The Irish Flag shot is a layered shooter cocktail featuring green creme de menthe, Baileys Irish cream and Grand Marnier. This combination mimics the colors of the Irish flag – green, white and orange from bottom to top.
Variations on the Irish Flag shot
There are several variations on this shot recipe. One uses Licor 43 instead of Grand Marnier. It can cause the orange to fall to the middle so it looks less like the Irish Flag.
Another variation uses brandy instead of the Grand Marnier. That one works well in terms of how it looks and tastes. But it’s less of a vibrant orange for the top layer. Still, it can make the drink a little bit stronger if that matters to you.
The Irish cream and creme de menthe always seem to be in every recipe, though. It’s just the Grand Marnier that people sometimes replace with a different spirit.
The Irish Flag shot is, of course, a very fun choice for St. Patrick’s Day. But it’s lovely for any day – sweet and delicious, perfect as a dessert substitute.
If you’re intimidated by the thought of trying to pour a layered drink, check out our tutorial on layering cocktails. Or just scroll down for the video.
It’s not as hard as you think. You can do it with just a spoon, or you might want some cocktail pourers if your bottles are very full.
Pourers make it easy to control how fast the liquid flows from the bottle into the glass. They’re one of your best tools for pouring layered cocktails.
You can use whatever brands you like in the Irish Flag shot. But be aware there could be color differences or the layers may rearrange themselves on you.
The specific brands used here were De Kuyper’s Green Creme de Menthe, Baileys (because it usually looks closer to white than other brands) and Grand Marnier.
However you make it, this is a gorgeous drink with a wonderful flavor. Most everyone is sure to love it.
What the Irish Flag tastes like
If you drink the Irish Flag shot slowly, with the layers intact, you actually taste it in layers. First the orange of the Grand Marnier, then the caramel notes of the Irish Cream, and finally the minty creme de menthe.
If you chug it so you get all three layers at once, the dominant note is the caramel. That’s quickly followed by a hint of orange and something sharp (that’s the mint) that’s hard to identify. It all blends together to create one taste.
You might think that pouring equal amounts of each liqueur would give you equal amounts of flavor. But that’s not how it works. The Irish cream dominates in this one, but it doesn’t take over.
But if you dare to stir it just before drinking, even though that makes it less pretty, you can drink the whole shot slowly and savor all those wonderful flavors together.
Yes, it’s ugly. But it’s also delicious. And the green color is still very Irish… no, you’re right – it’s just ugly.
How to serve the Irish Flag
If you decide to chug this one, you’re going to want at least a couple. If you’re serving it for a party, you might want to make up a tray full of them in advance.
And since it’s all low proof liqueurs, it’s a very lightweight drink. So you can easily enjoy a couple without feeling it too much – or having to worry about guests getting out of hand (you know who you are).
This little shooter makes a wonderful alternative to the B-52 shot, which has caramel, orange and coffee notes. The Irish Flag feels a little bit lighter, more refreshing – definitely still a candy drink, but with flavors that are a little less rich.
If this drink isn’t strong enough for you – or your guests – you might be tempted to add some vodka to give it more kick. But that’s probably a bad idea, since it will change the look of the drink.
Instead, just serve shots of Irish whiskey alongside this shot. Chug an Irish Flag, chug some Irish Whiskey. That will give you all the kick you could want.
There's more than one recipe called the Irish Flag cocktail. This one blends the flavors of mint, whiskey and vanilla for a really delicious treat. And the layering is easier than you think.
- 1/3 Green Creme de Menthe
- 1/3 Baileys Irish Cream
- 1/3 Grand Marnier
- Pour a shot glass 1/3 full with Green Creme de Menthe.
- Pouring very slowly over the back of a spoon, add a layer of Baileys Irish Cream.
- Again pouring very slowly over the back of a spoon, add a layer of Grand Marnier.