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B52: the recipe, history and dosages of the flaming short drink

B52: the recipe, history and dosages of the flaming short drink


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He B-52 is a small glass of American origins, also known as “Torello”, a cocktail made with coffee liqueur (Kahlua), Irish Cream (usually Bailey’s) and Grand Marnier, present in identical doses and poured in a specific order. It is a preparation that involves a layered techniqueto ensure that the ingredients, given the different density, stay separated.

The B52 is the ideal cocktail as after dinner but also to accompany desserts with a pronounced taste: its alcohol content, in fact, is equal to 27.7% vol.

It is often served by igniting the Grand Marnier, to obtain a particular scenic effect, but it is a method not accepted as a professional technique by the IBA (International Association of Bartenders): in this case, drink it all at once with a straw, inhaling quickly to cool the liquid.

Discover how to prepare this particular drink, in which the sweet and the bitter are mixed, in a creamy consistency but with a clean and aromatic flavor at the right time. And if you like cocktails with intense flavors, also try the White Russian, a drink made with Kahlua (black liquor made from Mexican coffee beans), vodka and cream of milk, and the Blue Angel, prepared with gin, cointreau and blue curaçao.

Origins and history

The origins of the B52 are not entirely clear, it seems to have been invented by a bartender from the “Maxwell’s Plum BarAt New York, Adam Honigmanat the end of the seventies. What is certain is that its name is a tribute to the famous American bomber plane that dropped incendiary napalm bombs during the Vietnam War.

Indeed the B52 can be described as fiery cocktail or explosive, due to the mixture of its ingredients and the effect that can be created by setting fire to the Grand Marnier, as a garnish. In Italy it is served in cocktail glasses while in the United States and the rest of Europe the classic shot glass is used. However, B52 remains one of the most famous and beloved cocktails, which inspired and influenced all of 20th century pop culture.

How to prepare B52

To prepare B52, simply pour the ingredients directly into the shot glass in the correct order, using the back of the bar spoon, a long-handled teaspoon. First pour the Kahlua 1.

Then add the Bailey’s and slowly pour it over the back of the spoon. Pour the Grand Marnier in the same way 2. You will thus have obtained the three states that make up this original and excellent short drink.

For an even more spectacular result, you can also ignite the last layer of Grand Marnier, directly in the shot glass or on a separate spoon, adding it to the drink just before drinking it. 3.

The B52 is ready to be consumed 4.


We advise you to prepare the B52 in small and slender glasses like those used for cherries and those used for shots: avoid glasses that are too large, which would lose the visual impact of the drink.

The b52 is perfect to combine with chocolate desserts, coffee, alla sponge cake and pastry cream or simply at della fresh fruit.

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