Everyone loves an adorable kitten, or a frisky puppy. It seems we all like miniatures of most everything. This also applies to mini-dishes, mini-desserts frequently called “shooters.”
The earliest way to consume alcohol, in western movie fashion, as well as real life, was to throw back a shot of the strongest “stuff,” wince and demand another quickly. Then, along came mixed drinks, then cocktails, then shooters which have progressed far from the early days becoming more colorful, food added, sometimes sauces and additional liquors. “Shot” or “Shooter?”
For many the words are interchangeable. Amy Zavatto’s Compete Idiot’s Guide to Bartending stats, “a shooter will include a mix of liquors and a mixer; a short is a straight-up something or a couple of straight-up somethings.” A technical “must” seems to be that each shooter contains a minimum of 2 ounces and drank quickly.
Shake the contents, stir them, blend them, layer them, mash them, chop them, pour them, whatever it takes to make them attractive in their tiny containers. Stirers are important. They can be vegetable sticks, or plastic/glass/metal small spoons in unlimited shapes, forks, skewers or lollypop sticks. Shooter glasses can bear logos, clever designs, slogans or be plain silly. Some unusual shapes are miniature cocktail glasses, glasses which light up, small mason jars and various shapes pertaining to the event entertainment.
Find a long and interesting list of shooter names, some vulgar, some clever, some merely strangely descriptive on Wikipedia.
- Shooter examples:
- Spring rolls suspender on toothpick over Asian dipping sauce
- Tiny Tiramisu
- Mudslide, cream shooters
- Chicken satay
- Cheesecake shooters with berries
- Shrimp aspic
- Jello shots
- Cranberry and nut chutney
- Salmon and cream cheese, capers
- Seafood cakes suspended on toothpick above chowder
- Shrimp and garlic aioli
- Dip with assorted “stick” vegetables
- The Yamashiro Sake-Ponzu Oyster Shooter serves as part appetizer and part cocktail. A good one contains a strong sake, fresh oysters, their juice along with Ponzu sauce, green oinions and a garni of chili paste. Ponzu is sold in supermarkets and is a salty-citrus-flavored sauce.
- There’s a small town in Chile where a small restaurant’s shooter specialty is fresh crab meat tossed with chopped avocado, fresh ginger and coconut milk.
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