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6 Top-shelf Shots Good Enough to Sip

6 Top-shelf Shots Good Enough to Sip: Photography by Danny Kim

Photography by Danny Kim

While mixology has immeasurably improved happy hour, the shooter remains a neglected outpost of the cocktail kingdom. If you’re going to the trouble of actually mixing a shot instead of tossing back some bourbon neat, do yourself a favor and use the best booze you can get your hands on. The trick is to balance something sweet with something strong. Here are six upgraded shooters to get your night started.


TESTA ROSSA
If you’re a fan of that bracing and bitter cocktail called the negroni, you’ll like this Italianate shot that includes the aperitif Campari.

1 oz. Campari
1 oz. grappa

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a two- ounce shot glass.


BLACK EYE
Think of this shot as a sugar-free take on Irish coffee—and a super-speedy replacement for the disco nap.

1 oz. cold coffee
1 oz. Irish whiskey

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a two-ounce shot glass.


SMOKE OUT
Full-flavored Mexican mezcal makes this drink a smoky spin on the margarita.

1 oz. mezcal
½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. fresh lime juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a two-ounce shot glass.


ORANGE ALERT
Old-school gin and juice is improved with the addition of aromatic, high-octane, 100-proof navy-strength gin.

1 oz. navy-strength gin
1 oz. orange juice

Combine ingredients in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Shake and strain into a two-ounce shot glass.


ZOO YORK
The potent rye whiskey in this shot turns it into a tiny but tough variation on a manhattan.

1 oz. 100-proof rye whiskey
½ oz. sweet vermouth

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a two-ounce shot glass.


DIRTY MONK
Chartreuse made by monks in France adds an herbaceous sweetness to this spicy shot.

1 oz. Chartreuse
1 oz. pepper vodka

Combine ingredients in a mixing glass filled with ice. Stir and strain into a two-ounce shot glass.

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