in defence of

All Hail the Really Tacky Shot, the Taste of the Mid-2000s

They are everything good about drinking, and you shouldn’t have to go to a sad airport bar with a “shots menu” to get them.
July 14, 2017, 7:31am
All images by Ben Thomson

There was a moment in the mid-2000s, brief though it was, when pop culture dropped its veil of cynicism. It was a time of Chad Michael Murray, of Kimora Lee Simmons, of pop punk and blonde tips in all hair, of The Simple Life, and MySpace pages so heavily decorated with HTML glitter stickers they would literally take 20 minutes to load on your computer. It was beautiful, fleeting.

You remember this time, dear reader. Mere mention of the year "2007" triggers your nostalgia reflex. We know you remember it, because you can't stop clicking on every article we post about this shit. You can still see it: the Juicy Couture tracksuits, the Gisele Bündchen Ipanema flip flops, Hiptop phones, wrists replete with Livestrong bands. You can even still taste it—it tastes like one part peach schnapps, one part Jägermeister, with a dash of cranberry juice. It tastes like a Redheaded Slut.

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Sweet as pie. All images by Ben Thomson

If there is one thing we should've pulled from the flaming wreckage of the Naughties, it's the Redheaded Slut. And the Wet Pussy, and the Cocksucking Cowboy, and the Slippery Nipple, and the Cumshot.

Because all of these shots are absolutely delicious, and you shouldn't have to go to a sad airport bar with a "shots menu"—complete with badly photoshopped pictures of each drink—to get them. They are everything good about drinking: they are sweet and yum, and you and the bartender get to have a giggle about the inevitably vulgar name they come with.

No one actually likes craft beer that's so full of hops it makes your eyes water. Nobody really enjoys drinking negronis, or Fernet Branca Menthe. Deep down, we are all 14 years old and secretly hate drinking.

Think about it: you're out with your friends and you jokingly suggest ordering a round of espresso martinis—shielding yourself with humour when you know full well, deep down, it's the first time in a long time you've asked for what you actually want. And what you actually want is a drink with Baileys in it, or Kahlua, and coconut rum or peach schnapps. You want something that literally tastes like a milkshake, but also gets you drunk.

You want a Buttery Nipple:

  • 1/2 shot butterscotch schnapps
  • Float Baileys on top

I know what you're thinking: if drinks with really tacky names are so good, why did they go out of style? And I get it—supply and demand, the customer is always right, evolution favours the fittest. But if there's one thing Charles Darwin didn't account for in his theory, it's Zach Braff.

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If you were to ask me what broke the mid-2000s cynicism ceasefire, I would point squarely to Braff's body of work. Specifically, to his medical sitcom Scrubs. And even more specifically to his character JD's penchant for Appletinis. Now of course the Appletini isn't a shot, per se, but stay with me.

See, JD's love of Appletinis ("easy on the tini") pointed to an awareness that the character was lame. I'm not accusing Braff of knowing that imbuing his character with this quirk would ruin everything. But it did. Because self-awareness of lameness quickly slipped into ironically liking things, and suddenly Panic! At the Disco can't even sell out a midsize stadium tour. It was the emperor has no clothes moment of the mid-2000s.

And as that sweet innocent time faded to history, so too did the memory of how amazingly delicious a round of Wet Pussies is.

If you're really honest with yourself though, you know you still love them. Every time you're standing at the bar, and the bartender finally stops talking to his mate long enough to ask you what you want to order, there's a tiny part of you that almost says, "One Blue Smurf's Piss, please." Instead, you reply, "Just a G&T, thanks." And you die a little bit inside. Because you love Blue Smurf's Piss:

  • one part Jagermeister
  • one part Bacardi
  • one part peppermint liqueur
  • one part cinnamon schnapps
  • one part Blue Curacao

Just like you love Paris Hilton, and think it's amazing she's this successful DJ in Ibiza but still has no idea how to act natural in front of a camera even though she's been doing it for nigh on 15 years. You love That 70s Show.

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You love the Black Eyed Peas—you'll never forget the first time you heard "I Gotta Feeling." You love that there was a time it was acceptable to wear Ugg boots in public. You love eyebrow rings, and don't understand why they aren't okay anymore. Fuck, you even love Zach Braff.

You want to shrug off this faux apathy you've been carrying around for years. You want to be free of the weight of having to have good taste. You just want something that tastes good. You want a round of Skittle-infused vodka shots. You want to be free again. You want a Bartender's Wet Dream:

  • one part grenadine syrup
  • one part Kahlua
  • one part Baileys
  • top with whipped cream

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