bartender preparing shot glasses in line on bar

Buttery Nipple Recipe Plus Expert Tips

The buttery nipple is one of many suggestively named cocktails and shots that have risen to popularity for their names and their smooth taste. This shot is sweet, often considered a party shot, and they are sought-after by anyone who wants a smooth shot that tastes more like candy than it does straight liquor.

Our article gives you a rundown of what exactly a buttery nipple is, what this shot tastes like, and how to make the buttery nipple shot.

What Exactly Is a Buttery Nipple? An Overview

The buttery nipple is primarily a shot, though the recipe for this drink may be doubled and served as a cocktail.

Buttery nipples contain Irish cream liquor and butterscotch schnapps, with some recipes calling for a small amount of vodka to increase the booziness of the drink. The buttery nipple has a golden color, thanks to the butterscotch schnapps, and the Irish cream liquor is layered on top to create a striking appearance.

The buttery nipple is perceived as a party drink, and it’s immensely popular for bachelor and bachelorette parties. This shot is often taken as part of a night out, though it can be served as a fun cocktail for gatherings and can also be a great conversation starter because of its name.

What Does a Buttery Nipple Taste Like?

The buttery nipple is a combination of Irish cream liquor and butterscotch schnapps, and most individuals believe it tastes very similar to a butterscotch candy. A small amount of flavorless vodka may be added to the buttery nipple to make it slightly more boozy tasting, but if even more sweetness is wanted, whipped cream flavored vodka can be used. Therefore, if you like drinks like a Brandy Alexander, there's a good chance that this will be a hit for you.

The buttery nipple is sweet, smooth, and creamy. It tastes like buttery candy, many individuals enjoy how easy this shot is to drink, and it has appeal as a dessert cocktail when mixed and served over ice.

It’s important to make the distinction between the buttery nipple and the slippery nipple because while these two shots have similar names, they utilize different ingredients. The slippery nipple substitutes butterscotch schnapps for sambuca with the option of grenadine, something that gives the drink more of a sweet licorice taste.

What Is the Alcohol Content of a Buttery Nipple?

The buttery nipple doesn’t have an especially high alcoholic content, and that’s because both Irish cream liquor and butterscotch liquor are relatively low in regard to ABV. With most buttery nipple shots, you can expect to find around 15 percent ABV in the butterscotch schnapps part and around 17 percent in the Irish cream liquor part.

If you choose to add a hint of vodka to this shot or mixed drink, the alcoholic content does increase, and the drink becomes a little boozier overall.

What Is the History of a Buttery Nipple?

The buttery nipple originated sometime around the 1980s. It joins other cocktails and shooters that feature mostly sweet ingredients and suggestive names (Sex on the Beach is another popular drink created around this time). This shot was created in the United States, though there isn’t too much more traceable history on how this shot originated.

The buttery nipple has historically been viewed as a fun party shot or an entertaining way to get a gathering started, and its reputation has remained much the same over the years. Many individuals who order buttery nipples today do so because of its reputation as a sweet, smooth party shot, or to shock other people with its suggestive name.

How to Make a Buttery Nipple

The buttery nipple shot, despite its layered appearance, isn’t that difficult of a shot to create. For this recipe, you will need chilled butterscotch schnapps and chilled Irish cream liquor; the brand you use doesn’t matter, as long as the ingredients are quality.

To create your buttery nipple shot, pour 1 ounce of butterscotch schnapps into a tall shot glass. Carefully and slowly pour a half of an ounce of Irish cream liquor on top, using the back of a spoon to guide it into the glass. Doing this will give your shot the desired layered effect.

Once you’ve created your buttery nipple, you can top it with a little bit of whipped cream and sprinkles, or you can drink it as is. If you are mixing shots for lots of people, you are able to simply shake these two ingredients together in a cocktail shaker and then strain it into shot glasses – this will produce the buttery nipple taste, but not the traditional layered effect.

If you want a slightly boozier drink, you can add half an ounce of flavorless vodka or even whipped cream flavored vodka into the butterscotch schnapps, and then follow up with your Irish cream liquor on top.

To turn the buttery nipple shot into a cocktail, mix 2 ounces of butterscotch schnapps with an ounce of Irish cream liquor in a cocktail shaker. Shake to combine with ice, and then serve in a glass to sip on throughout the nip. You can add more ice or whipped cream and sprinkles to the cocktail version of this drink as well.

How to Serve a Buttery Nipple

Buttery nipples are typically served in shot glasses, and your ingredients will need to be chilled ahead of time because you don’t shake them with ice before serving. You will need tall shot glasses that can accommodate the layered appearance of this drink and a spoon to help you add the Irish cream liquor on top of the butterscotch schnapps slowly.

The buttery nipple is usually served chilled, and you can serve the cocktail version of this drink on ice. Having the ingredients cold makes the drink smoother and more pleasant to sip on. Buttery nipples are generally served alone, but they can be paired with fun party foods or desserts to complete the experience.

When to Drink a Buttery Nipple

Buttery nipples are most commonly consumed during nights out, gatherings with friends at home, or bachelor and bachelorette parties. They are mostly thought of as a party shot, and while you can drink a buttery nipple whenever you want, they are most popular during brunch events, at the start of a party, or during a night out on the town.

What Are Some Buttery Nipple Variations?

The buttery nipple is closely related to the slippery nipple. Both of these drinks feature Irish cream liquor and a layered effect, though the slippery nipple substitutes butterscotch schnapps for sambuca to add a unique anise, licorice-like flavor.

To create the slippery nipple, pour a quarter of an ounce of grenadine into a tall shot glass. Slowly pour in a half of an ounce of sambuca, using the back of a spoon to make sure the layer falls on top of the grenadine. Repeat this process with a half of an ounce of Irish cream liquor to create your shot.

You may choose to leave out the grenadine if you don’t have it or aren’t a fan of this sweet and tart syrup.

Get Your Party Started with a Buttery Nipple

friends toasting buttery nipple shots in dark bar

The buttery nipple is a unique sweet shot that often makes an appearance at bachelor and bachelorette parties, among many other gatherings of friends looking to have a good time.

This smooth, candy-tasting shot has a unique layered appearance that is deceptively easy to create at home if you’re interested in serving this drink at the next party you host. If nothing else, the name of this fun drink is sure to be a conversation starter. 

That said, if you don't like drinks with a creamy flavor we recommend going the green tea shot route instead. It's also a fan favorite in the party scene, but it's more refreshing than creamy.

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