New shots for old

Always putting in a profitable performance, shots haven’t changed much down through the years although the style of drinking them or the form they’re ordered in has changed. We talk to two mixologists about what’s currently popular in the shots market.
Mostly an on-trade phenomenon, sales of shots appear to have held up “extremely well”.

Mostly an on-trade phenomenon, sales of shots appear to have held up “extremely well”.

 Mostly an on-trade phenomenon, sales of shots appear to have held up “extremely well”.


According to one brand distributor, “The shots market is incredibly resilient despite people living ‘healthier’ lifestyles,” he says, happily witnessing no decline in his sales figures.

“I’m always surprised when you multiply a bottle out by the number of shots in it and witness these selling in the on-trade.”

In the last few years, however, the drink has morphed somewhat from being taken neat and downed in one into being a formidable part of the growing cocktail culture.

But out at the bar, there have been so many distractions over the past year that mixologists such as Stevie Cranley of Advanced Bar Consulting doesn’t think that shots have got any more popular than they were a year ago.

“With so many new brands and products focussing on premium serves” he says, “shots haven’t been focussed on.”

And the shot market has eased off “on a small scale” compared to last year according to Chris Hennessy of the Dylan Whiskey Bar in Kilkenny.

Chris splits his time between the Dylan and Biddy Early’s, the  cocktail bar (separate buildings side-by-side, but the same owners).

“The perspective from each bar is quite different” he states, “as the cocktail bar tends to have a younger demographic at the weekends alongside Hens and Stags whereas the Whiskey Bar is more tourists, couples and older customers (averaging 30s-plus).”


What’s new?

Not much has changed in the shots market over the past 12 months, believes Chris.

Stevie Cranley has had to make a few more shaken shots than in recent years like Lemon Drops and shakes shots with fruit juice.

As for what’s trending right now, going against the grain, Chris sees lower ABV brands in decline in comparison to last year.

“More consumers are seeking a bang for their buck, so to speak,” he says, “Higher ABVs like Tequila & Jägermeister are holding their own at the top of the shot preferences.”

Stevie noticed that in the US there was a trend towards “rainbow” shots but that’s not catching on over here.


Where shots are consumed

Shots tend to be confined mostly to nightclubs according to  Stevie.

“Cocktail bars don’t usually include any shots on their menu,” he says, “They want you to use top-shelf measures instead, so nightclubs are where you’ll find most shot sales taking place.”

In Kilkenny Chris finds them ordered often enough in the earlier portion of the night with groups beginning their night out.

“Mixed shot serves along the lines of a Baby Guinness & B-52s become front of the list as they’re lower in ABV and are seen to be an easy route for beginning an occasion,” he explains, “As the night progresses, late bars & nightclubs will hold the highest volumes of shot consumption, with the latter mostly replacing full drink orders once a dance floor is in sight.”

Baby Guinness, Sambuca, Tequila, Silver Bullet and Springboks haven’t found themselves being ordered quite as frequently in recent years, says Stevie.



Jakob Steiner

Jakob Steiner is a genuine German spirit-based herbal liqueur, distilled to a traditional but secret recipe from the 1600s and made from 42 herbs – Nutmeg, sweet Orange peel, Liquorice, Ragweed, Cinnamon, Mugwort herb and Angostura bark to mention but a few…

Every one of the 42 botanicals is individually cold-macerated to preserve their true flavours.

Distributed by MCM Brands (MCM Spirits & Liqueurs Ltd), Unit 1 Erneside Business Park, Portnason, Ballyshannon, Co Donegal.

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Vaccari Sambuca

Vaccari Sambuca has two skus in the range – Vaccari Sambuca White and Vaccari Sambuca Nero, both triple anise Sambucas made with Mediterranean Aniseed, Fennel and a very rare Chinese Star Anise seed which grows in South China and North Vietnam.

Vaccari Sambuca White is a unique selection of premium ingredients combined to create this triple Anise Sambuca including essential oils from a wide range of botanicals. This can be thinned with water or can be drunk as a flambé after chewing two coffee beans.

Vaccari Sambuca Nero’s signature deep blue – almost inky black – appearance is made by blending Vaccari Sambuca with only the best Elderbush berries. Suggested serve is Vaccari Sambuca Nero poured over ice.

The Vaccari Sambuca range is supremely smooth and these premium liqueurs honour the true independent spirit of Arturo Vaccari, creator of the famous Galliano brand.

Both are distilled using methods from the 19th Century Italian tradition; the result is a premium spirit filled with passion, warmth and a depth of flavour. Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.



Jägermeister is made with the highest-grade herbs, blossoms, roots and fruits from around the globe when 56 herbs & spices are crafted into four distinct macerates and combined together.

Jägermeister is working towards ensuring the perfect serve globally, which sits at a cool -18⁰C. The herbal liqueur can be enjoyed as an ice-cold shot or it can take your customers’ taste buds on an unforgettable journey by trying a Berlin Mule cocktail. This is a gutsy combination of Jägermeister, ginger beer, Lime and Cucumber over ice and really shows the versatility and mixability of Jägermeister.

Jägermeister  Scharf is a new release which translates to “hot” or “spicy” in German. This is a new expression of the herbal liqueur which is made with the same 56 botanicals but it has added ginger and Galangal for an extra kick. This is a newly-crafted taste for spicy lovers.

The Coolpack is an additional type of packaging for Jägermeister. As Jägermeister is best served Ice-cold at -18⁰C this innovative design acts like a freezer pack.

The new packaging doesn’t change what’s inside: we still see Jägermeister as an ice-cold shot perfect for the Festival season.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.






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