Layered cocktails, such as the B52 shooter, stack liqueurs with ascending alcohol contents to achieve a floating composition in the glass. The principle behind a B52 is simple: The base layer, coffee liqueur, has more density and a higher specific gravity than the Irish cream that floats on top of it, as the Irish cream has more density and a higher specific gravity than the orange liqueur that floats on top of it. Making a B52 doesn’t require a physics background, but you do have to pour the drinks in the glass using a special technique called “floating.”

Things You'll Need

Fill 1/3 of a shot glass or sherry glass with coffee liqueur.

Position the tip of an inverted tablespoon right above the surface of the coffee liqueur; angle the spoon so it’s at a 45-degree angle downward into the glass.

Fill the next 1/3 of the shot glass with Irish cream by pouring it slowly over back of the inverted spoon. Clean and dry the spoon or ready a new one before adding the next layer.

Fill the last 1/3 of the shot glass with orange liqueur by pouring it slowly over the back of the inverted spoon; the orange liqueur will rest on top of the Irish cream.