Shooters are the Rodney Dangerfield of mixology. They get no respect, which is a pity, because ounce for ounce they pack more marketing potential than most other cocktails and drinks. Granted, marketing shooters may require a bit more effort than others. Recipe names might have to be toned down, suggested glassware may have to be changed. Nevertheless, like color TVs and tax refund checks, shooters have a nearly universal appeal.

For one thing, they’re fun, interesting and contemporary drinks. Since most shooters are served neat or straight up, the quality of their ingredients can be more fully appreciated. And by promoting some of the vast array of shooter recipes available, you can also facilitate the turnover of slower moving inventory and provide customers more ways to use standard brands.

So whether you subscribe to the theory that what people drink in bars on Friday nights is what they look to buy in your store on Saturday, or supplying your clientele with creative ideas on how to use what’s on your shelves drive sales, taking another look at shooters makes good retail sense.

At the onset, the word “shooters” encompasses a large and diverse body of drink recipes; ranging from the elegant and sophisticated to the radically bizarre. Shooters are anything but one-dimensional. Long gone are the days when the breadth of the category consisted of a shot and a beer, or a shot in a beer. Today’s shooters are made with nearly every product on your shelves and cater to every taste imaginable.

The Svedka S&M.

The key is to select recipes that target your clientele’s particular tastes. For a swank clientele, for instance, consider promoting shooters as “neat cocktails,” recipes such as the Grand Alliance, which is equal parts of Disaronno Amaretto, sweet ‘n’ sour and Champagne served in a chilled sherry glass; or the Touque Wrench, which uses Midori, orange juice and Champagne; or the Lobotomy, which is a blend of Disaronno Amaretto, Chambord, pineapple juice and Champagne. Change their names to best suit your crowd and you’ve got some highly promotable specialties.

Because of their great taste and dramatic presentation, layered concoctions are ideal for an upscale clientele. Candidates include the Inverted Nail, which uses Drambuie with Glenfiddich on top; the Caribbean Sunset, a combination of Kahl


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