Today we’re making a shot (!?!?) on Cocktail of the Week, the delightful Baby Guinness. Well, actually, it’s a tiny twist on the classic called a Baby Finnish. Allow us to explain…

Before I became a writer for Master of Malt, I used to be a bartender at a pub in Maidstone. We didn’t have Baby Guinness on the menu. That didn’t stop us from serving them regularly, however. In particular, one bartender was famous (infamous) for serving them to staff who had finished their shift or who were on a night out without them even ordering it. Nobody complained. I always get a bit nostalgic for those days whenever I see a shot of Baby Guinness now.

Which I feel like is happening with increasing regularity. And why not? A Baby Guinness is delicious. When, let’s face it, most shots aren’t. Most are borderline forfeits. A straight gut punch of Tequila after too many drinks already (please start treating Tequila better) or a liqueur drowned in energy drink. Let’s be honest, energy drinks have improved very little other than the standard of football in provincial Germanic cities.

The Baby Guinness, by contrast, looks fun, it’s really easy to make, and it’s not gendered in any way so everybody feels comfortable ordering it. And yes, I know, it’s a shot, not a cocktail. So Cocktail of the Week seems like the wrong place for it. But a) I’m not getting into one of those “Is a Gin and Tonic a cocktail” style debates and b) I wanted to talk about the Baby Guinness and this seemed like the most appropriate slot for it. Don’t email in. And drink responsibly. 

Baby Guinness.

The Baby Guinness. Image credit: creativeculinary.com

The Baby Guinness

Anyway, I’m getting ahead of myself. First, you need to know what a Baby Guinness is. The most important fact to note is that there is no Guinness stout involved at all. The name is inspired by the shot’s appearance, as it’s designed to look like a tiny glass of Guinness. So there’s a key difference between “a wee Guinness” and a Baby Guinness. Order the former and you’ll probably get a half pint. With a logo on the foam. 

You achieve this tiny twist on the classic look by pouring a portion of coffee liqueur like Kahlúa or Tia Maria into a shot glass and then topping it with a layer of cream liqueur, typically Baileys (other Irish cream liqueurs are available). It’s poured over the back of a spoon so that it sits on top of the coffee liqueur, mimicking the thick creamy head of a Guinness. The ratio of coffee liqueur to Irish cream varies, but generally, it’s around three-to-one. 

Making a layered shot can seem a bit intimidating if you’ve never done it before. But it’s pretty easy to get the hang of once you’ve tried it a couple of times. Gently lower the spoon into the coffee liqueur as you pour is the pro tip. This serve is fun because you can play around with the ingredients too. A shot of Tequila-based coffee liqueur works, like VIVIR Café Coffee Liqueur. Today our recipe is actually a fun spin on the classic called the Baby Finnish. It was created by the general manager of Bethnal Green Tavern, Chris Smith, and his recipe entails topping Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur with Kyrö Dairy Cream Liqueur, from Finland. Get it? Baby Finnish. Lovely stuff.

Baby Guinness.

The twist: the Baby Finnish

How to make a Baby Guinness

So, that’s it. Feel free to sprinkle nutmeg on top of it if you feel festive, but the beauty of this one is simplicity. Two core ingredients, one big result. Here’s the recipe:

30ml Mr. Black Cold Brew Coffee Liqueur
15ml Kyrö Dairy Cream Liqueur

First, you’ll want to refrigerate your ingredients for the best result. It works even better if your shot glass is chilled too. Then pour 30ml of Mr. Black Coffee Liqueur into the glass, and carefully pour 15ml of Kyro Dairy Cream over the back of a spoon. Enjoy!