Paul Kernfeld

Fine Cocktails for Normal People: The Alien Brain Hemorrhage

Tastes better than it sounds
11 Jul 2012

The Alien Brain Hemorrhage.  Photo Credit: Max Monn.

The Alien Brain Hemorrhage is an exercise in both spelling and layering. This drink relies on the differing densities of its ingredients in order to produce a stunning visual effect. As such, it's essential that it be prepared in a clear shot glass.

Liqueurs

A liqueur is an alcoholic beverage that has been flavored with fruit, herbs, nuts, spices, flowers, or cream and bottled with added sugar. Liqueurs are often sweet and flavorful, making them useful for mixing. Often liqueurs are between 15% and 30% ABV. Liqueurs should not be confused with liquors, which are stronger distilled beverages like vodka or tequila.

What to buy

Procedure

In general, liquids with higher alcohol content will float above those with lower alcohol content, but there are exceptions to this rule.

  1. First, fill the shot glass up most of the way with peach schnapps.
  2. Next, gently spoon some Bailey's or other cream liqueur on top. When you're done, the Bailey's should form a solid layer on top of the peach schnapps. If you aren't careful, the Bailey's will mix with the peach schnapps. If your layer doesn't extend to the edge of the glass, the Curacao will roll off the edges of the Bailey's.
  3. Next, spoon a thin layer of Blue Curacao on top of the Bailey's, only a couple teaspoons' worth. Be careful not to let it fall through the Bailey's.
  4. Finally, drip a few drops of Grenadine on top. This will punch the Curacao through the Bailey's, creating the alien brain effect.

More Layered Drinks

Peach Schnapps

The word "Schnapps" originates from the Low German "Schnaps," meaning "to swallow." American Schnapps are made by infusing fruit flavors into grain alcohol, then diluting and sweetening. The result is a sweet, fruity liqueur that most people find easy to drink.

More Peach Drinks

Irish Cream

Bailey's is the grandfather of Irish Creams, with a lineage dating all the way back to 1971, when it was conjured out of thin air by a group of distillery executives, not by made-up persons R&A Bailey as the Bailey's website would have you believe. Bailey's deserves recognition for both the quality of their product and the subtlety of their faux-authentic branding. Since its release in 1974, the brand has spawned a multitude of knockoffs, some of which are decent and some of which are not. As with all drinks, buying things that come in a glass bottle is usually a better bet than going with plastic.

Irish creams are made of whiskey mixed with cream, emulsified so they don't separate out into their component parts. Sugar and spices such as chocolate, vanilla, and coffee are added to this mixture to give the drink a decidedly confectionary flavor.

More Irish Cream Drinks

Blue Curacao

Blue curacao adds a little orange flavor and a lot of blue color to a drink. It can sometimes be substituted for Cointreau or Triple Sec in a drink recipe.

More Blue Curacao

Further Reading