For Centuries, people from all corners of the world have been concocting and drinking liqueurs. Many countries lay claim to being the first to make liqueurs but all agree that it wasn’t until the Middle Ages that their use became prominent. Sorcerers, wizards, alchemists and monks became proficient at making consistent products that boasted life prolonging benefits. The Black Death had swept through Europe so it was no surprise that demand quickly grew for these ‘elixirs of eternal life’.

In addition to these medicinal properties, liqueurs gained renown as aphrodisiacs. Kings and commoners alike used these highly potent, secret potions to reduce inhibitions and increase passions.

“It (drink) provokes the desire
But it takes away the performance.”
– Shakespeare (Macbeth)

In more recent years, liqueurs joined in a concert of colour and taste have become known as shooters. They still cool inhibitions and inflame passions. Indeed, their popularity at any social function has made them the “Champagne Of A New Generation”. Today many, who previously may have shunned a straight shot, are raising a shooter in a toast of good cheer.

Custom dictates that shooters be consumed in the following manner. First, a brief toast or witty quote is proposed (many are presented later in this book), usually by the person who bought or ordered the round. Next the shooter glasses are raised and ‘clinked’ together in unison. The bell-like sound was once thought to ward off the devil.

Finally the best part; the shooter is downed in one fell swoop.

“Drink to the men who connect you to life.
Drink, drink, raise your glass,
Raise your glass higher.”

– David Bowie (Station to Station)

In writing this guide, I have attempted to provide recipes worth dipping into for entertainment and education. It is intended for both the professional and amateur bartender and hopefully all will find it factual and comprehensive. That being said, I now cancel all bets, break all guarantees, ensure no conclusions and disclaim any and all liability incurred by the use and/or abuse of the information presented (think of this as a liability disclaimer for those legal weasels).

“Fair thought and happy hours attend on you.”

– Shakespeare (Merchant Of Venice)