, especially with a rich sprinkle of nutmeg or topped with whipped cream.


  • Irish whiskey
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Frangelico (hazelnut liqueur)


If desired, rim the edge of a shot glass with chocolate syrup and crushed nuts. Pour the Frangelico or hazelnut liqueur directly into the bottom of the glass, avoiding spillage on the sides of the shot glass. Slowly add the Baileys Irish Cream and Irish whiskey of your choice over the back of bartender’s spoon to create delicate layers between the ingredients. Serve and enjoy.

Irish Flag Shot Recipe

The tri-color flag of green, white, and orange has been around since at least 1848, when a French woman gave a symbolic gift of green, white, and orange to an Irish nationalist leader. The flag became public on March 7th, 1848, during the Young Irelander Rebellion.

The Irish Flag shot draws on these colors to create a unique and colorful drink recipe. It pairs well with green food for St. Patrick’s Day as well.


  • Creme de menthe
  • Baileys Irish Cream
  • Grand Marnier liqueur


Pour the creme de menthe as your first layer into the shot glass. Gently add Baileys Irish Cream as your second layer, and top the shot off with a carefully poured third layer of orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier or Triple Sec. The layering can be achieved with a bartender spoon to even out pours.

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Frequently Asked Questions about Unique Irish Shot Recipes

Get answers to your questions about Irish shot recipes. Here you can explore “boilermakers” that combine traditional alcohols into taste experiences to celebrate Irish flavors.

What is a classic Irish shot?

The most famous Irish-inspired shots are called “boilermakers” which combine three forms of Irish alcohol into drinks with a big impact.

For instance, the Irish slammer and Irish car bomb combine a symphony of classic Irish alcohols, usually Guinness, whiskey, and a cream liqueur. Combined, they have left a famous stamp on St. Patrick’s Day celebrations.

Which shots are drank in Ireland?

The tradition of drinking a shot of whiskey in a pint of beer is known as “a pint and a drop” in Ireland.

Though it’s an American tradition, these kind of unique shots have become common in Ireland. Usually, the Irish shot is a combination of whiskey and Irish cream before it gets added to your Guinness (or an equivalent).

What is a unique St. Patrick’s Day shot?

The “Dublin Bomb” combines beer, Baileys, and a half ounce of Jameson. This shot has a unique presentation with undeniably Irish ingredients to make an impression.

To make it for St. Patrick’s day, combine equal parts Bailey’s and Jameson in a shot glass. Add to a pint of Guinness Draught, allowing the shot to settle.

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