Prairie Fire Cocktail Recipe

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Prairie Fire 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 Prairie Fire cocktail is a spicy shot that originated in the American Midwest. It is popular among college students and those who enjoy a bit of heat in their drinks. The Prairie Fire is typically served as a shot, but can also be enjoyed as a sipping drink.

  • The name 'Prairie Fire' comes from the burning of the tallgrass prairies, a common practice in the Midwest to promote new growth.
  • The drink is known for its fiery kick, which comes from the combination of tequila and hot sauce.
  • It is often enjoyed as a 'dare' or challenge among friends, due to its intense heat.

How Prairie Fire Tastes?

The Prairie Fire cocktail has a bold, spicy flavor with a strong kick from the tequila. The hot sauce adds a fiery heat, while the tequila provides a smooth, slightly sweet base. The overall taste is intense, warming, and not for the faint of heart.

Interesting facts about Prairie Fire

  • The Prairie Fire is sometimes referred to as a 'cowboy shot', due to its popularity in rural areas and its association with the rugged, adventurous spirit of the American West.
  • Some variations of the Prairie Fire include adding a pinch of salt or a squeeze of lime to balance the heat and add complexity to the flavor.
  • The Prairie Fire is often used as a 'test of courage' in drinking games, with participants challenged to down the shot without flinching.



  • Why 1oz? This is the perfect shot size, providing enough volume for a solid kick without overwhelming the palate. More could make the hot sauce scarce in taste, and less, well, that's just not a party.
  • Flavor Reason: Tequila brings a robust, earthy flavor that's both sharp and sweet, creating a fiery backdrop for the hot sauce.
  • Without it: Without tequila, there's no Prairie Fire—just a lonely puddle of hot sauce.
  • Alternative: Mezcal could swap in for tequila, dialing up the smokiness while lighting up the same hot tracks on your taste buds.

Emma Rose

Hot Sauce

  • Why 0.5oz? We want to play with fire, not burn down the house. This amount adds heat without totally scorching your ability to taste anything else.
  • Flavor Reason: It's the flame to tequila's wick! It spices things up, giving that slow, searing heat that keeps you coming back for more.
  • Without it: It would be like calling a firetruck to a flameless BBQ—confusing and disappointing.
  • Alternative: Tabasco is classic, but you could switch to a smokier chipotle sauce or even a green salsa for a different heat profile. Doing so would write a whole new fire drill for your mouth.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Prairie Fire Drink

  1. Prepare the shot glass: Choose a standard shot glass to serve the Prairie Fire.
  2. Add tequila: Pour 1oz of tequila into the shot glass.
  3. Add hot sauce: Carefully pour 0.5oz of hot sauce on top of the tequila, allowing it to float and create a layer.
  4. Serve: The Prairie Fire is ready to be enjoyed as a shot or sipped slowly.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the Tequila: For a smoother shot, chill the tequila before mixing.
  • Choose Your Hot Sauce Wisely: The type of hot sauce used can greatly affect the flavor. Experiment with different brands to find your preferred taste.
  • Add a Lime Wedge: A lime wedge on the side can help balance the heat and add a refreshing twist.

Perfect Pairings


  • Chips and Dip: A salty and crunchy snack like tortilla chips with a creamy guacamole or salsa can balance out the heat.
  • Grilled Shrimp: The smokiness of grilled shrimp pairs nicely with the spicy kick of the Prairie Fire shot.
  • Cheese Plate: A selection of cheeses, especially ones with a creamier texture like brie or goat cheese, can help soothe the palate.


  • Beer: A light lager or pilsner can help extinguish the fire from the shot.
  • Margarita: If you're in a tequila mood, a chilled margarita can complement the Prairie Fire nicely.
  • Water or Milk: When the heat becomes too much, these are essential for quick relief.

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What you could change in Prairie Fire

  • Tequila: If you're not a fan of tequila, you can substitute it with vodka or white rum.
  • Hot Sauce: If you find the heat too intense, consider using a milder hot sauce or even a spicy tomato juice.

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And of course - twists🍹

Smoky Prairie Fire

  • Ingredients: 1oz Mezcal, 0.5oz Chipotle Hot Sauce
  • Recipe: Pour Mezcal into a shot glass, layer with chipotle hot sauce. Same procedure, deeper smokiness.
  • Flavor: Expect a smoked chilli chocolate vibe, making your taste buds tango with the mesquite spirit of Mexico.

Prairie Burn

  • Ingredients: 1oz Tequila, 0.5oz Sriracha Sauce
  • Recipe: Combine tequila and Sriracha in a shot glass. Stir with a cocktail stick to mix the heat evenly.
  • Flavor: This creates a garlicky inferno that engulfs the palate but leaves a sweet aftertaste of victory.

Verde Blaze

  • Ingredients: 1oz Tequila, 0.5oz Green Hot Sauce
  • Recipe: Tequila first, then the green hot sauce. It's a Prairie Fire wearing a green hat.
  • Flavor: A herbaceous heat wave crashes over your taste sensors, with a fresh zest that shouts 'fiesta'.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Prairie Fire

Is there a best type of tequila to use in a Prairie Fire cocktail?

Silver or blanco tequilas are preferred for a Prairie Fire cocktail due to their clean, unaged flavor. However, any type of tequila can be used depending on the drinker's preference.

Can I make a Prairie Fire cocktail without alcohol?

Yes. Non-alcoholic hot sauces can be used in place of the tequila for a non-alcoholic version of the drink.

Are there large scale versions of the Prairie Fire cocktail available?

Sure, it's fairly common to see Prairie Fire served in a pitcher for larger gatherings. The recipe can easily be multiplied to accommodate larger serving sizes.

Are there variations of Prairie Fire cocktail from different countries?

Yes, variations of the Prairie Fire cocktail exist and may include the use of different hot sauces or liquors specific to their region.

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