Liquor Laboratory

Best Alcohol For Shots: 15 Picks (2024 Updated)

Best Alcohol For Shots

Shots can be a fun way to consume alcohol, especially if you drink with friends.

But what is the best alcohol for shots?

Whether you’re looking for something new or want to stay traditional, here’s the best liquor you should try for your next shot party. 

Top 15 Best Alcohol For Shots

1. Cordials


Cordials are one of the great liquors for shots because they come in a wide array of flavors and contain average alcohol content.

It is easy to find because it is widely available in most liquor stores and cheaper than other liquors on the market today. 

Shots are popular, especially among young people, because they can get you drunk quickly.

There are different flavors like cherry, coffee, mint, and chocolate, and you can find unique cordials in specialty shops. But how do you take a shot without tasting it?

2. Liqueur


A liqueur is alcohol infused with flavors like herbs, cream, fruit, nuts, or spices.

Unlike other types of liquor, it is significantly sweet and contains lower alcohol content.

While consuming it in cocktails and mixed drinks is common, you can consume it in shots.  

“Alcohol is largely a part of our culture…it’s normalized, it’s largely socially acceptable.” 

– Dr. Erin Hobin, Senior Scientist

Liqueur shots are tasty, easy, and enjoyable to drink. It can be a great way to add fun and flavor without getting drunk.

It can be served in shot glasses or small cups and is quickly consumed in one gulp.   

3. Gin 


Gin can be a great alcohol for shots because it has a strong flavor that you can mask with other ingredients.

The alcoholic beverage will less likely to cause hangovers because it has fewer congeners [1] than other types of alcohol. 

The strong alcohol and botanical flavor of gin can make your adrenaline rise as you take multiple shots in an hour. 

4. Brandy 


There are different types of brandy in the market today, and most of them make great shots.

Brandy is a distilled wine with strong alcoholic content, and it is mostly consumed in mixed drinks or taken as a shot. 

Most people enjoy drinking brandy as shots because it helps them avoid the strong taste of alcohol.

However, ensure proper breathing when taking shots to avoid choking on alcohol. 

5. Rum 


You can use different alcoholic beverages for shots, but rum is one of the great choices.

It is smooth, sweet, and relatively inexpensive, so it can be a good option for budget-minded drinkers. 

Rum is made from molasses, so it has a slightly darker flavor.

Also, you can mix it with other flavors such as grenadine syrup, cola, or pineapple juice. Combine it in a shot glass and consume it in one gulp.

6. Schnapps 


Schnapps are typically around 23% ABV, and one of the best ways to consume them is in shots.

There are different flavors of schnapps, and since it is an inexpensive liquor, most people widely enjoy it in cocktails and shots. 

Schnapps is a popular choice for those drinkers who want something sweet and low alcohol content. Check out some easy shots for bartenders here.

7. Whiskey


If you want to take shots of alcohol, you can never go wrong with whiskey. It has a strong flavor, high alcohol content, and distinct flavor profile. 

There are different types of whiskey, such as rye, bourbon, and scotch, and while it is widely consumed neat, on the rocks, and as cocktails, you can consume it in shots.

Bourbon is smooth and sweet, rye is known for its spicy kick, and scotch has an intense smoky flavor. 

8. Bourbon 


Bourbon is a type of whiskey with a distinct flavor and packed with punch. Bourbon is a strong liquor that is great for shots, plus there are different types to choose from.

Bourbon [2] is an American native spirit that is highly regulated to ensure quality. 

Maker’s Mark, Wild Turkey, and Jim Beam are some popular bourbons for shots.

They are known for their delicious and smooth flavor profile, ideal for sipping neat or shots. 

9. Vodka 


Vodka is a popular alcoholic beverage used in shots and is usually made from grains or potatoes.

The distilled spirit contains a high ABV and a strong taste and kick. It can be flavored with fruit juices and other liquids, but the shots are best enjoyed “neat.” 

Vodka shots are not for everyone because it is considered a strong drink. If you are new to drinking vodka, start with low proof.

You can mix it with other beverages to be more palatable, but a shot or two will certainly give you a buzz. 

10. Tequila & Mezcal

Tequila & Mezcal

Tequila is known to be consumed in shots because of its smooth flavor and strong punch.

