How Do I Master a Drop Shot?

Drop Shot Falling into BeerA drop shot, sometimes known as a depth charge, is one of the more entertaining ways to get your drink on. It consists of dropping a shot into a larger drink, often a beer. The reaction of the two liquids might be a burst of color, a swirl of activity, or a boost of strength to the drink. The names of the drinks are colorful, too, with rough-sounding drinks like the dive bomber, the atom bomb, the barracks bash, and the annihilator.

Actually creating and drinking the drop shot can be a kind of art form. If you do it wrong, you might end up spilling the drink or just not getting the right taste and full effect of the mix. If you do it right, however, you can impress your friends and get drunk much faster. Win-win, right?

How do I prepare the drop shot?

Regardless of what type of drop shot you’re making, the procedure is roughly the same. First, you prepare the “host drink,” then you pour the shot. Finally, you drop the shot into the host drink.

Preparing the host drink is sometimes as simple as pouring beer into a glass, or sometimes it involves mixing a complicated drink. You’ll need a glass large enough to fit a shot glass into. Here’s where drunken physics comes in: You need to not fill it to the top because some of the host drink will be displaced by the shot. Good luck with that on your fifth or sixth annihilator.

Next, you pour the shot into a normal shot glass that is spotlessly clean, inside and out. It must actually be glass, not plastic, in order to sink properly.

Dropping the shot is pretty simple, again assuming you haven’t already had several. You keep the shot upright and drop the shot glass into the larger glass. For some specialty drop shots, you might reverse the process and put the shot glass in the bigger glass upside down before you pour the host drink, and assuming you can pull off that small miracle without spilling, you’ll get a slower release.

How do I drink the drop shot?

As a general rule, the way to drink a drop shot is fast. The idea is that whatever horrible and frightening reactions are going to take place should happen in your stomach instead of in the glass—no need to endanger innocent bystanders. There are exceptions, however, in the case where the dropped shot causes a spectacular color change that people will want to see.

In theory, the two drinks should mix well if you just tip the glass and drink it normally. Some people might try to speed the reaction by putting their hand over the top and shaking it or swirling the glass before they drink, but those people are weirdoes and we don’t really care what they think, do we?

What types of drop shots are there?

There are dozens of depth-charge style shots available. Some popular ones would include the Jager Bomb, which is Jagermeister dropped into Red Bull; the Car Bomb, which is Jameson whiskey and Baileys dropped into Guinness beer; and the Dr. Pepper, which features a shot of amaretto dropped into a mug filled with a mixture of Dr. Pepper and beer.

Other, more complicated, popular shots include the gladiator, which combines orange juice and Seagrams Seven with a mixed shot of Jack Daniels whiskey, banana liqueur, and Baileys dropped in; the Vegas bomb, which is Malibu rum, Crown Royal, and peach schnapps dropped into Red Bull; and the Batman, which involves mixing a shot of vanilla vodka and Kahlua and dropping it into a glass of root beer that already has a shot of spiced rum mixed in.

There are many more drop shots of just about every mixture you can imagine and more are being invented every day at fraternities around the country.

Is a drop shot more powerful than a normal drink?

A lot depends on how you define a normal drink. Beer and wine are relatively weak compared to any shot, so if beer and wine are your normal drinks, yes, drop shots are probably more powerful, even if they’re dropped into a non-alcoholic drink like cola or root beer.

If you’re dropping a shot of hard liquor into beer, this is where the fun begins. In terms of strength, the whole is greater than the sum of the two parts. Any time you mix beer and hard liquor, even if they aren’t in the same glass, they combine to make you more intoxicated faster. The other unexpected and somewhat unpleasant side effect is that they can lead to a more severe hangover.

Drop shots are a great way to liven up any party or night out with friends, but they can be a little intimidating if you’re not familiar with them. There is some skill involved in preparing and drinking them, but it’s not rocket science (although technically you could argue that an atom bomb shot could be classified as nuclear science, but you still shouldn’t let that scare you).