La Cucaracha Shot

I was on our annual family vacation to Puerto Rico visiting my Mom’s family for the holidays.  As we sat in a Mexican restaurant, I sipped on my margarita when I heard a sudden bang and a crowd of people yell some gibberish.  I turned to see a group of people downing a shot, and suddenly my margarita seemed a little boring. 

My mom and grandpa cheered them on.  Obviously confused never having seen a shot taken in such a strange manner, I asked my mom what they were doing.  My mom and grandpa explained that it was a “Cucaracha Shot”, which is a traditional Mexican drink.  Instead of mixing it in a usual shaker, the bartender or waiter pours the ingredients into a small shot glass, takes their hand over the top with a towel or small lid, and slams it against a wooden board.

The popularity of this shot has transcended country borders beyond Mexico.  So, in Puerto Rico, the slamming of the shot against a slab of wood to mix its ingredients and a shout of “cucaracha!” is just one rendition.  Another traditional rendition is to pour in the ingredients, mix it, and set it on fire.  Once aflame, you put in a straw and try and drink the shot before the flame burns the alcohol.

There are a few variations of the drink, but the most traditional calls for the following ingredients:

·       1/3 of tequila
·       1/3 of Coca-Cola
·       1/3 of your favorite coffee liqueur

For the Cucaracha shot on fire, your best bet is to include the following:
·       1/3 tequila
·       1/3 of Bacardi 151
·       1/3 of Coca-Cola