B52 Coffee – a Glass of Layered Goodness

Written by The Kitchen Hand on . Posted in drink

How about a b-52 coffee for the weekend with friends? Hanging out with some buddies or just want to chill with a glass of cocktail then, you might just want to try the b52.

It is also called the bifi or bifty, whichever one you prefer, it’s all acceptable. Good thing about it is the cozy and warm feeling you get from it. It’s nothing over the top and it’s perfect to settle down with.

You can do so much with this particular coffee and you sure can make this part of your party if you are planning one. Interesting right? It is not your ordinary everyday coffee, the b52 coffee drink is a little extra.

Creamy and tasty? Who wouldn’t like that? Guess very few people. And just like any other thing you can make yours just the way you like it. A little creativity here and there and you can produce the perfect kind of b52 coffee just the way you like it.

B52 – Origins

Wondering how this glass of goodness came about? Well, I’m sure a lot of us can’t wait to know.

The name b52 is attributed to the band B-52’s. It was said to have been invented by a bartender, Peter Finch at the Banff Spring Hotel in Alberta. Peter Finch is known to name all his drinks after his favorite songs, bands and albums. The b52 was of course not an exception, it was named after a band having the same name.

The drink began to gain popularity after one of his first customers, an owner of restaurants in Alberta drank and loved the drink. His love for this drink made him put it on his menu in his different restaurants. For this reason,  the drink is said to have its origin from Keg Steakhouse in Calgary, Alberta in 1977.

Another source however, believes that this drink was invented by a bartender at New York City’s Maxwell’s Plum, named Adam Honigman.

The drink in 2009, became the North London best, when Nicklas Bendtner, an arsenal sticker changed his T-shirt from 26 to 52 and was nicknamed B52.The b52 slowly gained popularity and soon became widespread in many countries. This has also led to variations of the drink as people have added different designs to it.

Around this period, the round of shots known as the b-50’s became popular and this included the B-51, B-52, B-53, and B-54. They have the same thing in common but of course the b52 is said to be the star.

What Exactly is a B52 Coffee?

I’m sure a lot of us like to know exactly what we I taking into our system. I personally do, and I believe you do too. So that brings us to the question, what is b52? As interesting as the drink may sound or the stories surrounding it, it’s important to understand what it is before clinging to that glass because you most likely will.

The B52 is a cocktail made in layers. It is layered with an Irish cream (Baileys) a Grand Marnier (a French brand of liquor) and a coffee liquor (Kahlúa) These ingredients however, when made properly should separate into 3 distinct layers.

These three ingredients combine to give this coffee it’s unique and divine taste.

This tripled layered shot is something to look forward to trying right?

The b52 coffee recipe

Who says you have to go to the bar to get a shot or some shots of this delightful drink? Or did you ever think it was something you couldn’t make by yourself?

Well, good news you can enjoy your drink at home without having to step out or spend an extra cash on it. You can even treat your friends to it as well. Guess what? There’s nothing better than a homemade food, drink, snack, you name it.

It is more fun and interesting because you can do as you please with it. You know, add a little variety, try something new. There’s just no limit to what you can do with it, if you are making it yourself.

So why not try yourself? Don’t panic we are going to see just how we can make our perfectly layered coffee and you don’t have to sweat it. It is really easy to make.


  • You do not require anything to much for this recipe.
  • You need just your glass or shot for this and a spoon.


For one serving, you’ll need:

  1. 1 tablespoon of Kahlua coffee liqueur
  2. 1 tablespoon of Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur
  3. 1 tablespoon of Grand Marnier orange liqueur.


  1. Measure your ingredients and set them.
  2. Pour your Kahlua coffee liqueur into your glass or shot.
  3. Add or layer the Bailey’s Irish cream liqueur
  4. Add or layer your Grand Marnier liqueur as well.
  5. Serve and let your taste buds enjoy the awesomeness in the glass.

Really simple and quick right?  The whole process should take you about 4 minutes. 4 minutes for this? I think it’s worth the try. I won’t fail to warn you against consuming so much liqueur though, so you shouldn’t get carried away by the taste.


