Layered B52 Shot (Easy Cocktail Recipe) + Video

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B52 Shot is a silky smooth, creamy, and rich layered shot. The perfect party drink, this gorgeous cocktail is super easy to make with only 3 ingredients! The B52 drink goes down smoothly and will bring life to any party!! Grab your shot glass, and get ready to pour! 

titled image for b52 drink recipe


What do you get when you combine chocolate, coffee, and orange flavors? The most delicious shooter you’ve ever tried! 

You don’t need to be a master bartender to make a mind-blowing drink, and this layered cocktail proves it.

Cocktail enthusiasts love this eye-catching shot because of the fun, distinct layers. It’s one of the most popular shots, and you’re about to see why. 

You can use different brands of alcohol for this recipe, but the ones listed on the recipe card really are the best way.

They give the perfect creamy texture with a subtle blend of coffee that proves why this B-52 recipe is the best. 

The detailed instructions are on the recipe card below so be sure to pay attention as there is a specific order that has to happen with this classic drink.

Don’t stress – it is a simple construction, but one that has to be followed! 

ingredients for b52 layered shots

B52 Shot

This cocktail is just SO gorgeous, it will make you thirsty with just one look — and the B-52 drink is a snap to make! 

All you need are the ingredients, the right glasses, a bit of technique, and bam! This decadent, rich Irish Cream and Kahlua shot will have everyone satisfied. 

I’m also obsessed with pairing drinks with great desserts. Personally, I think that a B 52 shot goes really well with something sweet, like a cookie. 

I recommend toffee caramel and Italian wedding cookies.

Do you enjoy simple cocktails that are extra sweet? If so, make a mocha express!

pouring Kahlua into a shot glass

B-52 Cocktail Ingredients

  • Coffee Liqueur – Kahlua is the tried and true ingredient for a B52 shot. 

    This liqueur is smooth and sweet, but it’s rich enough that the flavor is never lost among others.

    Amaretto is pretty popular as well, but any coffee liqueur with crème de cacao will work in a B52 drink.
  • Irish Cream – Irish cream is, well, creamy. It also has a vanilla flavor, which makes it nice and smooth. 

    When choosing a brand, you can’t go wrong with Baileys! Another popular cocktail to make with Irish cream is a Kahlua mudslide.
  • Orange Liqueur – This liqueur has a very warm, somewhat spicy, and delicious mix of bitter and sweet flavors. 

    I use Grand Mariner in this recipe, but triple sec is also often used.
layer of baileys irish cream off back of spoon in shot glass

Tips for Flawless Layered Shots

  • Keep the ingredients refrigerated. This drink is most delicious when chilled, so definitely don’t use room-temperature B-52 cocktail ingredients when whipping this one together.
  • Use the right type of glassware. This cocktail is shooter-sized because there are three layers. 

    Use tall shot glasses to accommodate (and show off!) all 3 layers of your B 52 shot!

How to create gorgeous layers 

To make a layered cocktail, carefully tip the glass and pour each liqueur down the side. This way you won’t disrupt each layer, giving you a gorgeous presentation!

You can also place a spoon upside down in the glass and pour the ingredients over the back of the spoon. It’s a neat trick to make you look like a master bartender.

layer of grand marnier orange liqueur off back of spoon into shot glass

B-52 Drink Recipe FAQ

Why is it called a B52?

The short answer: we don’t know the drink’s origin for sure! 

The long answer: there are two possibilities. Some believe the B-52 drink is named after the band, the B-52s. Others believe it’s for the B-52 bomber. 

Most people believe the former, as it was named by its creator, bartender Peter Fich, in the 70s. 
Classic cocktails always have interesting back stories, and this one has a couple! 

Is a B52 drink strong? 

Grand Marnier has a 40% alcohol content, Kahlua has a 20% alcohol content, and Bailey’s has only a 17% alcohol content.

It’s not super strong, but the sweetness and smoothness of a B52 shot can be deceptive. This is to say: be careful, and drink responsibly! 

