Red, White, and Blue Shot

Layered red, white, and blue shot in shot glasses

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 3 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Total: 3 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 shot
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
136 Calories
0g Fat
17g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 136
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 3mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 15g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 0%
Calcium 1mg 0%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 3mg 0%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Show your patriotism with a red, white, and blue shot, a layered shooter that is a delicious mix of chocolate, orange, and pomegranate flavors. Also called the Captain America shot, it's ideal for the Fourth of July, or any party that has a patriotic theme, because it perfectly displays the colors of the American flag.

The key to layered shooters like this is to slowly pour the ingredients over a bar spoon in a certain order according to the density of the liquid. Once you master the technique, you'll have the perfect red, white, and blue layers inside your shot glass.


Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the grenadine into a shot glass, filling the glass one-third of the way.

  3. Float the white crème de cacao on top of the grenadine by slowly pouring it over the back of a bar spoon. The glass should now be two-thirds full.

  4. Using the same technique, float the blue curaçao on top of the crème de cacao to fill the glass.

  5. Serve and enjoy.


  • The exact amount of each ingredient you'll need will vary based on the size of your shot glasses. Don't worry so much about measuring each ingredient. Instead, visually divide your glass into thirds and pour accordingly straight from the bottles.
  • To minimize the stream, you can place pour spouts in the tops of the liquor bottles and/or use your finger to partially block the opening to create more of a drip.
  • The specific gravity of crème de cacao and blue curaçao will vary by brand. The difference can be significant, and your layers may not be as distinct with some combinations.
  • If you have a liqueur combo that is not layering well, try reversing the two liqueurs. The shot will look different, but the taste will be the same.

How Does Layering Work?

The science behind layering shots is all about the density of each ingredient. Those that have a high sugar content are denser and will fall to the bottom of the glass, while liquor with a low sugar content—and a higher alcohol content—will float. But the technique in which the ingredients are poured also matters, which is why pouring very slowly over the top of the back of a spoon is recommended. When the tip of the spoon rests just above the lower layer, and the liquor is poured over very slowly, the flow is restricted, allowing the liquid to sit on top instead of mixing into the other layer.

Recipe Variations

The color combination found in the red, white, and blue shot can be created in a few different ways. By switching out the liquors and ensuring the lightest remain on top, you can get the same effect with different flavors.

  • Replacing the crème de cacao with peach schnapps is a popular variation, though its effectiveness will vary by brand. Low-proof options like Arrow Peach Schnapps will not float between the blue curaçao and grenadine, while DeKuyper Peachtree will layer up because it's twice the alcohol content.
  • In the Fourth of July shot, blue curaçao becomes the middle layer and vodka tops off the shot.
  • The Superman shot is very popular as well. Many versions don't include a white layer, opting for yellow instead to mimic Superman's suit.

How Strong Is the Red, White, and Blue Shot?

Layered shot drinks have no dilution because the ingredients are poured straight from the bottle. Typically, the absence of ice creates a rather strong drink, but that's not the case here because the two liqueurs are relatively low-proof. On average, the shot's alcohol content will be 14 percent ABV (28 proof), or just slightly more powerful than a glass of wine.