October 29, 2021
When you hear the phrase “four horsemen,” your mind may jump straight to the biblical reference. However, the four horsemen of this drink aren’t those of the apocalypse. They are Jim, James, Johnny, and Jack: makers of fine whiskey.
A four horsemen shot doesn’t contain any fancy mixers or flavors to disguise the taste of straight liquor. In fact, this shot is straight liquor: an equal ratio of four different kinds of whiskey. Sometimes a shot of whiskey won’t do on its own. Come out of the gate strong this weekend by starting your night off with a shot to guarantee you’re in the mood for fun. You can rely on our trusty four horsemen shot recipes below. That’s easier than trying how to remember how to make this drink after you’ve already downed one.
How to make a Four Horsemen drink
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: None
Total time: 5 minutes
- ½ ounce bourbon whiskey (Jim Beam)
- ½ ounce Tennessee whiskey (Jack Daniel’s)
- ½ ounce scotch (Johnnie Walker Black)
- ½ ounce Irish whiskey (Jameson)
- In a large (2 ounce) shot glass, combine the four ingredients.
- Shoot the drink back.
Recipe adapted from Bevvy
Four horsemen shot variations
A four horsemen shot is a shot recipe that almost always consists of the ingredients listed above. Sometimes the proportions shift, and you can substitute another brand if you’ve run out. You can also scale the size of the drink up or down as a different shooter. At the end of the day, though, this will always be a big shot of whiskey. The four horsemen shot has been adapted into a variety of other cocktail recipes, so if you’re looking to chase the shot with a drink that’s similar in flavor but made for much slower sipping, check out the variations below.
Four horsemen cocktail: In this version of the drink, you simply add ice. Combine all the ingredients with plenty of ice in a cocktail shaker and strain into a glass over rocks. The ice will water the liquor down a bit, giving it a slower burn. This preparation style still has quite the kick, so be careful.
Four horsemen shot with jager: In this high-octane version of the drink, the four whiskeys are topped up with Jagermeister. Perhaps to tone down the intensity of flavor, this cocktail also brings pineapple juice into the mix. To make, combine the following in a cocktail shaker: one-half ounce of Jim Beam, one-half ounce of Jack Daniels, one-half ounce of Johnny Walker, one-half ounce of Jameson, one-half ounce of Jagermeister, 1 ounce of pineapple juice, 1 ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice, and 1 ounce of simple syrup. Shake up with plenty of ice and strain into a highball glass over rocks. Some recipes call for a more international mix of liquors, swapping out one of the whiskies for Jose Cuervo or another gold tequila. Does that make this drink a “Cuatro Caballeros”?
Four Horsemen in a Boat: In this version of the shot, our friends Jim, James, Jack, and Johnny are no longer horsemen but mariners. The addition of none other than Grand Marnier liqueur distinguishes this cocktail. Combine the four classic ingredients of this shot plus another one-half ounce of Grand Marnier and serve in a lowball glass. Another maritime take on this drink, called a “Four Horsemen at Sea” swaps out the Grand Marnier for Captain Morgan rum. We’re sure you can come up with your own cheeky variation, too.
Four Horsemen Go Hunting: You’re probably getting the hang of these variations by now, so if you guessed that this drink might bring along an extra friend to accompany the 4 J’s, you’re absolutely right. This version of the drink, like the others described above, contains an additional one-half ounce serving of liquor, this time, in the form of Wild Turkey.
Four Horsemen on Fire: As if combining five liquors weren’t intense enough, you can (carefully) make a flaming version of this drink. Both Bacardi 151 and Everclear easily catch fire, so use one of these two for your fifth liquor. Add it in last and use a torch-style lighter to set the drink ablaze. Be sure to blow out the flame before downing the shot. Make sure to work with a clean bar so that you don’t accidentally light spilled booze on fire, too. It also can’t hurt to have a fire extinguisher on hand either. Finally, pace yourself: you’re almost guaranteed a hangover with this preparation, and the safety risk increases with your consumption level.
The Three Wise Men: This shot is a more mild-mannered version of the original, giving James the day off. Combine equal parts Jim Beam, Jack Daniels, and Johnny Walker, and enjoy straight up in a shot. If you prefer cold drinks, you can combine the three hard liquors in a cocktail shaker with ice and strain into glass with or without rocks.
If you’re trying to get the party started but you’re out of liquor, order everything you need to be the perfect bartender from Gopuff. You won’t be waiting long, so text your friends, put out some appetizers, and transform the kitchen counter into your bar for the evening.