Colour Theme – Multi Coloured

Cocktails come in all colours of the rainbow. Some of the most popular cocktails today are the multi coloured drinks. Whatever colour theme your cocktail party is taking, we’ve got the drinks recipe for it!

Most of these cocktail recipes involve layering to create a multi-coloured effect. To layer, simply add the ingredients to the glass one at a time, usually in the order the ingredients are given in the recipe. After the first layer is in, pour successive layers slowly over the back of a spoon. When done properly, each layer will float on the one below.

For the technically-minded, it’s all to do with the specific gravity of the different liquids. If you want to create your own layered cocktail drink, look on the internet for a chart giving specific gravities of different liqueurs and remember that those with greater specific gravities are heaviest and should go at the bottom of the glass, with lightest at the top.

As a rough guide, when layering, use equal measures of the different liqueurs.

Another name for a layered drink is Pousse Café. This name originated in France where layered cocktails are popular after dinner drinks, served with coffee. Pousse Café glasses are narrow and taller than shooter glasses. The idea is to sip and enjoy each layer separately.


  • 1 shot coffee liqueur
  • 1 shot Baileys
  • 1 shot Grand Marnier

Pour the coffee liqueur into a shooter glass. Float the Baileys on top. Finish off with the Grand Marnier.

  • For a Flaming B-52, substitute dark rum, for the Grand Marnier – and use a heatproof glass!

Slippery Nipple

  • ¾ shot Sambuca
  • ¾ shot Baileys
  • ¼ shot grenadine

Pour the Sambuca into a shooter glass. Float the Baileys on top. Drop the grenadine into the middle. It will curdle, creating a ‘nipple’ in the cocktail.

Havana Sunrise

  • ½ shot grenadine
  • 3 shots grapefruit juice
  • 2 shots dark rum

Place the grenadine in a highball glass. Fill the glass with crushed ice. Gently pour in the grapefruit juice and then slowly add the rum. Serve layered but with a stirrer.

Cuba Cooler

  • 1 shot white rum
  • 2 shots orange juice
  • 2 shots pineapple juice
  • 1 shot dark rum

Fill a tall glass with crushed ice. Add the ingredients in order. Stir before drinking.

ABC Pousse Café

  • ½ shot Amaretto
  • ½ shot Baileys
  • ½ shot Cointreau

Layer in order.

  • Some authorities say the C in the title is cognac not cointreau: you may like to compare!

Traffic lights

  • ½ shot melon liqueur
  • ½ shot almond liqueur
  • 1 shot strawberry liqueur

Layer in order.

Vanilla Cream

  • ¼ shot Amaretto
  • ¼ shot Baileys
  • ¼ shot vanilla vodka

Layer the liqueurs in a shooter glass starting with the Amaretto and ending with the vodka.

Peppermint Cream

  • ¾ shot crème de menthe
  • ¾ shot Baileys
  • ¼ shot single cream

Layer in order.

Shopping and planning your cocktail party

To help you in your shopping and planning of your cocktail party, we’ve listed some of the most popular flavoured liqueurs alongside the most famous makes.

  • Almond: Amaretto
  • Aniseed: Sambuca
  • Coffee: Tia Maria, Kahlua
  • Cream: Baileys, Carolans, Amarula
  • Melon: Midori, Bols Melon
  • Mint (crème de menthe): De Kuyper, Bols
  • Orange: Cointreau, Grand Marnier, Curacao
  • Strawberry: Bols Strawberry, Fragoli

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