A staple of college parties and late nights on the beach, body shots aren't exactly a refined type of drinking. What they lack in sophistication, though, they make up in laughter, intimacy and an excuse to get closer to a fellow partygoer. If you want to unleash your inner freshman, you won't need much -- not even a glass.
The traditional body shot drink is tequila, possibly because the ritual of salt and lime that goes with a tequila shot adds to the experience. This isn't a hard-and-fast rule, though, so use your favorite drink. If you're going with tequila, you'll also need some lime wedges and coarse salt. Depending on the type of body shot you choose to take, you may also want a shot glass; in any event, you'll probably be doing more drinking afterward, so having some glasses handy can't hurt. Most importantly, you'll need one or more other people.
The Beginner's Body Shot
The simplest version of the body shot will require a shot glass, a volunteer, a lime wedge and some salt. Give the lime wedge to your partner, who should hold the rind between his or her teeth with the flesh pointing outward. Sprinkle some salt on an area of your partner's exposed skin; the area where the shoulder and neck meet is traditional, but it can be anywhere you both agree on.
Fill your glass with tequila and drink it, then quickly lick the salt off your partner's skin. Next, grab the lime wedge from your partner's mouth and suck the juice from it. If you manage not to bump heads or miss the salt, you've completed your body shot.
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The Advanced Body Shot
The second body shot variant, known as the "belly shot," requires a little more room. Once again, you'll need a partner, tequila, a lime wedge and some salt. This time, however, you won't need a glass. Have your partner lie on a flat surface (traditionally a bar). Set up the salt and lime wedge as in the first variant, then pour some tequila into a concave part of his body. This is traditionally the belly button, but it could also be the small of the back. Drink up the tequila, lick up the salt and grab the lime wedge.
Varying the Body Shot
The body shot is traditionally an opportunity for young people to show off a combination of physical fitness and lack of inhibitions, but that isn't the only way to enjoy it. With a little creativity, you can create body shot variants for any occasion. For instance, a 2015 whisky tasting held in London featured guests drinking Scotch from the body of a performer of the same age -- a 20-year-old Scotch from a 20-year-old person, a 30-year-old from a 30-year-old, and so on.
A Word of Caution
A body shot is an enjoyable way to break the ice with a new acquaintance, but be sure that your partner is as excited about it as you are. Never pressure someone to share a body shot with you. It's awkward at best and intrusive at worst. Body shots should happen in a spirit of adventure.
Dr James Holloway has been writing about games, geek culture and whisky since 1995. A former editor of "Archaeological Review from Cambridge," he has also written for Fortean Times, Fantasy Flight Games and The Unspeakable Oath. A graduate of Cambridge University, Holloway runs the blog Gonzo History Gaming.