Rebekah Peppler’s elevated take on shots is our new favorite way to finish a dinner party or special gathering.
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From Dive Bar to Digestif
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

If anyone can successfully shift the reputation of shooters from college dive-bar staple to sophisticated post-party nightcap, it's Paris-based author and food stylist Rebekah Peppler. "There's something so celebratory and connecting about taking a shot," she says. By using low-ABV spirits and wines like vermouth, Campari, Suze, and amaro, Peppler makes com- posed miniature cocktails for guests to cheers with and knock back, without overindulging. Peppler's digestif shots—for which she shares recipes in her newest cookbook, À Table: Recipes for Cooking and Eating the French Way—are intended as pleasant punctuation on a night of merriment. In lieu of cheap shot glasses, Peppler suggests using sake cups, espresso sets, and even vintage port glasses to infuse these cheerful chasers with an extra bit of creativity. "You're leaving people with a good taste in their mouths, but also the nostalgia and thrill of a shot," she explains.

Digestif Shot Un: Martini Miniature Shot

Martini Miniature Shot
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

By Rebekah Peppler

TOTAL 5 MIN; SERVES 8

Clean and herbal with a slightly sour note at the finish, this shot mimics the flavor of a dry and dirty gin martini. The salty, buttery olives on the side cut through the alcoholic heat of the drink.

1/2 cup (4 ounces) dry gin

1/2 cup (4 ounces) fino sherry

1/2 cup (4 ounces) dry vermouth

Green olives, for eating after shooting

Combine gin, sherry, and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass or shaker. Stir with a cocktail stirrer until cocktail is very cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into shot glasses. Serve shots with olives.

Digestif Shot Deux: Bitter Orange Shot

Bitter Orange Shot
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

By Rebekah Peppler

TOTAL 5 MIN; SERVES 8

With a balance of spicy and citrusy notes from the blend of Amer Picon, an orange based bitter aperitif, and sweet vermouth, this shot is nicely bittersweet, with a warming, but not hot, finish.

1 cup (8 ounces) Amer Picon

5 tablespoons (21/2 ounces) sweet vermouth

3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

10 dashes orange-flavored bitters

Combine Amer Picon, vermouth, lemon juice, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until very cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into shot glasses, and serve.

Digestif Shot Trois: Amaro Negroni Shot

Amaro Negroni Shot
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

By Rebekah Peppler

TOTAL 5 MIN; SERVES 8

This throat-warming, rich, and delicious shot is reminiscent of a full-strength Negroni. Amaro, red bitter, and sweet vermouth round out its pleasantly bitter edge.

1/2 cup (4 ounces) amaro (such as China-China)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) red bitter (such as Campari or Cappelletti)

1/2 cup (4 ounces) sweet vermouth

1 (1- x 2-inch) orange peel strip

Combine amaro, red bitter, and vermouth in an ice-filled mixing glass or shaker. Hold orange peel by its long edges, skin facing down into the glass, and pinch peel to express citrus oils; drop peel into glass. Stir with a cocktail stirrer until cocktail is very cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into shot glasses, and serve.

Digestif Shot Quatre: Cognac-Almond Shot

Cognac Almond Shot
Credit: Photo by Christopher Testani / Food Styling by Margaret Monroe Dickey / Prop Styling by Thom Driver

By Rebekah Peppler

TOTAL 5 MIN; SERVES 8

A pleasantly strong almond flavor permeates this sweet shot from the orgeat syrup, a nutty, creamy syrup made with orange flower and almonds. It's citrusy and faintly bitter, with light floral notes and a smooth finish.

3/4 cup (6 ounces) cognac

6 tablespoons fresh orange juice

3 tablespoons (11/2 ounces) orgeat syrup

3 tablespoons (11/2 ounces) orange liqueur (such as Cointreau)

6 dashes Angostura bitters

Combine cognac, orange juice, orgeat, orange liqueur, and bitters in a cocktail shaker filled with ice. Cover with lid, and shake vigorously until cold, about 15 seconds. Strain into shot glasses, and serve.