This delicious rattlesnake shot is an easy-to-make recipe that combines the rich flavors of coffee and chocolate with a kick of alcohol. This decadent drink is a perfect way to liven up any night and will be sure to please your taste buds. So grab your ingredients, and let's start making this sweet and boozy treat!
I'll never forget the first time I had a rattlesnake shot. I was out with my friends, and one of them suggested we try one. I was hesitant initially, not being a fan of sweet drinks, but I decided to give it a go. I was instantly hooked.
After that night, I made it a point to recreate the recipe, and now you can enjoy the chocolatey + coffee goodness right along with me! If you're in the mood for a luscious coffee drink without the liquor, give my Dutch Bros Golden Eagle drink recipe a try!
What is a rattlesnake shot?
A rattlesnake shot is a triple-layered shot comprised of coffee liqueur, white creme de cacao, and Irish cream liqueur. These three spirits are measured in equal portions and layered, one atop another, in a standard shot glass. The drink is typically served chilled to assist with the layering of the spirits. The result is a delicious and indulgent drink with notes of coffee and chocolate. It would pair perfectly with my mini chocolate cupcakes!
Why you'll love this recipe
- A perfect blend of smooth coffee and creamy chocolate flavors.
- Enjoy this on a special occasion to add a touch of luxury to your gathering.
- A simple drink recipe, with only three ingredients.
Key ingredients and why we use them
This shot combines three different types of spirits. I'll let you know a little bit more about each.
Coffee Liqueur: This alcoholic beverage combines coffee with spirits such as vodka, brandy, or rum. It is typically sweetened and paired with other flavorings, such as vanilla or chocolate. Kahlua is a popular coffee liqueur, although I opted to use Makaio for my drink.
White Creme de Cacao: This liqueur is made from cocoa beans, sugar, and vanilla. It is a sweet, clear-colored spirit with a chocolate-like flavor and aroma. It is often used to make cocktails, such as the White Russian.
Irish Cream Liqueur: This is an Irish whiskey-based liqueur made with cream, sugar, and other flavorings. It has a thick, creamy texture and a flavor reminiscent of Irish whiskey, chocolate, and caramel. It is used in various cocktails and as a topping for desserts.
I like to use a jigger to help me measure and pour equal amounts of liquor into each glass. Precise measurements are essential when making a layered shot, as the presentation will look consistent. I used the same jigger in my strawberry lemonade vodka.
When it comes to shot glasses, you have many glassware options. I like to use clear shot classes for this drink because it highlights the layers. You might also have fun using a tall shot glass. Remember that a tall shot glass still holds the same amount of liquor as a regular shot glass.
Spooning: This technique is used when pouring layers to ensure different liquids can be poured into the same glass without mixing. To do this, hold a spoon with the bowl facing down, close to the inner surface of the glass. First, pour the heavier liquid into your glass in a steady stream. Next, use the spoon to guide the lighter liquor on top by running it over the back while ensuring it does not mix. Repeat as necessary.
Garnishes: I like to rim the shot glass with chocolate for this recipe. Not only does it look nice, but it also adds an extra boost of chocolate flavor. You can use any chocolate that you prefer.
Liquor density and layering
You need to know the density of your liquor to make a layered drink. When layering a shot, you want to pour the heaviest liquor or spirit into the bottom of the glass. The more sugar a liquor has, the denser it will be (think syrups like grenadine and anisette).
As you can see from the list below, coffee liquor is the densest ingredient in our rattlesnake shot, which is why we pour this spirit first into our glass, followed by the creme de cacao and Irish cream.
Coffee Liquor: 1.15 specific gravity
Creme de Cacao: 1.14 specific gravity
Irish Cream: 1.057 specific gravity
Keep in mind that the density can vary depending on the brand of spirit that you are using.
The entire recipe is below and can be printed to save for later. But, before you get there, let's walk through it step-by-step, so you understand what you're doing beforehand.
Step 1) Rim the edge of a shot glass in melted chocolate.
Step 2) Pour coffee liqueur into the bottom of the shot glass.
Step 3) Use a bar spoon to float crème de cacao as a second layer.
Step 4) Finally, add Irish crème to the top of the shot.
Frequently asked questions
Making a layered shot is called "floating" your liquor. Floating liquor in a shot refers to layering different types of liquor on top of one another in a shot glass. The heavier liquor will sink to the bottom, while the lighter liquor will float on top. This technique is commonly used in cocktails and shooters to create an exciting presentation.
First, make sure you place the densest liquors in the bottom of your glass. It will also help to chill the liquor that you want to sink in the freezer. Place the least dense liquors on the top. It may also help to shake the liquor in the top layers to aerate it and assist with floating on top.
If you're feeling creative, give these drink options a try!
- You can turn this shooter into a rattlesnake drink. Simply double the amount in liqueur in the recipe card, and serve chilled over ice. Now you can enjoy the shot in a cocktail form!
- Try using Amarula as the top layer in this drink. The caramel flavor will pair perfectly with the other ingredients.
- For a most pronounced chocolate flavor, try using the dark version of the spirit, which has a dark-chocolate flavor to it.
- Substitute the creme de cacao for Grand Marnier, and you will have a shot similar to the B-52, which is a similar eye-catching shot.
Try these other easy-to-make drinks
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- shot glass
- bar spoon
- ½ ounce coffee liqueur
- ½ ounce white creme de cacao
- ½ ounce Irish cream liqueur
- melted chocolate optional for rimming
- Gather your spirits and chill them in the refrigerator for 30 minutes prior to making your drink.
- If desired, melt chocolate and dip the rim of your shot glass to coat slightly with chocolate. Use a small amount of coconut oil if chocolate needs to be thinned out.
- Pour the coffee liqueur into a shot glass.
- Layer the creme de cacao on top by pouring it over the back of a bar spoon slowly.
- For the top layer, pour the Irish creme liqueur on top of the second layer, again using a spoon.
- Serve immediately for best layered effect!
Notes and Tips
- Layering: Keep in mind that different brands of liquor may not layer as well, depending on the amount of sugar. Most spirits have a similar density, but they can vary slightly.
- Variations: If you don't want layers, simply shake the ingredients and pour them into a glass.
- Storage: Keep in mind that this shot cannot be stored in the freezer. Irish Cream will freeze slightly, so it's best to add this last if your popping the drink into the freezer.
Did you make this recipe?! First, let me say THANK YOU for giving it a try!
Please leave us a rating and feedback in the comments section at the bottom of this post. I always love to hear your thoughts and ideas on what went well — and didn't — with a recipe!