From The Spirit: Will It Float?

I get, count ‘em, three-a-week cocktail recipes from a site called The Spirit.  Now and then they catch my eye.  This one reminded me of a drink called The Separator that I used to love from Brennan’s in Marina Del Rey and Manhattan Beach.  
(Tony V B, do you remember making this?) 

Earn Your Stripes

How to build a perfectly-layered drink

The B52


1/2 oz Coffee liqueur

1/2 oz Irish cream

1/2 oz Grand Marnier


In a shot glass, layer the coffee liqueur, Irish cream, and Grand Marnier in that order.

There’s something undeniably appealingabout spirits served in a neat stack, and something even better aboutbeing the one to build it. If you’d like to achieve the perfect floatat home, all you need are your desired ingredients, a quick lesson inliquor density, and a very cold spoon.

After you’ve lined yourglass with the drink’s initial layer, hold a chilled spoon, backsideup, in the glass, just above the liquid. Pour the next spirit slowlyover the back of the spoon so that it is dispersed evenly across thefirst layer. The best way to get great layers is to make sure you’restarting with the heaviest liquor first — check out our density chart to know which booze belongs on the bottom. 

Alcohol By Density
Theseare common spirits, listed from heaviest to lightest. The further aparttwo liquors are on this list, the better they’ll work together aslayers.

Grenadine 1.18
Creme de Cassis 1.18
Anisette 1.175
Creme de Almond 1.16
Crème de Noyaux 1.165
Creme de Banana 1.14
Creme de Cacao 1.14  
White Crème de Cacao 1.14
Coffee Liqueur 1.13
Cherry liqueur 1.12  
Green Crème de Menthe 1.12
Strawberry liqueur 1.12
White Crème de Menthe 1.12
Blue Curacao 1.11
Galliano 1.11
Amaretto 1.1
Tia Maria 1.09  
Triple sec 1.09  
Drambuie 1.08  
Frangelico 1.08  
Orange Curacao 1.08
Campari 1.06
Apricot brandy 1.06
Peach brandy 1.06  
Yellow Chartreuse 1.06
Irish Cream 1.05
Midori 1.05
Benedictine 1.04  
Brandy 1.04
Cointreau 1.04
Kummel 1.04
Peach liqueur 1.04
Peppermint schnapps 1.04
Sloe gin 1.04
Grand Marnier 1.03
Green Chartreuse 1.01
Water 1
Tuaca 0.98
Southern Comfort 0.97
Everclear (95% ABV) 0.80


  1. Mike says

    Hey, this is the same technique for making a black & tan, draft Guinness on top, Harp or the like on the bottom.

    For some reason, only draft will float, even store-bought draft.


  2. Mike says

    If I'm in a bar ordering beer or I've got the ingredients at home, I'll definitely make this.

    It's perfect for when you can't decide if you want a dark beer or a light beer…and it just looks nice.

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