One 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.
- ½ oz grenadine
- 6 oz pineapple juice or orange juice
- 1 oz Malibu coconut rum
- ¾ oz blue curacao
- Crushed ice
Before 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.
Second 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.
Next 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.
Last 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.
The 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
People 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.
The 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.