How to Float Liquor Like a Bartender

Fri, Dec 02, 22  |  spirits

Float Liquor like a BartenderWhen one orders a tequila sunrise at the bar, it should arrive with a pretty layering of red and yellow colors.

Have you ever wondered how bartenders are able to prevent the colors from mixing together? The layering technique is not a simple one, but with a little practice, you can learn how to float liquor too. Layering not only looks nice, but it affects the flavors of the drink as well, depending on which layer hits the taste buds first.

The first rule of learning how to float liquor is knowing the density of each type of alcohol. Remember that science project that you did in elementary school where you poured water, oil, and corn syrup into a glass and watched as the layers sat nicely on top of each other? Knowing how to float liquor works in just the same manner.

A good rule of thumb for layering is that any syrup will sink to the bottom—that is, grenadine, simple syrup (with added food coloring for affect), etc. The more sugar in the ingredient, the heavier it will be. The lightest mixers are spirits, brandy, and schnapps. The higher the proof, the lighter the liquor. Middle ingredients tend to be liqueurs, such as Midori, Frangelico, triple sec, and Irish cream.  With these basic rules, you can now know how to float liquor for any drink, including your own special recipes!

Now comes the part where you get to learn the mechanics of how to float liquor. The easiest way to do this is with a plastic syringe, because it will be simpler to control the amount of liquid being poured, as well as its exact location. Chances are, you will not have a syringe lying around (and if you do, we don’t want to know about it!). Instead, the most common method for layering is pouring the liquor over the back of a spoon. First, pour the heaviest liquid into the bottom of the glass, then place a spoon upside down in the glass so that it is touching the side. Slowly pour the next layer, allowing it to come in contact with the side of the glass as it dribbles over the spoon. Repeat this process with each layer.

Knowing how to float liquor will help you create some eye-catching and festive drinks for your next get together. Layered drinks are especially popular around the Fourth of July, where red, white and blue recipes are abundant. Other popular layered drinks include the dark and stormy, buttery nipple shots, and B-52s. With Halloween on its way, there are plenty of other scary cocktails that can be made with the layering method, such as the ever popular “brain hemorrhage.”

Now that you know how to float liquor like a bartender, it is time to practice! Julio’s Liquors in Westborough, MA has all of the liquor and ingredients that you could imagine to help you perfect your new skill. Visit us and we would be happy to help you find just what you need.

What is your favorite layered cocktail? Please share in the comment section below!