What Exactly Is A Cement Mixer Shot And Why Is It Called That?

When most people think of ordering shots, they probably imagine a 1½-ounce glass filled with their favorite potent potable, not a veritable test of wills. However, if you order a cement mixer, which consists of two otherwise innocuous ingredients, an epic test of resolve is precisely what you'll experience. The off-kilter combination of lime juice and Irish cream (such as Baileys) is enough to put even the most seasoned drinker on high alert. When these liquids are combined, they create a goopy, curdled, and sticky concoction that most people find challenging to slug down.

Along with the viscous texture of the creation, the name of this shot may also stem from how it's supposed to be consumed. Unlike your average shot that's gulped in one go, it's recommended that the (un)lucky recipient of a cement mixer pour separate shots of Irish cream and lime juice in their mouth while either swishing or moving their head vigorously. The shaking motion causes the shot to become even thicker, contributing to a visceral experience that you probably won't forget any time soon.

The real problem lies in the texture

One of the most surprising aspects of the cement mixer is that its flavor isn't offensive to the taste buds. The primary criticism of the shot is its texture, which was the subject of a Reddit thread. Most commenters agreed that downing a cement mixer is a harrowing experience, with one person stating, "Flavor Good. Texture Vile." Another commenter claimed that the sensation was so off-putting that they couldn't even compel themselves to swallow the shot.

The challenging texture of cement mixer shots are caused by a reaction between a protein in milk and the acidity of the lime juice. Increased acidity causes a milk protein called casein to bond together, whereas these proteins typically remain separate. As casein forms bonds in the liquid, they become noticeably thicker, which is what leads to curdling. This process occurs with expired milk, which is more acidic than the unspoiled variety, but it can also result from adding an acidic substance, such as lime or lemon juice, to milk.

Best practices when enjoying a cement mixer

If you are among the brave souls who need to have firsthand experience with a cement mixer shot, there are a few things to keep in mind. Prolonged exposure to lime juice will cause the Irish cream to become gradually thicker over time, so slamming the shot as soon as it's placed in front of you might make for a more pleasant drinking experience. By the same token, refrain from shaking your head or gargling the shot in your mouth if you want to escape relatively unscathed.

If responsible inebriation is on the agenda, remember that Irish cream liqueur like Baileys is not very potent. With an alcohol content of just 17%, some people include other types of liquor to create a dirty cement mixer. This variation calls for Baileys and lemon or lime juice, as well as tequila, whiskey, and rum. If that seems like an intimidating amount of alcohol to consume in one shot, you can opt for just one additional liquor. While a cement mixer shot is not for the faint of heart, it's a great way to liven up an evening out (or in, no judgments).