What Is A Cement Mixer Shot And What Makes It Curdle?

There are some alcohol shots that are easy to say yes to. Shots like pineapple upside down cake, cherry cheesecake, and peanut butter and jelly are akin to desserts in a tiny glass with an adult twist. However, the cement mixer shot does not fall into this category. Despite its intriguing name and seemingly innocuous ingredient list — the simple shot consists of equal parts Irish cream liqueur and lime juice — the actual drink is far from appealing.

On their own, neither Irish cream liqueur nor lime juice is particularly offensive, so one might assume the shot would be easy to consume. However, it's the interaction of these two ingredients that is truly alarming. When Irish cream and lime juice combine, they transform into a mouthful of curdled goo, akin to cottage cheese. This occurs because the citric acid in the lime juice reacts with the casein proteins in the dairy, causing them to solidify. Whether you're expecting it or not, the shot can be disturbingly stomach-churning. It probably comes as no surprise that the cement mixer is often considered a prank shot, typically given to unsuspecting drinkers as a joke, or perhaps to someone who has lost a bet.

The cement mixer shot's consistency is ... questionable

Those who are aware of what they're getting into when ordering a cement mixer shot may know that, for maximum effect, they're supposed to take the shot in one swig and swirl the ingredients around in their mouth until the consistency is right ... which is to say, very wrong. The result is chunky — a texture that's desirable in chili or apple pie, but decidedly unappealing during cocktail hour. It's a well-known fact that shooting a cement mixer makes many people sick, due to its awful consistency and, in some cases, a stomach already seasoned with other alcoholic drinks.

It gets worse. Cement mixer shots don't fare well if left to sit for too long, as they solidify further over time. Therefore, if you're planning to serve them as gag shots (no pun intended), they need to be made and served promptly. They can also be taken by first sipping the Irish cream, followed by the lime juice, and then mixing them in the mouth before swallowing. Regardless of the method, the experience is far from enjoyable. These shots are purely for laughs, dares, and bragging rights.

Use your ingredients wisely

Believe it or not, there are indeed better ways to enjoy Irish cream and lime juice in shots, with the key being to keep them separate. By doing this, you can create some really tasty shooters that remain in liquid form and are genuinely enjoyable. For example, try the creamy, sweet Irish cream in a Mudslide shot, which combines the liqueur with coffee liqueur and vodka. The B-52 shooter, featuring Irish cream, coffee liqueur, and orange-flavored liqueur, is beautifully layered.

Regarding lime juice, the lime drop shot, made with lime juice, vodka, and simple syrup, is sweet, tart, and well-balanced, and limes are famously paired with tequila shots to help balance (or mask) the flavor of the alcohol. Finally, don't forget the Key lime pie shot, a memorable mix of Key lime juice, whipped cream flavored vodka, and Rumchata liqueur. As long as you keep your citrus juices away from creamy, dairy-based liqueurs, the only solids in your drink will be the ice cubes in your shaker.