What Is A Snake Bite Shot And How Did It Get Its Name?

three whiskey shots
three whiskey shots - Alejandrophotography/Getty Images

While some people enjoy a complicated, complex cocktail, others might prefer the simplicity of a shot. Although no one wants to hit the floor after that drink, the snake bite shot was given that description for the quick strike it does on people's perceptions. Instead of a slow, entangled hold, this libation hits fast even though the sweet taste is unsuspecting.

A snake bite shot consists of Yukon Jack whiskey and lime cordial. Although the exact name origins can be debated, the idea is that the sweet and sour shot gives drinkers a quick buzz, similar to how a snake quickly strikes, and the impact is immediate. Even though any liquor shot can have some people feeling a little loopy, this shot's approachable flavor makes it more palatable for that quick buzz. The sweet, honey-forward Yukon Jack with that bright, zesty lime makes it feel like an easy drinking, light libation. Maybe the snake reference lures people into the concept that this shot is not as potent as it seems, similar to the snake that looks beautiful but is quite menacing.

Many people might be familiar with the concept that the rattling sound from the rattlesnake is a warning to tread carefully; the slam of the snake bite shot might be a similar note of caution. It might not be a venomous sip, but it is one that leaves a mark.

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Are There Variations On The Snake Bite Shot?

two tall whiskey shots
two tall whiskey shots - Julia Dorian/Getty Images

The simple snake bite shot is just two liquids: Yukon Jack whiskey and lime cordial. While there are many whiskeys on the shelf, Yukon Jack might not be the most common option. At 100 proof, it can bring a little burn to the drinking experience. More importantly, the liquor has been enhanced with a honey flavor. That touch of sweetness makes the sweet and sour combination.

While Yukon Jack might be the classic variation, another honey whiskey, like Jack Daniels Honey, could be an option. But Jack Daniels would be a less potent alternative since that brown liquor is not at 100 proof. Other sweetened whiskeys could be an option, too. In contrast, combining any whiskey with honey might not be the same experience. While it might not change the mouth feel, the sweetness could be too pronounced. It is better to stick with a sweeter liquor with this simple shot.

Additionally, lime juice could be substituted for the lime cordial. In this scenario, the sour pucker would be more subtle. For drinkers who prefer a brighter, lighter option, this combination might be preferred. In the end, there might be more than one option for the snake bite shot. Even if the liquid changes slightly, the impact is still great.

What Is The Difference Between A Snake Bite Shot And Snakebite Drink?

pint of snakebite cocktail
pint of snakebite cocktail - Brent Hofacker/Shutterstock

While the snake bite shot can have people feeling its impact as soon as the glass is empty, a snakebite drink, or snakebite cocktail, is more subtle. Generally, the drink or cocktail is equal parts beer and cider. When the beertail is served, the cider is at the bottom of the pint, and the darker beer floats on top.

The original British cocktail is equal parts lager and cider. While not as light as a shandy, it is designed to be a refreshing sipper. Since the lager is crisp, the less-hoppy cider contrasts with a sweetness. It is easy, drinkable, and sessionable. There is a "bite," but it is not a knockout. In the U.S., the snakebite tends to use a darker beer, like a stout. Often, it is served as a combination of a Guinness stout and a cider. Even though that particular beer is not necessarily heavy, the cider adds brightness to the overall flavor.

Although both the snake bite shot and the snakebite cocktail are simple, two-ingredient beverages, the impact of drinking one over the other is quite different. For the person who wants a less severe experience, stick to the cocktail and skip the shot. Or, have a morning antidote close at hand.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.