B-52 #0
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B-52 recipe


What is a B-52 cocktail?

History and background

There are two theories about the origins of the B-52 shot's name. The first is that the cocktail was named after the iconic American rock band, the B-52s. The second is the less wholesome theory that this explosive shot was named after the Boeing B-52 bombers that have been used by the American army since the 1950s. Either way, the cocktail was invented in the 1970s. The B-52 has a gained a reputation for being a guilty pleasure ritual performed at the start of an evening. The cocktail requires a bit of dexterity, since the ingredients have to be poured layer by layer into a shot glass. The order? Bols Coffee – Bailey’s – Bols Triple Sec. The top layer of Bols Triple Sec is set on fire – an essential part of the B-52 ritual. It's a ritual that's practised all over the world.

Flavour B-52 cocktail

The B-52 shot is an explosive, strong shot that's packed with flavour. The shot starts with the flaming Bols Triple Sec on top followed by the sweet, creamy notes of Bailey's and the dark, earthy flavour of Bols Coffee. Three sweet ingredients, yet the shot has a strong and complex explosion of flavours that will please the more adventurous drinkers among us.

Ingredients for B-52

How do you make a B-52 Cocktail shot?

This shot should be served in layers. In order to achieve this, we need to determine the weights of each liqueur. A simple rule of thumb is that the more alcohol a drink has, the lighter it is and the more sugar it contains, the heavier it is. Lighter drinks will, of course, float on top of the heavier ones. In the B-52, the Bols Coffee is poured as the bottom layer. Pour the Bailey's on top with a spoon. Make sure the layers are nicely defined. Then spoon a layer of Triple Sec over the Bailey's. This way, you'll be left with three layers. Light the top layer of Triple Sec. In one motion, place a straw into the glass and drink the cocktail in one go.

What bar tools do you need to make a B-52 Cocktail?

  • Jigger 
  • Bar spoon

B-52 Cocktail Garnish


B-52 Cocktail recipe variations

Three ingredients, three variations

Variation 1: Bols Coffee
Let's start with the Bols Coffee. If you're not the biggest fan of coffee but still want to add a dark, bottom layer to the B52, replace the Bols Coffee with Bols Cacao Brown. The B-52 in this version will have a chocolatey flavour rather than the intense coffee note.

Variation 2: Bailey's
The middle layer in this cocktail shot is Bailey's. It gives the B-52 its creaminess. If you want to add more acidity to the cocktail in addition to creaminess, use Bols Yoghurt. Be careful when layering this liqueur. Bols Yoghurt may start to seep into the other two ingredients, however, if you are careful when pouring the liqueurs, the problem will quickly rectify itself.

Variation 3: Vodka 
The top layer of the B-52 cocktail shot is transparent and higher in alcohol than the other two layers. Bols Triple Sec contributes beautiful orange notes to the B-52 shot. If you want to use a different spirit as the top layer, use Bols Vodka. This gives the other two ingredients ample room to shine and will lie neatly on top.

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