Flaming B-52

Cocktails | Liquer

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Written By cocktailflavors.com
Flaming B-52_001

Ignite the Night with a Flaming B-52 Cocktail

Imagine a cocktail that doubles as a showstopper, with layers of rich flavor that ignite into a mesmerizing flame. The Flaming B-52 is not just a drink; it’s an experience. Perfect for those who love a bit of drama with their sips, this cocktail is a conversation starter and a palate pleaser. Ever wondered what a drink that looks as good as it tastes is like? The Flaming B-52 is your answer.

Combining the deep notes of coffee liqueur, the smooth sweetness of Irish cream, and the citrus kick of orange liqueur, the Flaming B-52 is a layered marvel. Whether you’re looking to spice up a dinner party or just want to impress your friends at a get-together, this flaming cocktail is sure to set the mood. Ready to light up your night?

But what makes the Flaming B-52 truly special? Is it the way the flames dance on the surface, or the rich, decadent flavors that follow? Let’s dive into the fiery depths of this beloved shooter and find out.

Key Facts

Alcohol Volume: Approximately 30% ABV (60 proof)

Calories: Approximately 130 kcal per serving

Glass Type: Shot glass

Garnish: A lit flame (extinguish before drinking)

Flaming B-52 Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes: A Symphony of Flavors

The Flaming B-52 is a sensory delight, a perfect balance of flavors that caters to a variety of palates. Its first layer, the coffee liqueur, lays a foundation of rich, mellow sweetness with a hint of robust coffee essence. As you sip, the silky Irish cream caresses your taste buds, offering a luxurious texture and a whisper of chocolate. The final layer, the orange liqueur, adds a bright citrus note, creating a complex and harmonious finish.

Who would enjoy the Flaming B-52? It’s a hit with those who appreciate a well-crafted shooter and a spectacle. Ideal for celebratory occasions or as a grand finale to a gourmet meal, this cocktail is as versatile as it is vibrant. Whether you’re a coffee aficionado or a lover of all things creamy and sweet, the Flaming B-52 is sure to appeal.

Imagine the warmth of a cozy evening by the fire or the buzz of a lively party. The Flaming B-52 fits seamlessly into either scenario, providing a memorable highlight. Its layered beauty and fiery top make it a drink that’s not just consumed, but experienced.

The Story Behind the Flaming B-52

The Flaming B-52’s origins are as intriguing as the drink itself. Said to have been concocted in the late 1970s, this shooter quickly gained popularity for its theatrical presentation and delicious taste. The name “B-52” is believed to be a nod to the American B-52 Stratofortress bomber, with the “flaming” aspect highlighting the cocktail’s most dramatic feature.

As the story goes, the Flaming B-52 was first created by a head bartender at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada. The goal was to craft a visually stunning drink that could warm the spirits of guests in the chilly mountain resort. The result was a cocktail that not only provided warmth but also captured the imagination of those who witnessed its creation.

The Flaming B-52 has since become a staple in bars worldwide, often served as a dare or a test of one’s bartending skills. Its popularity is a testament to the human love for spectacle and flavor, a combination that the Flaming B-52 delivers in spades.

Ingredients: The Building Blocks of Flavor

  • Coffee Liqueur (1/2 oz): The base layer that sets the stage with its deep coffee flavor and sweet undertones.
  • Irish Cream (1/2 oz): Adds a creamy, velvety layer that contrasts beautifully with the coffee liqueur.
  • Orange Liqueur (1/2 oz): The top layer that brings a zesty brightness to the drink, completing the flavor profile.

Did you know? The Flaming B-52’s impressive look is matched by its rich history, often serving as a celebratory drink during special events and gatherings.

Layering the Flaming B-52 Cocktail

Mastering the Method: Crafting Your Flaming B-52

The key to a perfect Flaming B-52 lies in the technique of layering. Here’s a step-by-step guide to creating this fiery spectacle:

  1. Pour with Precision: Begin by gently pouring the coffee liqueur into a shot glass to form the base.
  2. Layer Like a Pro: Carefully float the Irish cream over the back of a spoon to keep the layers distinct.
  3. Top with a Twist: Add the orange liqueur using the same spoon technique, creating the final layer.
  4. Ignite the Imagination: Carefully light the top layer on fire, presenting the flaming masterpiece to your guests.
  5. Safety First: Always blow out the flame before drinking. Enjoy the warmth and flavor!

