Prairie Dog Recipe

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Prairie Dog Nutrition Facts


Carbohydrates:0 g

Alcohol:~34 g

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 Prairie Dog is a shot that packs a punch and isn't for the faint of heart. It's a favorite among those who like their drinks strong and spicy.

  • Origins: The exact origins are murky, but it's likely a creation of the late 20th century, when bartenders were experimenting with bolder flavors.
  • Popularity: It's a hit at parties for its shock value and is often used as a dare.
  • Fans: Typically enjoyed by those who appreciate a fiery kick in their spirits.

How Prairie Dog Tastes?

The Prairie Dog shot is fiery and potent. The high-proof rum provides a warm, burning sensation that is immediately followed by the sharp, peppery bite of Tabasco. It's not subtle by any means, and it leaves a lingering heat on the palate.

Interesting facts about Prairie Dog

  • The 151 Rum in a Prairie Dog is so named for its proof, which is 75.5% alcohol by volume.
  • Tabasco sauce is made from tabasco peppers, vinegar, and salt, and has been produced by the McIlhenny Company since 1868.
  • The shot is sometimes used as a 'test of courage' in bar settings, challenging patrons to handle the intense heat.


151 Rum

The 151 Rum is at the heart of this incendiary shot. With an alcohol content that's through the roof (75.5% ABV!), it's not just a flammable liquid—it's the party in your shot glass waiting to go off. More than 2 oz and you're playing with fire (literally). Less, and you might not feel the burn quite so fiercely. Leave it out, and well, you've just got spicy sauce. Common alternatives like a lower-proof rum will tame the beast, but fear not—the shot will still bite.

Emma Rose

Tabasco Sauce

Tabasco delivers the heat that gives the 'Prairie Dog' its bite, making you want to pop out of your hole and scream, 'Hot Diggity Dog!' Four dashes ensure each shot has just enough kick to slap your senses silly. Too few dashes, and it's a bark with no bite; too many, and your shot glass becomes a volcano's mouth. No Tabasco? Cayenne pepper sauce is a feisty substitute, though it may change the hot sauce's tangy vinegar kick.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Prairie Dog Drink

  1. Prepare the Shot Glass: Chill a standard shot glass in the freezer.
  2. Measure the Rum: Pour 2 oz of 151 Rum into the shot glass.
  3. Add the Heat: Carefully add 4 dashes of Tabasco sauce.
  4. Serve Immediately: The shot is best enjoyed fresh and should be consumed quickly after preparation.

Pro Tips

  • Layering: To create a layered effect, pour the Tabasco sauce slowly over the back of a spoon so it settles on top of the rum.
  • Chill: Always serve the Prairie Dog chilled to slightly mellow the burn.
  • Safety: Be cautious with 151 Rum as it is highly flammable.

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Spicy Appetizers: Enhance the fiery kick of the shot with some jalapeño poppers or spicy wings.
  • Fried Bar Snacks: Try pairing with fried foods like onion rings or French fries to cut through the heat.
  • Cooling Dishes: Balance the shot with a cooling cucumber salad or a creamy dip.

Drink Pairings

  • Beer Chaser: Follow up the shot with a crisp, cold beer to soothe the palate.
  • Water or Iced Tea: Keep it simple with a hydrating non-alcoholic beverage to quench the ensuing fire.

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What you could change in Prairie Dog

  • 151 Rum: If 151 Rum is too strong, Bacardi Gold or another overproof rum can be used as a substitute, though the effect will be less intense.
  • Tabasco Sauce: For a different kind of heat, try substituting with a habanero or ghost pepper sauce.

Explore all drinks starting with P here

And of course - twists🍹

Twist #1: The Smoky Prairie Dog

  • Replace 151 Rum with a smoky mezcal
  • Add a pinch of smoked paprika to the Tabasco

By swapping in mezcal, you add a layer of smoky complexity that pairs delightfully with the Tabasco's vinegar tang. The smoked paprika echoes the mezcal's smokiness and adds a new dimension to the heat. This version is for those who enjoy a campfire story with their heat.

Twist #2: The Prairie Firefighter

  • Use half 151 Rum and half cinnamon schnapps
  • Add a dash of cream to mellow the heat

This fiery blend still brings the heat with the 151, but the sweet cinnamon schnapps give a spicy dessert vibe. The addition of cream provides a soothing finish to the fiery start, much like a firefighter dousing flames. Best if you want the thrill without the full scorch.

Twist #3: The Citrus Hound

  • Use regular proof white rum in place of 151 Rum
  • Squeeze in a bit of fresh lime juice

This lighter version is much more approachable, pairing the milder rum with the zesty freshness of lime. It transforms the shot into a tropical, yet still spicy journey. Think of it as a 'Prairie Dog' on a beach vacation, wearing sunglasses and barking at the sun.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Prairie Dog

What type of glass is typically used for serving a Prairie Dog?

A Prairie Dog is typically served in a standard shot glass.

Can I make the Prairie Dog less spicy if I can't handle too much heat?

Yes, you can reduce the number of Tabasco sauce dashes to make the shot less spicy.

Is the Prairie Dog a common cocktail at most bars?

Prairie Dog is more of a niche shot and might not be on the menu at all bars, although many establishments are happy to mix one for you if you provide the recipe.

What occasions are best suited for serving the Prairie Dog?

The Prairie Dog is often served at parties and social gatherings, especially as a challenge or dare due to its strong and spicy nature.

How should I drink a Prairie Dog shot?

The shot should be consumed quickly in one gulp to experience the full effect of the flavors.

Can I use non-alcoholic substitutes in a Prairie Dog for a mocktail version?

There isn't a direct non-alcoholic substitute that mimics the effects of 151 Rum, but you could opt for a spicy tomato juice to create a non-alcoholic, spicy shot.

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