Layering drinks like a professional

It doesn’t matter whether you are an amateur enthusiast or just starting out as a professional bartender or a barista, these tips will cover everything you need to know about how to layer drinks like a seasoned professional would – be it an Irish Coffee, a B-52 shot, or a cocktail.

Liquid layering is done for a variety of reasons, perhaps for taste and enjoyment or maybe purely for presentation – each are important objectives and getting your layering correct is key in achieving these. Without the correct knowledge and technique it is very easy to get it wrong!

ODK flavoured creams, syrups and more are ideal for many of these shots


Observe the order

You probably know this bit by now, the layer technique creates a distinct separation between multiple liquids in a drink. It is important to understand which order you should be pouring each liquid in order to ensure one will float upon the other.  Naturally the heaviest or densest liquid will always go in first, with the lightest in last.

A good rule to bear in mind is that higher proof liquids will be lighter – so the higher the proof the later it goes in the glass. In order to layer properly you either need to use a bar spoon – which often comes with a handy disc at the other end that is perfect for layering, or the back side of your standard spoon.

Barista and bartender syrups such as the ODK range are particular favourites to be used in layering drinks – syrups however tend to be heavier than most other liquids, so it is generally good practice to put these in first.

If you are worried about the order there is no harm in doing a little experimenting! Especially as you get to drink the failures…

Top trick

Bottles with pour spouts are easier to control when pouring. If you can attach a pour spout to your bottle it will make layering those liquids just a little easier as it controls the flow of the liquid.


Enjoy drinks the best way, discover ODK.