Serving the Flaming B-52: Presentation Matters

For the Flaming B-52, presentation is just as important as taste. Serve this layered cocktail in a clear shot glass to showcase its striking stratification. The transparency of the glass allows the distinct layers to be fully appreciated, adding to the visual appeal of the drink.

While the Flaming B-52 typically doesn’t require a garnish, the flame itself serves as a captivating garnish. Ensure the glass is placed on a stable surface and that the area is clear of any flammable materials before igniting the top layer.

Elevate Your Flaming B-52 Experience

Want to take your Flaming B-52 to new heights? Consider these expert tips:

  • Chill Your Glass: A chilled shot glass can enhance the flavors and make the layers more stable.
  • Quality Ingredients: Opt for premium liqueurs to ensure the best taste and layering effect.
  • Practice Makes Perfect: Hone your layering technique to achieve clear, distinct layers every time.

Flaming B-52 Cocktail Ready to Serve

Substitutions and Alternatives: Tailoring to Taste

Not everyone has a fully stocked bar, but don’t let that stop you from enjoying a Flaming B-52. Here are some common substitutions:

  • Alternative Coffee Liqueurs: If Kahlua isn’t available, any coffee liqueur will do.
  • Other Cream Liqueurs: While Baileys is traditional, other cream liqueurs can also work well.
  • Different Orange Liqueurs: Grand Marnier is ideal, but other orange liqueurs like Cointreau can be used.

If you’re looking for similar cocktails, consider the B-51, B-53, or B-54, which feature variations on the same theme with different liqueurs.

Add a Twist: Personalize Your Flaming B-52

Feeling adventurous? Here are a few ways to put your own spin on the classic Flaming B-52:

  • Infuse with Spice: Add a dash of cinnamon or nutmeg to the Irish cream for a spiced twist.
  • Experiment with Flavors: Try flavored coffee or cream liqueurs to create unique variations.
  • Colorful Layers: Use a blue curaçao for a vibrant blue layer that adds a pop of color.

Preferred Liquors: The Mixologist’s Choice

For a truly exceptional Flaming B-52, consider these recommended brands:

  • Kahlua: The classic choice for coffee liqueur, known for its rich flavor and smooth finish.
  • Baileys Irish Cream: The go-to for creamy sweetness and a hint of chocolate and vanilla.
  • Grand Marnier: A premium orange liqueur with a blend of fine cognacs and distilled essence of bitter orange.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How do you safely extinguish the flame?

A: Blow out the flame gently but firmly, ensuring it’s completely out before taking the shot.

Q: Can I use a different type of glass?

A: While a shot glass is traditional, any small, clear glass will work as long as it can withstand the heat.

Q: What if I don’t have a bar spoon?

A: Any small spoon can be used to layer the liqueurs, just pour slowly and steadily.

Q: Is it safe to drink a flaming cocktail?

A: Yes, as long as the flame is fully extinguished before drinking and safety precautions are followed.

Q: Can I make a non-alcoholic version?

A: While the flame is part of the alcohol, you can create a similar layered effect with non-alcoholic syrups.

Flaming B-52_001

Flaming B-52

A classic layered shooter that's as impressive to look at as it is delicious to drink. Known for its distinct layers and fiery top, the Flaming B-52 is a popular choice for a dramatic presentation at the bar.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Servings 1 shot
Calories 130 kcal


  • Shot glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Lighter


  • 1/2 oz Kahlua or coffee liqueur
  • 1/2 oz Baileys Irish Cream
  • 1/2 oz Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur


  • Start by pouring the Kahlua into a shot glass, creating the first layer.
  • Next, carefully layer the Baileys Irish Cream over the back of a spoon to maintain separation and create the second layer.
  • Finally, very gently pour the Grand Marnier over the spoon to form the third layer.
  • To flame the cocktail, hold a lighter to the top layer until it catches fire. Serve immediately.
  • Extinguish the flame by blowing it out before consuming the shot.


Always use caution when handling fire. Make sure to extinguish the flame completely before drinking. Do not leave the flaming drink unattended.
Keyword Baileys Irish Cream, Cocktail, coffee liqueur, cream liqueur, Flaming B-52, flaming cocktail, Grand Marnier, Kahlua, layered drink, Orange Liqueur, shooter

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