Shots on New Years Eve are nearly unavoidable—but they don’t have to be regrettable.

By Justine Sterling
Updated May 24, 2017
Red Sangrita.
Credit: © Tina Rupp

There are better ways to take a shot than with a lick of salt or out of a belly button. Here, five ways to upgrade your shot experience.

1. Chase shots with Sangrita. Instead of the typical lime wedge, chase shots of tequila the real Mexican way: with sangrita. A sweet, salty, spicy mix of citrus, tomato juice and chiles, it’s a supertasty sipper on its own and even better after an eye-opening shot of blanco tequila. Not only does it help cleanse your palate, it also complements tequila’s naturally bright, citrusy flavors.

2. Cocktailify your shots. Make a more sophisticated mini-cocktail instead of whipping together a too sweet kamikaze or lemon drop. Try this Citrus Scandi, a bright mix of vodka, aquavit, Cointreau and grapefruit juice or make a minty mojito Jell-O shot.

3. Replace the shot glass with fruit. Our sister brand My Recipes has an amazing recipe for strawberry margarita Jell-O shots, which is great in itself, but it also has a delicious twist. Instead of the usual shot glass, the recipe calls for serving the shot in hollowed out strawberries. That way you can eat the whole jiggy cocktail in one bite.

4. Infuse your booze. Add flavor to straight spirits by infusing them with fruits and spices. Usually, the process of infusing takes at least a few days, but if you have a siphon you can do it in just an hour. Try this recipe for spicy, savory caraway-infused rye whiskey.

5. Make shots into risqué works of art. You’re already pushing the envelope of polite society by doing shots so why not take things to the next level by serving shots that look like human anatomy. This Doncellita shot (doncellita is slang for nipple in Cuba) is a milky coffee liqueur drink with a nipplelike maraschino cherry garnish.