Midwest Stop Light Recipe

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Midwest Stop Light Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Midwest Stop Light is a shot sequence that's as playful as it is potent. It's a favorite among those who enjoy a visual gimmick with their drinking games.

  • Origin: The shot's name and arrangement come from the colors of a traffic stoplight, with red, yellow, and green representing the different lights.
  • Popularity: It's particularly popular in the Midwest of the United States, often served at college bars or at parties.
  • Audience: This shot sequence is a hit with a crowd that loves a good challenge and enjoys the burn of cinnamon, the sweetness of apricot, and the kick of tequila.

How Midwest Stop Light Tastes?

The Midwest Stop Light offers a journey through flavors. The first shot is spicy and warm from the cinnamon schnapps, followed by a smooth and sweet hit from the apricot schnapps, and finished with the bold and earthy notes of tequila.

Interesting facts about Midwest Stop Light

  • Colorful Presentation: The shot's visual appeal is a conversation starter.
  • Versatility: Each of the shots can be enjoyed on its own or as part of the sequence.
  • Party Favorite: It's a popular choice for toasting and celebrating among friends.



Tequila, the spirited backbone of many shots, offers a robust presence that can stand up to the sweetness of the schnapps. 1 oz is enough to leave its mark without overthrowing the palate, like a perfectly measured punch of fiesta. Without it, you're missing that daring kick that says 'vamos a la fiesta!'. Swap out for mezcal if you want to introduce a smoky intrigue to your shot, but be careful, as it can easily dominate the other flavors.

Mary Mitkina

Apple Schnapps

Apple Schnapps brings a sweet, crisp, and fruity twist that's reminiscent of a walk through an autumn orchard. This 1 oz pours out like liquid gold, balancing out the spice of cinnamon and the fiery tequila. Leave it out, and you're just sipping a spicy margarita wannabe. Consider using pear schnapps for a subtly different fruity vibe but maintain the harmonious relationship with cinnamon.

Emma Rose

Cinnamon Schnapps

Cinnamon Schnapps is the spicy soul of the trio, warming you up from the first sip with a familiar, cozy embrace. 1 oz is just the right amount to ignite that warm feeling without turning the shot into a cinnamon challenge. If omitted, it's like Thanksgiving without the pumpkin pie - something's definitely amiss. A potential alternative might be spiced rum, giving a different kind of spicy warmth that still gets along famously with the other components.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Midwest Stop Light Drink

  1. Prepare the Shots:
    • Pour 1 oz of cinnamon schnapps into the first shot glass.
    • Pour 1 oz of apricot schnapps into the second shot glass.
    • Pour 1 oz of tequila into the third shot glass.
  2. Line Them Up: Arrange the shot glasses in order of red, yellow, and green.
  3. Enjoy: Drink each shot in quick succession, starting with the cinnamon schnapps, followed by the apricot schnapps, and finishing with the tequila.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Shots: For a smoother taste, refrigerate the schnapps and tequila before serving.
  • Quality Matters: Use premium spirits to ensure the best flavor experience.
  • Serve Quickly: The shots are best enjoyed when consumed in quick succession while the flavors are distinct.

Perfect Pairings

Pairings for Midwest Stop Light Shot

Barbecue: The smoky and savory flavors of barbecued meat balance the sweetness of the apple and cinnamon schnapps.

Spicy Appetizers: Spicy foods like jalapeno poppers or buffalo wings can complement the kick from the cinnamon and the boldness of tequila.

Chocolate Desserts: Dark or milk chocolate can pair nicely with the cinnamon notes while serving as a contrast to the fruit schnapps.

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What you could change in Midwest Stop Light

  • Cinnamon Schnapps: If Dekuyper Hot Damn is unavailable, any quality cinnamon schnapps will suffice.
  • Apricot Schnapps: In the absence of Dekuyper Sour Apple Pucker, try an apricot schnapps or even an apple-flavored one for a similar taste profile.
  • Tequila: Jose Cuervo Especial Gold can be substituted with any preferred gold tequila.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Apple Tequila Twist

Replace apple schnapps with green apple liqueur for a sharper, tangy taste that creates a cheeky challenge for your taste buds. The tequila remains the same, while the cinnamon adds the familiar warmth, but the overall vibe is more playful and puckish.

Spicy Cherry Stop Light

Swap cinnamon schnapps for cherry liqueur and add a pinch of chili powder to the tequila shot. This version packs a fruity punch with a spicy undertow, leading to a complex flavor profile that's both indulgent and invigorating.

Tropical Signal

Use tropical fruit schnapps like pineapple or mango instead of apple, and consider a coconut-flavored tequila if available. This variant takes our stop light on a vacation, igniting the senses with a burst of tropical paradise that can almost make you feel the ocean breeze with each shot.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Midwest Stop Light

What glassware is recommended for serving the Midwest Stop Light?

Typically, the Midwest Stop Light shots are served in standard shot glasses to showcase the distinct colors of each layer.

Is the Midwest Stop Light cocktail suitable for batch preparation?

While individual shots are recommended for the full visual effect, the ingredients can be multiplied and mixed in larger quantities for parties, maintaining the ratio for consistency in taste.

Can the Midwest Stop Light be made into a non-alcoholic version?

For a non-alcoholic variant, use cinnamon, apple, and lime flavored syrups or juices instead of the schnapps and tequila, adjusting the ratio to taste.

How can I enhance the visual presentation of the Midwest Stop Light shots?

You could use LED-lit coasters or a clear glass tray with a light underneath to illuminate the shots from below, further enhancing the traffic light theme.

What food pairings work well with the Midwest Stop Light?

Spicy finger foods or savory snacks like nachos, buffalo wings, or stuffed jalapeños complement the sweet and spicy profiles of the shots.

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