  1. You can substitute Tia Maria for the Kahlua.
  2. You can substitute Cointreau for your Grand Marnier
  3. Amaretto can go in place of the Irish cream as well.
  4. If you do not want the layers,  you can shake the ingredients all together.


These substitutions might not give you the exact same result as the origin ingredients would. The layers also, may not be well defined.

Variations of the B52 Coffee

Like we said earlier, there are variations of the b52 shot just like any other thing it is not rigid. Let’s see some of those variations.

Flaming b52

The falling b52 is a little variation from the original b52 where the top is ignited to give off flame.

The b52 flaming has almost the same recipe as our original b52 consisting of the Kahlua coffee liqueur, Bailey’s Irish Cream Liqueur and Grand Marnier orange liqueur as its ingredients. The flaming, is layered in the same order as we have in our b52 recipe but this time, with a little layer of rum on top.

What makes the flaming variety different from the popular b52 is the addition of rum which helps the flame ignition.

When ignited, be sure to consume quickly and a heat resistant straw should be placed at the bottom of the shot to avoid overheating the glass.

This variety is particularly delightful and loved because of the peasant sight it produces. It is widely spread, loved and consumed by a lot of people.


  1. You can light your shot without rum as long as your Grand Marnier is at room temperature.
  2. Make sure you extinguish the fire before consuming.
  3. Avoid contact with your clothing to prevent accidents.


The b51 cocktail also known as the b51 shooter is one of the b5 cocktail series. In the b51 however, Grand Marnier is replaced with the Frangelico hazelnut liqueur, every other ingredient remains the same.

The b51 just like the b52 is layered or floated but this time in the order of coffee liqueur, Irish cream and the Frangelico hazelnut.

Very simple and your shot is ready to be enjoyed.


The b53 coffee, cocktail or shot depending on what you find convenient to call it is among the b5 series. It however has a little variation from the b52 as the Irish cream used in preparing the b52 is replaced with the Sambuca.

In this one, your ingredients are layered in the order, coffee liqueur, Sambuca and Grand Marnier.Just like the b52 this cocktail is very easy to make and takes little or no time before you can gulf away it’s goodness.


The b54 just like the b51 and b53 is one of the series of the b5 shots. This is another variety of the b52 but which has the almond liqueur in place of the Grand Marnier. Other ingredients, the coffee liqueur and Irish cream remains exactly the same.

The b54 cocktail is layered in the order coffee liqueur, Irish cream and almond liqueur. This just like our b52 is very easy and within 4 minutes your cocktail is ready to be served.


The b55 cocktail also known as the b55 shooter or the b52 Gunship is a variation from the b52, replacing the Grand Marnier in the b52 with the absinthe.

The recipe for the b55 is almost the same with the b52 asides the replacement with absinthe. To layer, the coffee liqueur goes in first, the Irish cream next and lastly the absinthe. Your shot is ready to be served after layering in this order.


The b57 cocktail is a variation of the b52 with peppermint schnapps replacing the Irish cream. The b57 is among the b5 series and just like the rest consist of the same ingredients except of course the Irish cream which is being replaced with peppermint schnapps.

The b57 is layered in a shot or glass in the order coffee liqueur first, peppermint schnapps, and then the Grand Marnier. Your b57 shot is ready as soon as you are done layering and you can serve and have fun.

Now you have the recipe and variations, time to give it a try

We’ve seen what b52 shot or coffee is, its perceived origin and variations. If you haven’t had a taste of this shot yet, then I’m guessing the time to do so is now. Take a trip to that your favourite bar and ask to have a taste of this cocktail.

If you are open to making one yourself, then do not hesitate, follow the recipe above and have yourself a blast. Shots are enjoyed best in the company of friends so go ahead and invite them.

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The Kitchen Hand

The Kitchen Hand

Your Personal In-House 'HOW TO' Gastro Master. From Slicing up A Pig for Christmas or Selecting Your Organic Ingredients for that Super Vegan Juice, The kitchen Hand Knows More Than You Might Think .
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