Water Moccasin Shot Recipe

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Water Moccasin Shot 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 Water Moccasin Shot is a popular cocktail that originated in the southern United States. It is named after the venomous snake found in the region, the Water Moccasin, due to its strong bite and smooth finish. This shot is a favorite among those who enjoy fruity and sweet cocktails.

  • Created in the late 20th century
  • Popular in southern states of the US
  • Named after the venomous snake, Water Moccasin

How Water Moccasin Shot Tastes?

The Water Moccasin Shot is sweet, fruity, and smooth with a slight tanginess from the sour mix. It has a strong kick due to the whiskey and peach schnapps, but the overall taste is well-balanced and easy to drink.

Interesting facts about Water Moccasin Shot

  • The Water Moccasin Shot is sometimes called the 'Snake Bite Shot'
  • The cocktail is often served at parties and gatherings due to its crowd-pleasing taste
  • It is typically consumed as a shot, but can also be served over ice as a sipping drink



  • Whiskey is the backbone of this shot, providing a robust and warm flavor. Exactly 0.5 oz gives it enough presence without overpowering the sweetness of the other ingredients. Taking it out would unbalance the drink and leave it overly sweet. A bourbon could be an alternative for a slightly sweeter and smoother profile.

Emma Rose

Peach Schnapps

  • Peach Schnapps brings a fruity and sweet flavor which makes this shot particularly enjoyable. The half-ounce measurement keeps it in harmony with the whiskey. If left out, the shot would lose its distinctive peachy charm. As a substitute, apricot brandy could offer a similar fruitiness with a bit of an edge.

Alex Green

Triple Sec

  • Triple Sec adds a citrusy zing that cuts through the sweetness and rounds out the flavor profile. Removing it would make the drink flat and too sugary. If you don't have Triple Sec, any orange liqueur like Cointreau could serve as a higher-end substitute, elevating the drink.

Mary Mitkina

Sour Mix

  • Sour Mix is crucial for balancing the sweet elements with its tartness. It acts as the mediator, making sure every sip is refreshing rather than cloying. Without it, the shot would be too sweet. In a pinch, a combination of fresh lemon juice and simple syrup can be used for a fresher twist on the sour component.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Water Moccasin Shot Drink

  1. Fill a cocktail shaker with ice
  2. Add whiskey, peach schnapps, triple sec, and sour mix
  3. Shake well until chilled
  4. Strain into a shot glass

Pro Tips

  • Use a high-quality whiskey for a smoother taste
  • For a more visually appealing shot, layer the ingredients by pouring them slowly over the back of a spoon
  • Chill the shot glass before serving for an extra-cold shot

Perfect Pairings

Food Pairings

  • Bar Snacks: The sweet and zesty flavor of the Water Moccasin Shot complements bar snacks like salty nuts, pretzels, and popcorn well, making a pleasant contrast.
  • Spicy Appetizers: The whiskey's warmth and the sweet notes from the peach schnapps can stand up to spicy foods like buffalo wings or jalapeño poppers.
  • Grilled Meats: If you're enjoying these shots during a barbecue, they can pair nicely with grilled pork or chicken, where the smoky flavors meet the shot's sweet and sour elements.

Drink Pairings

  • Beer: Follow up your shot with a light beer. The carbonation can help cleanse the palate and the light hoppy notes can be refreshing after the sweetness of the shot.
  • Iced Tea: A non-alcoholic option, particularly a peach iced tea, would echo the peachy notes of the schnapps.

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What you could change in Water Moccasin Shot

  • Whiskey can be replaced with bourbon or rye whiskey
  • Triple Sec can be substituted with Cointreau or Grand Marnier
  • Sour Mix can be replaced with a mix of fresh lemon and lime juice and simple syrup

Explore all drinks starting with W here

And of course - twists🍹

Green Mamba

  • Swap peach schnapps with melon liqueur.
  • 0.5 oz whiskey, 0.5 oz melon liqueur, 0.5 oz triple sec, 0.5 oz sour mix.
  • This twist exchanges the fruity peach for a melon flavor, giving it a fresh, summery feel.
  • It would be slightly less sweet but more refreshing, aiming at those who appreciate a more subtle sweetness.

Rattlesnake Bite

  • Add a splash of hot sauce.
  • 0.5 oz whiskey, 0.5 oz peach schnapps, 0.5 oz triple sec, 0.5 oz sour mix, splash of hot sauce.
  • The addition of hot sauce gives the shot a spicy kick, enhancing the warmth of the whiskey.
  • It should offer an exciting contrast, perfect for those who like a little heat with their sweet.

Berry Fang

  • Replace peach schnapps with blackberry liqueur.
  • 0.5 oz whiskey, 0.5 oz blackberry liqueur, 0.5 oz triple sec, 0.5 oz sour mix.
  • The blackberry liqueur adds a tart, berry flavor, providing a different kind of fruity complexity.
  • This version will have a richer, more nuanced taste that berry lovers would certainly appreciate.

In case you forgot basics how to make Water Moccasin Shot

Add your ingredients to the shaker first, then ice. Fill it up to ¾ of its capacity to ensure enough space for shaking. Hold the shaker with both hands (one on the top and one on the bottom) and shake vigorously. The shake should come from your shoulders, not your wrists.

Learn everything on how to shake

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

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Frequently Asked Questions on Water Moccasin Shot

Why is it called a shot?

The term 'shot' is often used in the context of a small amount of alcoholic beverage usually consumed quickly, traditionally in one gulp. It typically refers to a small glass that holds this amount.

Is the Water Moccasin Shot considered a traditional cocktail?

While it is a popular choice and has a history, it doesn't fall under the traditional cocktails that emerged during the early or classic cocktail era (before 1900). And while it is well-known and loved even now, it wouldn't typically be classified along with traditional cocktails such as the Martini, Manhattan, or Old Fashioned.

What's the ideal setting for serving Water Moccasin Shots?

Due to its sweet and smooth taste, the Water Moccasin Shot is a great choice for parties and festive gatherings where a crowd-pleasing drink is appropriate. It's also a favorite for bar tab rounds due to its accessibility and likability.

How important is the quality of alcohol used in the cocktail?

Like with any cocktail, the quality of the ingredients, including alcohol, will significantly affect the taste of your drink. High-quality alcohol will result in a smoother, more pleasant drink.

Can I add garnish to the Water Moccasin Shot?

Although the original recipe doesn't call for any garnish, a small piece of fruit or a cherry can be added for visual effect and a slight twist in flavor, enhancing the fruity aspect of the drink.

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