Shaft

Difford's Guide
User Rating (6 ratings)

Serve in an

Old-fashioned glass

Photographed in a

Libbey Old Fashioned 11oz

Garnish:

None

How to make:

SHAKE all ingredients with ice and fine strain into ice-filled glass. Serve with a straw.

2 fl oz Cold brew coffee
1 fl oz Ketel One Vodka
1 fl oz Irish cream liqueur
1/2 fl oz Galliano Espresso Coffee liqueur
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Review:

Irish cream liqueur adds a creamy mocha note to this Shaft version but some make with cream and others milk, either combining all ingredients prior to pouring or adding milk/cream as a float (as with a White Russian).

History:

Named after private detective John Shaft, the lead character in the 1971 cult movie Shaft, hired by a Harlem gangster to rescue his daughter from the Italian mobsters who kidnapped her. The film's theme song, Theme From Shaft, was an Academy Award-winning hit in its own right.

The creation of the Shaft cocktail, circa 2000, is credited to Mark Smith whilst bartending at The Living Room restaurant in Calgary, Canada as a built (rather than shaken) caffeinated pick-me-up shot originally consisting simply espresso with a splash of Kahlúa coffee liqueur and skimmed milk.

This cocktail became ubiquitous in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia, Canada, leading many to speculate that this is its true birthplace. Indeed, it was a Victoria resident and fellow Discerning Drinker, Sean Gordon, who first brought the Shaft to my attention in June 2019, saying, "There is a locally invented cocktail/shot called a Shaft", adding "some will sip it but it's most commonly downed in one. It's basically a grownup Jaeger-bomb substitute."

As Sean told me back in 2019, "There's variation from one bar to another" and from what I can tell it seems likely that the original Shaft was created in Calgary and at some point, during its journey to Victoria, the drink morphed with vodka added and Irish cream liqueur often replacing milk. The original espresso coffee base is also widely substituted for cold brew coffee.

Nutrition:

One serving of Shaft contains 215 calories.

Alcohol content:

  • 1.2 standard drinks
  • 12.9% alc./vol. (25.8° proof)
  • 17.4 grams of pure alcohol
Difford's Guide remains free-to-use thanks to the support of the brands in green above. Values stated for alcohol and calorie content, and number of drinks an ingredient makes should be considered approximate.

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Buy direct from
the_whisky_exchange store logo
£ -.--

Makes a minimum of ... cocktails
Just £ -.-- per cocktail*

* This list may not include all required ingredients.
Price per cocktail is an estimate based on the cost of making one cocktail with the available ingredients shown above and does not include any postage charges.
Buy direct from
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