When is a shot not a shot?

When it's part of a cocktail. With one or two notable exceptions brands originally destined for the shots market are happily finding themselves an integral part of cocktail culture. So how does this leave the shorts market itself? We look at the health of the shots market in our Industry Report.

Shots, once primarily regarded as a nightclubbing order, began to move out of this limited segment of the drinks trade some time ago.

Where once considered nothing less than a nightclub staple, being both portable and able to be downed quickly, in today’s pub the shot has come to badge the group get-together at the start or end of an evening. Sometimes both.

Thus, nightclubs apart, shots have tended to feature in bars and at music festivals where the target demographic tend to hang out.

A valuable high margin product, shots can also be considered for the food occasion in pubs where they might be offered an aperitif or digestif.

Today shots can be found as an active ingredient in a variety of cocktails such as the Kamikaze, the Jägerbomb, the B52 or the Slippery Nipple.

Irish bars such as Cissie Young’s in Cork have found shots sales to be “very good” according to Tom Lynch there.

“The young crowd drink a lot of shorts,” he says, “The women especially!”

Jägermeister has resurfaced at the bar after being dormant for a while, he adds.

“Jäger was dead last year, I thought” says Tom, “but we can’t cope with the demand for Jäger at the moment – it’s huge.”

Tia Maria too has been prominent in the sales figures at Cissie Young’s.

“We might not sell a bottle of it a month and then we’ll get three orders in for it as part of a Baby Guinness or other cocktail,” he says.

Tom believes that the shots are selling so well because of the current pub closing times.

“Either that or perhaps the customers are getting into shots themselves.”


Vaccari Sambucca

Vaccari Sambuca has two skus in the range: Vaccari Sambuca White and Vaccari Sambuca Nero – both triple anise Sambuca made with Mediterranean Aniseed, Fennel and a very rare Chinese Star Aniseed grown 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 the best Elderbush berries.

Suggested serve is Vaccari Sambuca Nero poured over ice.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam, Vaccari Sambuca’s range of supremely smooth and premium liquors honours the true independent spirit of Arturo Vaccari, creator of the famous Galliano brand. Both are distilled using methods from the 19th Century Italian tradition resulting in a premium spirit filled with passion, warmth and depth of flavour.


Jägermeister, Jägermeister Scharf & the Jägermeister Coolpack

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

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 you can take your customers’ taste buds on an unforgettable journey by trying a Berlin Mule cocktail, a gutsy combination of Jägermeister, Ginger beer, Lime and Cucumber over ice which really shows the versatility and mixability of Jägermeister.

Jägermeister  Scharf translates to “hot” or “spicy” in German. A new expression of the herbal liqueur, it’s made with the same 56 botanicals but has added Ginger and Galangal for an extra kick. A newly-crafted taste for spicy lovers, this has nothing added, yet is still different.

As Jägermeister is best served at -18°C the Coolpack, an additional type of innovative packaging for Jägermeister, acts like a freezer pack. It doesn’t change what’s inside, but this latest design innovation is stackable, compact and portable. Never lose your cool, with Jägermeister Coolpack.

Distributed by Barry & Fitzwilliam.


Santa Marta

Santa Marta, a range of high quality Italian liqueurs, is made by the experts at the Francoli Distillery in Piedmont, Northern Italy.

The attractive, vibrant design shouts from the shelves whilst each and every sip recalls the charm of Italy according to Santa Marta’s distributors here MCM Spirits.

These liqueurs can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, straight from the fridge, or mixed into cocktails.

Santa Marta Limoncello is made from simple ingredients but requires complex blending to make an interesting, fresh and balanced liqueur at only 25% ABV.

The only ingredients are Lemon juice, Lemon infusion (100% Lemon peel), neutral spirits, sugar and water.

For trade enquiries: 071-9852434.



Cocalero is a premium botanical spirit inspired by South American flavours and culture. Distilled with natural botanicals, the name comes from the traditional coca leaf farmers in the Andes who’ve cultivated the coca leaf for its medicinal properties since the time of the Incas.

Cocalero has experienced unprecedented growth internationally, finding phenomenal success in the Asian markets and in particular Japan where it’s now the number one imported premium liqueur brand. Now it’s making waves across Europe and the US as a mid-strength shot with universal appeal.

Cocalero Clásico is the Signature product in the collection, the highest-selling in the range. It uses a specialised steam distillation process pioneered by the perfume industry to extract the complex flavour of the coca leaf and essential oils from the delicate blend of botanicals and herbs. With an herbaceous aroma of Juniper and citrus and notes of Ginger, Lavender and a hint of Capsicum Chilli, the flavours strike a rare balance of depth and smoothness with a subtle sweetness on the palate.

A versatile spirit, the Cocalero Signature Serve is perfect as a chilled shot or as a ‘CocaBomb’ but its unique flavour offers the perfect twist on classic cocktail recipes including Margaritas, Mojitos and Sours.

Cocalero is distributed by Intrepid Spirits and available through Celtic Whiskey Shop.

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