How do you make B52 shots? 

It’s all about the layers! You first pour in the Kahlua, followed by the Bailey’s, and top it off with the Grand Marnier. 

Then, you drink them all at once. There’s nothing tricky to it — right down the hatch!
You just need a little preparation time to make this shot, so have fun and be the head bartender of the night! You’ll wow everyone with the shot’s intricate appearance! 

close up: layered B52 drink in shot glass

B 52 Shot Variations

There are a ton of different versions of this cocktail! 

  • B52 with Bombay Doors – Build this classic shooter with Bombay gin 
  • B52 in the Desert – Use gold tequila in place of the Irish Cream
  • B52 with a Full Payload – Add a 4th layer of Frangelico and top it all off with a flaming layer of Bacardi 151

If you really want to experiment, break out your liqueurs and mixers and create something truly unique with your B-52 cocktail ingredients!

  • B51 – Made with Frangelico hazelnut liqueur rather than orange
  • B53 – Replaces Irish cream with some sugary Sambuca
  • B54 – Made with Amaretto almond liqueur 
  • B55 – Swaps absinthe for the orange liqueur
  • B57 – Uses peppermint schnapps in place of Irish cream — perfect for the holidays!

With love, from our simple kitchen to yours. 

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multiple B52 shots on a tray

Other Easy Cocktail Recipes

4 kahlua shooters

Layered B52 Shot (Easy Cocktail Recipe) + Video

Donna Elick
A B52 Shot is a silky smooth, creamy, rich layered shooter with coffee liqueur! The B52 drink is easy to make with this Kahlua shot recipe!
5 stars from 1 review
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Drink
Cuisine American
Method Mixed
Servings 1



  • 1 part Kahlua Coffee Liqueur
  • 1 part Bailey's Irish Cream
  • 1 part Grand Marnier Orange Liqueur


  • One at a time, pour equal parts Kahlua, Baileys and Grand Marnier into a shooter glass. Start with the Kahlua, then Baileys Irish Cream, then Grand Marnier.
  • To get a perfect layered shot, tip the glass and pour the cocktail down the side.



Serving: 1 | Calories: 10cal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1mg | Sugar: 1g | Calcium: 1mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled collage image for b52 layered shots

Originally published October 2012., updated and republished April 2024

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  1. So fun! I love layered drinks…they look so cool! Love all the different variations…especially the one you light on fire! 🙂

  2. I have to say that I have some very fond memories of the B-52, or maybe I'm thinking the Tequila Sunrise. 🙂 Love those B-52s!

    1. How do you drink these layered drinks? Do you mix them together or drink using a straw or like a glass of water?

  3. Okay, crazy question, as I always loved my B52s (shots AND band)…but because of the meds I’m now on, alcohol isn’t an option 🙁
    So…thinking caps on…do you think there’s a way to create these flavours in the same creamy viscous layers but without alcohol?

    1. Hi Katherine!
      Layered drinks and cocktails are created by weighted ingredients. In other words, the base of the drink should be the heaviest liquid (the one with the highest sugar content). As a fellow non-drinker, I have an idea of substitute ingredients. Keep in mind that this hasn’t been tested, so please come back and let me know if it works and more importantly, if it tastes good! 🙂

      Pour each layer over the back of a spoon to help prevent the layers from mixing together. I’m not sure if coffee creamer has more sugar content than chocolate syrup, so you may need to swap these layers around as well.

      Bottom Layer: Mix 2 tablespoons of orange juice concentrate with 1/2 – 3/4 teaspoon water (you may need to adjust the water amount)
      Middle Layer: Bailey’s Irish cream flavored coffee creamer, or Half and Half
      Top Layer: Mix 1/2 to 1 teaspoon chocolate syrup with 1 teaspoon of instant coffee powder that’s dissolved in 2 tablespoons of hot water.

      Good luck!
      TSRI Team member,

  4. I haven’t had a drink in many years, but, back in the day, this was my go to shooter. I couldn’t get enough of them. They were so good.

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