Friday, February 25, 2011

How to Make Layering Cocktails

Here is the list of the most common spirits and their specific gravity and color.
There's a series of rules you should keep in mind when layering cocktails, they should help you even if you don't know the specific gravity of a liquor:

  • Liquids with the highest number are heavier (thus tend to go down in a glass), and should be poured first
  • This means you should pour your spirits in order, from the highest specific gravity (first) to the lowest (last)
  • Bear in mind that the difference between the specific gravities of two drinks matters (the bigger the difference, the easier it is to keep the layers cleanly separated)
  • Alcohol weighs less than water, so as a general rule: liquids higher in alcohol are lighter (and tend to float on top)
  • Pouring a liquid from too much height can spoil the layers that are already in the glass, you can avoid this by pouring from a low height or by pouring the liquid on the back of a spoon (which will slow it down)
  • For simplicity's sake, most layered cocktails recipes are written heaviest to lightest (in order of pouring)
  • It is important to move the glass with care after pouring the ingredients, and to not touch the inside with anything (it will spoil the perfectly horizontal line between the layers)

Layering Specific Gravity
Name Specific Gravity Approximate Color
Grenadine 1.18

Creme de Cassis 1.18
Anisette 1.175
Creme de Almond 1.16
Cr�me de Noyaux 1.165
Creme de Banana 1.14
Creme de Cacao 1.14
White Cr�me de Cacao 1.14
Coffee Liquor 1.13

Parfrait d'Amour 1.13
Cherry liqueur 1.12
Green Cr�me de Menthe 1.12
Strawberry liqueur 1.12
White Cr�me de Menthe 1.12
Blue Curacao 1.11
Galliano 1.11
Amaretto 1.1

Blackberry Liquor 1.1
Apricot Liquor 1.09
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
Blackberry brandy 1.06
Cherry brandy 1.06
Peach brandy 1.06
Yellow Chartreuse 1.06
Midori Melon Liquor 1.05
Rock and Rye 1.05
Benedictine 1.04

Brandy 1.04
Cherry Liquor 1.04
Cointreau 1.04
Kummel 1.04
Peach liqueur 1.04
Peppermint schnapps 1.04

Sloe gin 1.04
Green Chartreuse 1.01

Water 1
Tuaca 0.98
Southern Comfort 0.97

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