The B-52 cocktail is a shot composed of Kahlúa, Baileys Irish Cream and Grand Marnier, which, due to their relative densities, separate into three distinctly visible layers when served properly.

The story behind the cocktail’s invention is unclear, but one story is that it was invented by Peter Fich, a head bartender at the Banff Springs Hotel in Banff, Alberta. He named all of his new drinks after his favourite bands, albums and songs. This drink was, of course, named after the band of the same name. One of his first customers for a B-52 owned restaurants in various cities in Alberta and liked the drink so much that he put it on the menu.

Another theory is that its name comes from the B-52 bombers that were used extensively in the Vietnam War for the release of incendiary bombs (hence the phrase, ‘burns like a B-52 over Hanoi’), which likely inspired today’s flaming variant of the cocktail.


20ml Kahlúa
20ml Baileys Irish Cream
20ml Grand Marnier


Step 1 – Begin the shot by pouring in the Kahlúa.

Step 2 – Next, pour in the Baileys Irish Cream carefully over the back of a teaspoon to prevent the two liquids from mixing.

Step 3 – Top up with the Grand Marnier, using the same technique as before.

Step 4 – Flame the Grand Marnier (being careful not to burn yourself!) and serve while the flame is still on.

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