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 or a little shock to the taste buds.
The shot is simple: just Yukon Jack and Rose's Lime Juice Cordial. 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 liqueur that is known for its almost sickly sweet taste. When that is topped with the tartness of lime cordial, the snakebite becomes a drink that will make you pucker, shake your head, and leave you wondering what you just drank.
- 2 ounces Yukon Jack
- Splash to 1/2 ounce lime cordial (to taste)
Gather the ingredients.
Pour the ingredients into a cocktail shaker filled with ice.
Strain into a shot glass.
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.
- If you prefer to skip the shake, 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.
- Rose's Lime Cordial (or Sweetened Lime Juice) is specifically called for in the snakebite. Use another sweet lime juice, make your own lime cordial, or simply use fresh lime juice if you prefer.
Is Yukon Jack a Whiskey or a Liqueur?
Yukon Jack is often mistakenly referred to as a Canadian whiskey. Look closely at the bottle, and you will notice that it's "Canadian Liqueur." While it does have a whiskey base, 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, not-so-good reputation. Much of this comes from its appearance in drinks like the snakebite as well as the high alcohol content. Two versions of Yukon Jack are sold: 100-proof in the U.S. and 80-proof in Canada. As with all whiskeys and spirits, the higher proof amplifies the flavor because it is not as diluted. That doesn't help Yukon Jack go down any easier.
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, and the snakebite is no exception. After shaking, the snakebite may get down to 40 percent 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. While one snakebite may be fun and get a few laughs, two might cause quite the hangover. Drinking three or more snakebites in one night is not recommended.
How Is the Beer and Cider Snakebite Made?
The Yukon Jack snakebite is a North American recipe, but there's also a snakebite that's popular in the United Kingdom. It's a completely different drink, but it packs an equally potent punch. It was a big hit in the 1980s and continues to have some appeal, though not all British pubs will serve it because of its reputation of getting patrons drunk rather quickly.
The British snakebite is a layered beer drink, similar to the black and tan. To make it, simply fill a pint glass halfway with hard cider, then slowly pour a lager on top. Sometimes a stout is used instead, though the crispness of a lager is an arguably better fit for cider. It's also common to pour a shot of black currant liqueur (e.g., crème de cassis) on top; this variation goes by the names snakebite and black, diesel, or purple nasty.