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Drinking A Depth-Charge

So you are about to leave the bar and you want a roadie to send you on your way. How about trying the classic Depth-charge? If you have never encountered it before it is basically a shot dropped into a glass of beer. There are other names for the drink, but for simplicity, we will use depth-charge as this covers them all.

I was introduced to the drink well into my drinking career. My mate was genuinely surprised that I had never heard of it. Still, he is a good fifteen years older than I, and fashions come and go over time. Fashions do seem to experience a resurgence from time to time. So my first depth-charge was a shot of Drambuie dropped into a glass of draught beer, Waikato Draught. The taste has always stayed with me. A lovely sweet undertaste while imbibing my workhorse beer of the time. Something of a sweet treat, that grows sweeter as you drink it till the last gulp is more spirit than beer, a final shot of spirit laced with beer.

And that is the great thing about the depth-charge. As you drink, the beer flavor dissipates and the spirit flavor takes over.

So here are a few tips for the depth-charge.

Choose your drinks wisely.

As I said before, all drinks with a shot dropping into a glass of beer can be considered a depth-charge. So choose drinks that you like. The key here is to Enjoy It. I have found that for sweet liquors such as Drambuie or the wide selection of honey liquors now on the market, go with a more bitter-flavored beer. Things like IPAs, Bitters, and some Ales. I have found lagers and lighter, sweeter beers are not as well suited to a sweet liqueur. Taste is subjective, however, so experiment with drinks you like. You can also go the vodka, Whiskey, and standard spirit route though that tends to turn the endeavor into more of a chug than an appreciation of the drink. So sweet liquors with bitter-flavored beers are my recommendation. But whatever your personal style is worth investigating. Feel free to share your mixing successes on this post.

How to make it.

Easy, just get a glass of your selected beer large enough to accommodate the shot glass at the bottom of the glass, a shot of your proposed spirit, and drop it in the glass.


Two things to remember here. Make sure there is enough room in the glass so you do not overflow it when adding the shot. Secondly, slowly lower the shot glass into the beer till nearly submerged before releasing. This achieves 2 things; stop splashing and mess and stop spillage of the shot as it descends to the bottom of the glass.

This is also one of the cool things about the drink. If the beer is transparent enough and the spirit dense enough you can watch as the spirit spills out into the beer as you tip the glass back to drink. Watching as the spirit level decreases in the shot glass as the drink is drunk and the gentle swirls of the two different liquids mix above the shot glass. This is definitely the case with thicker, more viscous liqueurs.

Final tips.

Best to be enjoyed as the last drink, a roadie, one more no more type of thing. It has a bit of a sly kick to it so should send you on your way with a nice buzz. I would not recommend drinking one after the other as it will probably end up on your shoes as well as other places you would rather not leave your drinks and whatever you have been eating.

So remember the depth-charge option when considering a roadie or whenever the party is winding down. And if you want to share the experience with others, download Barfliz and share good times with the first-ever social drinking network.

Cheers Mate.

Andy from Barfliz


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