B-25 Shot for Pittsburgh’s Three Rivers Arts Festival

Just in time for the Dollar Bank Three Rivers Arts Festival, here’s a Pittsburgh spin on the B-52 Shot, inspired by our three iconic rivers with a nod to a local unsolved mystery. Our B-25 Shot uses the classic recipe you know and love with local spirits from Kingfly, Wigle Whiskey, and Liberty Pole. Good things come in threes, and since our city is home to Three Rivers, a three-part shot is the perfect tribute to these icons of Pittsburgh. Coffee liqueur for the classy Allegheny, orange liqueur for the feisty Monongahela, and bourbon cream for where they mix together to make the robust Ohio. Though the brown and beige in this cocktail might look a little muddy, don’t worry, it’s a smooth finish and won’t give you any of the bacteria in Pittsburgh’s river water.

The History of Pittsburgh’s B-25 “Ghost Bomber”

On January 31, 1956, an American military bomber called a B-25 crashed into Pittsburgh’s Monongahela River right near the Glenwood Bridge. It was on a routine training flight to Harrisburg—but the plane never made it there. While two crew members drowned trying to swim ashore, the other four made it out safely. However, the real mystery behind this story is what happened to the B-25 bomber. Even though search teams found the crew members, somehow the 15-foot bomber plane disappeared in the 20-foot deep river. To this day, the plane’s location remains a mystery in the depths of the Mon.

B-25 Shot Recipe

B-25 Shot Ingredients

Shot Preparation Instructions

  1. Pour coffee liqueur into the bottom of your shot glass.
  2. Place a spoon into the shot glass, without touching liquid, and slowly pour bourbon cream.
  3. Place a spoon into the shot glass, without touching liquid, and slowly pour orange liqueur.

Tips for Creating a Layered Shot

When you’re crafting a layered shot, you need to organize your liquids from heaviest to lightest density. By putting the heaviest on the bottom and layering upward from there, you’ll create distinct parts to the shot and keep it from mixing together. Part of the appeal of a layered shot is its fun, flashy appearance, so you want to be able to tell each layer apart. Murky is fine for the rivers at the Point, but you don’t want that in your alcohol.

In order to determine the density, look at the sugar and alcohol content of each liquid. The liquids that contain more sugar are going to be denser—though you wouldn’t want it in a shot, the heaviest cocktail ingredient is sweet, syrupy grenadine. Once you get the hang of this, you’ll be making layered shots in no time. It’s all about experimentation and patience. 

Wrap Up

Our B-25 Shot puts a Pittsburgh spin on the classic elements from the B-52 Shot with the help of our city’s local spirits. It’s an homage not only to the unsolved mystery of the B-25 bomber plane that crashed into the Monongahela, but also to the three rivers that cradle the city of Pittsburgh on all sides. So while you’re prepping for the Three Rivers Arts Festival on May 31, serve up this shot as a reminder of the Pittsburgh symbol the festival is named for.

Recipe by Zack Durkin / Story by Emma Riva and Kylie Thomas / Photography and Styling by Star LaliberteA footer photo with a white background, one TABLE Magazine and subscribe info and buttonSubscribe to TABLE Magazine‘s print edition.

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