Snakebite: the Yukon Jack Shot That Will Bite You Back

Snake Bite Shot

The Spruce

  • Total: 3 mins
  • Prep: 3 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Yield: 1 cocktail (1 serving)

The Snakebite shooter is a popular bar drink because it is so potent and, well, memorable. This is not a shot for someone who doesn't want a healthy buzz and it's not one for those who do not like a little shock. It's common for Snakebite initiates to wonder "What was in that drink?"

The shot is simple, just Yukon Jack and lime juice. You might expect the taste to be pretty tame, but this drink got its name for a reason! 

Yukon Jack is a honey-flavored whiskey that is known for its almost sickly-sweet taste. When that is topped with the tartness of lime juice, the Snakebite becomes a drink that will make you pucker, shake your head and leave you wondering what the heck you just drank.


  • 2 ounces Yukon Jack
  • Splash to 1/2 ounce Roses Lime Juice

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients. 

    Snakebite shot ingredients
     The Spruce 
  2. Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.

    Pour ingredients into cocktail shaker
    The Spruce
  3. Shake well.

  4. Strain into a shot glass.

    Pour Snakebite mixture into shot glass
     The Spruce
  5. Serve and enjoy!


  • Some bars refuse to serve Snakebites because they are so strong. Don't get offended if your bartender says 'no.' Simply order something else.
  • Making this at home and don't want to waste time shaking? Pour the Yukon Jack directly into a shot glass and add a splash of lime. This will create a significantly stronger shot in both taste and alcohol content because it's undiluted. 

Whiskey or Liqueur: What Is Yukon Jack?

Yukon Jack is often referred to as a Canadian whiskey, but that is wrong. Look closely at your next bottle of Yukon Jack and you will notice that it says "Canadian Liqueur." It's true that it is a whiskey-based liqueur, yet once the sugar is added (and there's a lot in Yukon Jack) it becomes a liqueur.

To be exact, Yukon Jack is a honey-flavored, Canadian whiskey-based liqueur.

This is a unique liqueur and the brand's tagline is "The Black Sheep Of Canadian Liquors." It also has a rugged, manly and not-so-good reputation. Much of this comes from its appearance in drinks like the Snakebite as well as it's high alcohol content.

Two versions of Yukon Jack are sold. In the United States, you will find 100-proof bottlings. In Canada, an 80-proof is available, which is mild in comparison.

Not only does this higher proof attribute to the liqueur's strength, it also amplifies its flavor. This is true for all whiskeys and spirits - higher alcohol content equals bolder flavor because it is not diluted - and that doesn't help Yukon Jack go down any easier. 

Yukon Jack is used in a number of other drinks, including the Northern Lights and Yukon Dew (equal parts Yukon Jack and Mountain Dew).

The brand also produces Jacapple (spiced apple liqueur), Wicked Apple Cinnamon Whisky (again, a liqueur) and Perma Frost (peppermint schnapps).

  • 50% alcohol by volume (100 proof)

  • Retails between $20 and 30 per 750ml bottle

How Strong Is the Snakebite?

When any shot is made almost entirely of 100-proof liquor, it is not going to be a weak drink. The Snakebite follows this logic and this is not an innocent shooter for the weak of heart.

When shaken, the Snakebite may get down a relatively mild 40% ABV (80-proof), which is equivalent to the average shot of straight whiskey. If you choose not to shake it, just assume that you're downing a full-strength, 100-proof drink.

Word to the wise... One Snakebite may be fun and get a few laughs. Two Snakebites might cause quite the hangover. Three or more Snakebites in one night? Not recommended and please be safe.

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