Tequila and Mezcal are made from the agave plant, and the flavor profile of the spirits makes them perfect for shots. 

There are different brands of Tequila and Mezcal, and it is best to find high-quality ones for shots. You can pair your tequila shots with a slice of lemon or lime and salt. 

11. Jagermeister

Bottle and a Glasses of Jagermeister

Jagermeister is a digestif made from 56 types of herbs and spices and contains 35% ABV.

The taste profile of this liqueur is complex and lovely, which makes it ideal to be consumed in shots.

After three shots, we noticed the delicious, herbal, and fresh aftertaste that lingered in our mouths. But what does Jagermeister taste like?

12. Cointreau

Pouring Bottle of Cointreau on Jigger

Even if Cointreau is more of a cocktail mixer, it works excellently for shots because the liqueur has a high viscosity, sweet, and is very delicious.

Cointreau is a type of Triple Sec that features an orange flavor. It is colorless and can be consumed in shots, as a digestif, and as a cocktail mixer.

13. Creme De Menthe

Bottle of Hiram Walker Creme de Menthe Green Liqueur

Crème de Menthe is a mint-flavored alcoholic beverage with a slight sweetness. It is herbal, fresh, and natural-tasting, making drinking in shots more enjoyable.

It has a high viscosity and is creamy in consistency, so we recommend you drink water after doing the shot.

14. Absinthe

Lyres Absinthe Bottle

Absinthe is a strong liquor that you can drink in shots. However, due to its high alcohol content, we recommend not drinking it alone.

Before taking an Absinthe shot, you can dilute it with water and a sugar cube. That way, you can take a shot of Absinthe without worrying about getting too drunk.

15. Triple Sec

De Kuyper Triple Sec Bottle

Triple Sec is a lovely orange-flavored liqueur you can drink in shots as an after-dinner treat.

It is a popular mixer for Sidecar, Cosmopolitan, and Long Island Iced Tea, but we enjoyed its taste profile on its own.

It is easy to drink, flavorful and tastes like an orange-infused vodka.


Can you get drunk off one shot of alcohol?

No, you cannot get drunk with one shot of alcohol. However, if you have a low tolerance for alcohol, one shot of alcohol may affect your system. 

How many shots of alcohol will make you blackout?

It will take seven to nine shots of alcohol in an hour to blackout.
Blackouts are caused by the rapid increase of blood alcohol levels, and once you drink multiple shots of alcohol in an hour, your BAC will rise rapidly and cause a blackout. 

What’s the easiest alcohol to take a shot at?

The liqueur is the easiest alcohol to take a shot at. It has a sweet flavor profile and low alcohol content, meaning it is more palatable and has less kick or alcohol bite. 

What alcohol tastes best straight?

Whiskey tastes best straight. It has a nice, smooth, delectable flavor profile; you will surely enjoy drinking it straight. 

What alcohol makes the smoothest shots?

Bourbon makes the smoothest shots. Since bourbons are aged in oak barrels, it is mellow and smooth. 

What is the strongest alcohol for shots?

Spirytus vodka is the strongest alcohol for shots. The vodka has an extreme ABV of 95% and three shots will surely get you drunk.

What is the best alcohol to shoot for beginners?

Rum is the best alcohol to shoot for beginners.

Rum is smooth and sweet and can be easily enjoyed by everyone, especially novice drinkers. Also, it is relatively inexpensive.

What makes an alcohol suitable for shots?

The best alcohol for shots is usually one that is smooth and easy to drink straight, without requiring additional mixers or chasers. It should have a pleasant taste and not be too harsh on the palate.

Which types of alcohol are popular for shots?

Popular choices for shots include vodka, tequila, rum, whiskey, and flavored liqueurs. Each type offers a unique flavor profile and drinking experience.

What are some examples of popular shot drinks? 

Classic shot drinks include the vodka shot (also known as a “vodka shot”), tequila shot (often served with salt and lime), whiskey shot (commonly known as a “whiskey shot” or “whiskey neat”), and rum shot (sometimes served with a wedge of lime).

On A Final Note

When it comes to shots, not all liquors are created equal, and surely, some are better than others. 

Shots add fun and excitement to any party, so better stock up on the best alcohol for shots for your next party.

From the traditional tequilas and mezcals to cordials and liqueurs, shots will give you the buzz you are looking for. 


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