How to Make Rainbow Shots

Rainbow ShotsOne of the most impressive bartending tricks in existence is pouring Rainbow Shots. You’ve probably seen people do this and walked away scratching your head wondering, “How the hell did they do that?”. Well, never fear, because after reading this article and watching our video, you too will be able to astound your friends by nailing the Rainbow Shooter gimmick.

Rainbow Shots



Rainbow Shots

  • ½ oz grenadine
  • 6 oz pineapple juice or orange juice
  • 1 oz Malibu coconut rum
  • ¾ oz blue curacao
  • Crushed ice

Rainbow Shots First StepBefore we start, I’d like to share some insight from doing the Rainbow Shooter a few dozen times. Crushed ice works a bit better than cubed ice; I think that it helps slow down the layers as you pour, which is pretty crucial. I prefer using pineapple juice over orange juice, although you can use either one. The pineapple juice seems to blend the colors better for me. If you don’t have Malibu, you can use vodka, I don’t think there’s a huge difference.

First step, pour your grenadine into the bottom of a large glass or cocktail shaker and add a layer of crushed ice.

Rainbow Shots Second StepSecond step, layer the pineapple juice on the back of a bar spoon, and add another layer of ice. Make sure you have left enough room for your remaining layers.

Rainbow Shots Third StepNext step, layer the Malibu rum on the back of a bar spoon. Before this last step, make sure you are ready to pour, because we’re almost ready.

Rainbow Shots Fourth StepLast step, place your strainer on top of the glass with all the layers. Quickly pour the blue curacao around the perimeter of the glass, and then, still using the strainer, pour the shots in succession. If everything goes right, you should have a whole row of rainbow shots, running from blue to red.

Rainbow ShooterThe Rainbow Shooter takes about to set up, mostly to assemble your ingredients and crush some ice. The whole trick only takes about total to finish, as pouring the layers needs to move along briskly, so that they stay relatively separated. Pulling off the Rainbow Shots gimmick takes planning and a little bit of luck, but with practice, you should be able to reproduce it anytime you want to. For regular bartenders, the Rainbow Shooter is a chance to impress friends and strangers alike with your bartending prowess.

A Quick History of Rainbows in Culture

Rainbow ShooterPeople have always been fascinated by rainbows, ever since the dawn of time. In Judeo-Christianity, the rainbow was sent after the Great Flood as a promise from God not to inflict that punishment on mankind again. The Rainbow Bridge in Norse mythology, Bifrost, was seen as a pathway between Asgard, home of the gods, and Earth. Eventually, Bifrost is supposed to be shattered during Ragnarok, the final battle between the gods, and frost giants and their allies, the fire demons. In Greek mythology, the goddess Isis sometimes dressed in rainbow colors, and used the rainbow as a means of travel. The Rainbow Bridge also exists in mythology from Japan, Australia, India, Russia, and Africa. The rainbow was not always seen as a good omen: in Sumeria and Japan, it was seen as a premonition of war, and in South America, disease.

Rainbow ShooterThe philosopher Aristotle was the first to study the rainbow, although it was the German monk Theodoric in 1304 who discovered that each raindrop diffracts its own miniature rainbow, and that rainbows are composed of two bows. Sir Issac Newton discovered that a prism breaks sunlight into the color spectrum in 1666. Newton also postulated that each spectrum of color is actually a separate rainbow, slightly displaced from one another at different angles, so each color seems to be part of a single tapestry.

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About the author

Jöhn is one of the members of the modern day FNDC . In addition to coding and providing content for the site, he also enjoys playing the guitar and watching trippy movies. His favorite mixed drinks are whiskey sours and Jägerbombs. His favorite beers are Blackhawk Stout, Old Rasputin, and Sierra Nevada.

24 Responses

  1. matt says:

    We had rainbow shots in Mexico good stuff

  2. Thursday says:

    Awesome! But who gets stuck drinking the grenadine??!!

  3. Melissa says:

    Just curious are any of the shots actually drinkable? I guess after u cld mix them all bk in one glass??

    • Hi Melissa. Yes, the shots are all completely drinkable. The ones in the middle taste a little like juice, and the red one is mostly grenadine. If you watch the video, I taste each of the shots and describe what flavors lie within.

      I suppose you could mix them all back into one big glass, but I think the color would become all muddled, so I would probably just approach them as individual shots still.

      • misty says:

        I am a bartender I made these at work I sold so many I was wore out people just liked watching me make them made a bunch of money

        • Hey Misty: I think a trick like this never gets old. People like to be entertained, even at the bar.

        • daniel says:

          wow that shots is an beautifully color for me i just wondering….how i will made by my self because i have be try to made it of team but i didnt get the color that i wanna….just like Rainbow color…..i wanna be?

          • Hi Daniel. You might need to keep practicing on this. A lot is timing and getting enough crushed ice to slow the flow of alcohol. Every batch seems to come out slightly different.

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  5. Jillian says:

    Thank you for the instructions. Nice job explaining!

    I will only suggest that next time that your assistant not distract from your instruction. She walks in front of the video just when you are pouring. And her arm distracts from when you are speaking and testing. Perhaps she could have waited until you were finished filming to taste.

    Otherwise, the video is very helpful and I do appreciate the instruction!

  6. Kurt Reaser says:

    Hey John, That trick was killer! If I were to use Parrot Bay Coconut Rum, would that work just as well? I prefer the taste so I usually have that on hand lol. Wasn’t sure if it was a weight or ingredient thing that makes the magic happen. Keep doing what you’re doing, Love it!

    • Thanks Kurt. Yes, Parrot Bay should work fine. I don’t think there’s any more than a neglible difference in the specific gravity. If you pull this off at home, you can always post pictures to our Facebook page and share with the world. Have a great week!

  7. Amber says:

    Hi John, this was am amazing trick to pull off. I tried it and my aunt tasted the yellow and said it tatsed like a banana. But i excessively loved the way you explained on how to put it all into order.

  8. Mylifeisadrama says:

    If you want the shots to be more drinkable, after impressing your friend with your amazing talent, top them all off with vodka and cheers away. :)

  9. tori says:

    Hi. When my husband got one in San Felipe, Baja California, Mexico, at The Sweet Spot, they topped each shot off with Tequila, and the tables behind us all cheered as he drank each one. Wish I could load the video for you. Thanks for showing how it’s done.

  10. Paw varkila says:

    I got a metal shaker with an strainer in the lid. Can I use that to make Rainbow shots, or do I need the one you use in the clip

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