B52 Shot Recipe: The Perfect Layered Shot for Your Love Shack

Toss that glitter on the highway and head on down to the love shack where we can get together and shoot B52 shots.

Updated February 12, 2024
Three shots of B-52 cocktail

As children of the late 80s and early 90s, we can't help but think of the song Love Shack whenever we make a B52 shot. And honestly, taking a shot named after the band who sang the famed 1989 earworm is the perfect way to get Love Shack out of your head when it plays on repeat. 

How to Make a B52 Shot

This is a layered shot, and as long as you know the correct order to pour and how to pour it slowly so the layers don't mix, it's not difficult to make. Don't worry — we'll walk you through it.


  • ½ ounce coffee liqueur
  • ½ ounce Irish cream
  • ½ ounce orange liqueur


  1. In a shot glass, add coffee liqueur.
  2. Layer the Irish cream by slowly pouring down the back of a bar spoon.
  3. Add the final layer by slowly pouring orange liqueur down the back of a bar spoon.

Variations and Substitutions

There are several ways to build a B52 shot and its handful of variations. Consider some of these as you learn the ropes of this shooter.

  • Craft your own coffee liqueur at home, but infuse it with other flavors such as chocolate, orange, or hazelnut.
  • With so many different flavors of Irish cream on the market, you can consider using almond, red velvet, vanilla, or espresso.
  • For a B51 shot, use hazelnut liqueur instead of orange liqueur, or use almond liqueur instead for a B54.
  • Skip the Irish cream in your riff. A B53 uses sambuca or anise liqueur instead of Irish cream, and a B57 calls for peppermint liqueur in place of the cream. You might even try subbing Galliano for the sambuca to create a slightly sweeter shot.
  • Carefully layer and craft your B52 shot into a B156 cocktail by serving in a rocks glass without ice. Triple your ingredients and carefully and very slowly add each additional layer the way you would with a B52 shot.
  • For a boozier coffee base, make a coffee-infused bourbon or vodka with coffee beans and use in place of the coffee liqueur.


The B52 shot doesn't have a garnish, as its layers are stunning enough, and why would you want to pull focus from those? But if you need a garnish in your life, there are a few ideas to pick from. For a sweeter shot, rub the rim of the shot glass with a lemon wedge, then dip the shot glass in a bowl of sugar or with the sugar on a saucer. Or you can echo the orange notes by adding an orange slice or wheel or sweeten the deal with a candied orange.

Fast Fact

Wondering if the shot is named after the plane or the band? Turns out, the answer is kind of both. The shot is named after the band, but the B-52's took their name from beehive hairdos that looked kind of like the nose cone of the plane. 

Head on Down to the Love Shack, Baby

Make no mistake, even though this shot may have you thinking of airplanes, you'll be bopping along to some good music (who can resist Love Shack?) when you enjoy the B52 shot. But it's of no difference if you're a fan of the band or an aviation geek when you're enjoying this shot. It's a drink that'll charm anyone.

B52 Shot Recipe: The Perfect Layered Shot for Your Love Shack