Sparkplug Recipe

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Sparkplug 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 Sparkplug shot is a fiery combination of high-proof rum and peppermint liqueur. It's a favorite among those who seek a quick, intense burst of heat and flavor.

  • Origin
    • The exact origins are murky, but it's a product of the late 20th century bar scene.
  • Popularity
    • It gained traction in bars that favored bold, potent shots.
  • Audience
    • Perfect for thrill-seekers and fans of strong, minty flavors.

How Sparkplug Tastes?

The Sparkplug shot is a powerful, fiery concoction. The overproof rum provides a strong, warming alcohol base, while the peppermint liqueur adds a sharp, refreshing minty kick. It's intense and not for the faint of heart.

Interesting facts about Sparkplug

  • The shot is named 'Sparkplug' because it's meant to 'ignite' your night with its high alcohol content.
  • Bacardi 151, often used in this shot, was discontinued in 2016, making the original recipe a bit of a relic.
  • The minty flavor can be a pleasant surprise or a shocking twist, depending on your palate.


Overproof Rum

Overproof rum is the heavyweight champ here with a high alcohol content which ensures a real 'spark' in our Sparkplug. It brings a potent kick, and cutting it down would mean a less intense shot, while too much might just knock your socks off! Without it, you would lose the fiery backbone of the shot. An alternative? Try a regular dark rum for a toned-down version, but you'll kiss the 'overproof' power goodbye.

Mary Mitkina

Peppermint Liqueur

The peppermint liqueur is like a breath of icy wind on a hot summer's day. The 0.5 oz amount perfectly complements the overproof rum without turning the shot into mouthwash territory. Less would be underwhelming, and more could be overpoweringly minty. Substitute with a splash of peppermint schnapps if you like, but beware, it might give your Sparkplug a slightly sweeter edge.

Alex Green

Recipe. How to make Sparkplug Drink

  1. Pour 0.5 oz of overproof rum into a shot glass.
  2. Carefully layer 0.5 oz of peppermint liqueur on top.
  3. Serve immediately, without mixing.

Pro Tips

  • Chill the peppermint liqueur beforehand to enhance the minty sensation.
  • Pour the peppermint liqueur over the back of a spoon to achieve a clean layer.
  • Serve immediately after pouring to maintain the distinct layers.

Perfect Pairings

Chocolate Desserts

Chocolate and mint is a classic combination, making rich chocolate desserts a perfect pairing for the 'Sparkplug' shot. Dark chocolate works particularly well, as its bitterness can balance the sweetness and intensity of the shot.

Coffee-Based Drinks

To continue the theme, a cup of black coffee or espresso can stand up to the strength of the overproof rum and complement the minty fresh kick from the peppermint liqueur.

Salty Snacks

For those who'd like a savory contrast, salted nuts or pretzels can cut through the sweetness and peppermint, creating a delightful balance of flavors.

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What you could change in Sparkplug

  • Overproof Rum
    • If Bacardi 151 is unavailable, any overproof rum like Don Q 151 or Stroh 80 can be used.
  • Peppermint Liqueur
    • If Rumple Minze is not at hand, another brand of peppermint schnapps or liqueur can substitute.

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And of course - twists🍹

Cinnamon Sparkplug

Replace the peppermint liqueur with a cinnamon schnapps for a fiery twist. This will give you a shot that warms you up as if you're by the fireplace on a cold night.

  • Ingredients: 0.5 oz overproof rum, 0.5 oz cinnamon schnapps
  • Recipe: Pour 0.5 oz overproof rum into a shot glass, then layer the cinnamon schnapps on top. This variation is hotter and spicier, offering a nice counterbalance to the rum's intensity.

Caribbean Sparkplug

Add a tropical twist by layering a coconut liqueur instead of peppermint. This shot will take you straight to the islands!

  • Ingredients: 0.5 oz overproof rum, 0.5 oz coconut liqueur
  • Recipe: Pour 0.5 oz overproof rum, followed by a careful pour of coconut liqueur. The coconut will soften the rum's punch, giving a breezy beach vibe.

Icy Hot Sparkplug

Combine the best of both worlds with half peppermint schnapps and half cinnamon schnapps on top of the overproof rum.

  • Ingredients: 0.5 oz overproof rum, 0.25 oz peppermint schnapps, 0.25 oz cinnamon schnapps
  • Recipe: Start with overproof rum, then gently layer the peppermint schnapps, and finish with the cinnamon schnapps. It's a thrilling balance of cool and hot, a real tongue teaser sure to ignite your taste buds!

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Frequently Asked Questions on Sparkplug

How can I measure 0.5 oz without a jigger?

You can use a tablespoon as a rough estimate; 0.5 oz is approximately 1 tablespoon.

What's the best way to layer a shot?

Use the back of a spoon to gently pour the second layer over the first. This allows the liquid to spread evenly without mixing.

Can the Sparkplug cocktail be served in a larger quantity?

Yes, though traditionally served as a shot, you can scale the ingredients proportionally and serve it as a cocktail if desired.

Is there a non-alcoholic substitution for the Sparkplug?

For a non-alcoholic version, you can use a non-alcoholic rum flavored syrup and a peppermint-flavored syrup instead of the alcoholic components.

How do I chill the shot glass for the Sparkplug?

Place the shot glass in the freezer for at least 20 minutes before serving the drink to get a frosted look.

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