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Cooking Q&A: Layered Drink?

Q.

How do you make a layered drink?

A.

Layered drinks like the B-52 or the classic Pousse Café float different types of liqueur on top of each other in a glass without blending, which creates a colorful, rainbow effect. The pour requires a steady hand, a spoon, and a basic understanding of the laws of gravity. A liqueur will float or sink depending on its weight compared to the other liqueurs being layered. The heaviest liqueurs tend to be thick, creamy, and opaque. Think: coffee liqueur, creme de (fill in the blank…menthe, cacao, almond, banana), or anisette. Middleweights are more translucent in color, like triple sec, flavored fruit brandies, and amaretto. The top layer liqueurs tend to be lighter in color and sweetness, such as Southern Comfort and peppermint schnapps.

To layer:
1. Pour the heaviest liqueur in the bottom of the glass.

2. Hold the bar spoon, upside down, over the glass and slowly pour the next-lightest ingredient.

3. Repeat with the remaining ingredients, in order from heaviest to lightest.

-- Colleen Rush

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