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What Is a Pancake Shot?

By Angie Bates
Updated May 16, 2024
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Often referred to as a breakfast shooter, a pancake shot is an alcoholic drink usually made of whiskey and, normally, a butterscotch liqueur. This drink is said to closely resemble the taste of a pancake breakfast. Other ingredients, such as blueberry flavored alcohol, may be used to vary the taste of the drink. A the shot is often garnished with a slice of cooked bacon.

There are several different variations of a pancake shot, but each is supposed to taste like buttery pancakes doused in syrup. The drink often consists of two layered alcohols and is neither shaken nor stirred. Some versions do not layer the drink, however, and contain additional ingredients.

Butterscotch schnapps, or another butterscotch liqueur, is present in most versions of a pancake shot. A white or gold whiskey is the other usual ingredient, but a few versions may use a dry beer instead. To make a flavored pancake variation, blueberry, strawberry, or another fruit-flavored alcohol is normally added in addition to the butterscotch flavoring. Vodka or schnapps are the most frequent flavored pancake choices. Other variations of this shot may add sugar and a lemon slice to a mix of hazelnut and orange liqueur.

Usually the whiskey or hazelnut liqueur is poured into the glass first, then the schnapps or orange liqueur is added, often to create the layered effect. When sugar and lemon are used, after the hazelnut is poured into the glass, the lemon slice is placed over the top of the glass and the sugar is sprinkled onto the slice. The orange liqueur is then poured slowly over the lemon and into the glass. Most of the sugar will remain on the lemon, creating a sticky sweet coating. Alternatively, the lemon can be omitted and sugar can rim the glass.

The most common garnish for a pancake shot is a small slice of cooked bacon, which is often twisted and placed inside the shot glass. Alternative garnishes include typical spices found on or in pancakes, such as cinnamon. A chaser of orange juice is a common compliment to a pancake shot as well. When the lemon-sugar method is used, the drinker normally bites the lemon after taking the shot.

A pancake shot is not the only type of breakfast shooter. A plethora of familiar breakfast favorites can be transformed into alcoholic drinks. Blueberry muffins, waffles, and French toast are a few examples.

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Discussion Comments
By Perdido — On Dec 22, 2012

@Kristee – I guess that depends on the bar. I've had pancake shots at a nice bar in town before, but never with bacon.

Sometimes late at night, my friends and I start craving breakfast food. A pancake shot is a good alternative to going to a pancake house after the bar closes. It also probably has fewer calories than a plate of pancakes with syrup.

By Kristee — On Dec 21, 2012

I wonder if people do pancake shots in the morning? It might be a good hair of the dog!

I don't think I could handle a shot for breakfast. I always feel a little queasy when I wake up in the morning, anyway, and this would just send me over the edge.

Do people actually do pancake shots at night in bars? I wonder if the bartender keeps a supply of bacon on hand for garnish! That doesn't sound likely.

By cloudel — On Dec 20, 2012

This sounds awesome! I bet a pancake shot would taste far better than a straight shot of boring liquor. I have always shied away from shots and went for fruity mixed drinks, but the pancake shot is one I would be willing to try!

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