Let’s start with a brief history behind this tiny glass that puts fear in most people’s eyes when they see it placed in front of them. References to the shot glass can be found as far back as the late 1700s and early 1880s. Sometime after Prohibition ended in the US, is when the shot glasses we use today gained popularity and began to be used as more than tiny receptacles used to hold whiskey.
The now popular glass is a feature in bars all over the world and is a staple in many parties, celebrations and nights out. There is no world standard for the size of a shot glass. Different countries have set their own limits but the generally accepted range is 20mL to 60mL for a single shot. Shot glasses also have different shapes depending on the size and amount they can hold. The shot glass we are all familiar with is the fluted shot glass which is wide at the top and narrow at the bottom.
At the end of the day what makes shot glasses popular is the alcohol that goes in them. We’re all familiar with the standard shots like the Jägermeister based Jagerbomb or the Kahlua based B-52 but around town, we have some restaurants bringing the heat either literally with flaming shots or figuratively with shots that lit a fire in your belly. Here are my top shooters to have in Nairobi.
Duck shot (Coffee Casa)
You can never go wrong with a layered shot. Not only does it look good but the three layers mean that you’re in for three times the fun. This shooter is similar to the B52 in that it contains a layer of Kahlua and Baileys with the only difference being a golden layer of whiskey. Chocolate shavings are the final addition to this shot and what a delicious addition it is! The chocolate shavings and Irish cream add a sweetness to the coffee liqueur and mask any bitterness from the whiskey which adds a warm finishing touch to this shooter that lingers at the back of your throat.
Mouthwash (Coffee Casa)
Colour! That’s the first thing you notice about this shot but don’t let the multiple colours scare you into thinking you’re drinking pure sugar. This shooter is just as well thought out as the first two. Vodka is the familiar base here that is mixed with Archer’s Schnapps, orange juice and blue Curacao. Doesn’t that sound like a mouthful? Maybe that’s why it’s called the Mouth Wash. Either way, this shot is a party in a glass.
Pumpkin Pie (Mercado)
Another variation of the B52 is Mercado’s Pumpkin Pie shooter. The usual Kahlua and Baileys are present (in plenty because this skull is a double shot) with the addition of tequila to give it a telltale Mexican kick. So what brings the heat in this shot? A layer of Mexican orange liqueur is what sets the stage for this flaming shot. Once it is lit, a sprinkle of cinnamon brings the mellow blue flame to life. After all the theatrics, just like the Duck Shot, you get a delicious balance of sweetness, coffee and warmth.
Mercado and Nucifera (Mercado)
These two cocktails look very similar but couldn’t taste any more different. Both are served in Mercado’s signature skull shooter glasses which makes them seem even more intimidating than they are. Both are vodka-based with raspberry liquor however the sparkling wine added to the Mercado gives it a lighter finish making it dangerously easy to drink (you might find yourself asking for two or three more). The Nucifera, on the other hand, is the best of both worlds. It’s a sweet and sour shot that just might be my new favourite shot.