50 Shots of America–Ohio


Ohio is the 17th state admitted to the Union but it wasn’t quite so simple as it sounds. It wasn’t until 1953 that they were official declared the 17th state retroactively.

As part of the Northwest Territory, an area became eligible for statehood once it reached a population of 60,000. In 1953 the realized there had been no formal Congressional resolution to admit the state into the Union even though President Jefferson signed the act that set Ohio’s borders in February of 1803. 153 years later it would be Eisenhower who declared the date of statehood as March 1, 1803.

That’s some serious bureaucratic back-log!

Despite having a state beverage of tomato juice (at least it’s not milk!) I couldn’t ignore the more obvious theme for this state. Ohioans are considered Buckeyes and most of us have encountered–on holiday cookie swap or another–the confection of the same name. Little balls of sweetened peanut butter dipped in chocolate but leaving a bit of the filling exposed to mimic the seeds they get their name from.

Now, to my knowledge there’s not a peanut liqueur (not that that’s a bad thing, necessarily) but we do have some other nut liqueurs to work with. And since there are two drinks already with the name Buckeye (one a gin-dry vermouth martini, the other a variation on the Irish Car Bomb) I’ve decided to call this week’s drink

the Buck-Shot

3/4 oz hazelnut liqueur
3/4 oz chocolate liqueur
1/2 oz vanilla vodka
1/4 oz butterscotch schnapps

Combine over ice in a petite shaker and shake it colder than lake-effect snow. Strain into a chilled cordial glass.

While I dearly love amaretto, it tends to overpower even in small amounts in these small drinks. Frangelico turned out to be perfect for the taste and, with the addition of the Butterschnapps you can almost fool yourself that it’s a peanut butter ball and not something more akin to Nutella.

Butterscotch Schnapps


Another (brief) walk down memory lane…

At a Victory Weekend in Daytona Beach, November 1994, one of the girls from Miami spent the entire first evening downing a bottle of Buttershots.

Now, it doesn’t seem like butter-flavored (well, technically butterschotch) liqueur would taste very good or be a good idea in general but I have to say, the more I experiment with shots and cocktails that employ it, the more I’m convinced that it is an idea most excellent, indeed. (And, as one of my chef-instructors said: fat makes things taste good! There may not be any fat in butterscotch schnapps, I’m not sure, but the idea is the same.)

At a party a few years back we were making Buttery Nipples (Irish Cream and Butterscotch Schnapps) when someone (not me, I’m afraid, but the details of who, exactly, are a little hazy) decided to add some Godiva liqueur that I’d also brought. Thus was born the Candy Bar “Shot.” Since then I’ve attempted to streamline the ratios and this is what we’ve come up with:

CHF Candy Bar Shot

2 parts Chocolate Liqueur
1 part Butterscotch Schnapps
1 part Irish Cream Liqueur

Combine in the glass of your choice, depending on your thirst. Pouring the Irish Cream over the back of a spoon (layering) is a nice touch but totally impractical if you’re in a hurry for some yum.

Now, more recently Todd and I were out at a local tapas bar and, after each ordering a “safe” cocktail from their martini menu, became intrigued by one of the offerings: the Oatmeal Cookie Martini. Unable to restrain my curiosity the entire evening, I eventually asked our bar mistress if we could try it as a shot. Oh. My. God. I didn’t think it was possible that a mixed drink could taste like a cookie but this did. In fact, it was like eating an oatmeal cookie with an ice-cold milk chaser. So good.

Of course we had to experiment. What follows is our best efforts to date (though I’ve dropped the martini title as there’s no vodka or gin in the drink):

CHF Oatmeal Cookie

3 oz Irish Cream Liqueur
1.5 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
splash of Cinnamon Schnapps (we, and the bar, used Goldschlager)

Combine in a cocktail shaker over ice, preferably crushed, and shake til really cold. Strain into a chilled glass.

You want to be really light with the cinnamon because it can overpower the drink easily and ruin the illusion that you’re drinking a cookie.

Bottoms up!