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Redeeming the Shot Glass

Rachel Tepper Paley
April 3, 2014

Photo credit: StockFood/Shaun Cato-Symonds

No one tell The New York Times, whose critic Pete Wells demolished Guy Fieri’s New York restaurant in 2012, but Fieri is at it again, with a new Las Vegas outpost of Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen & Bar slated to open later this month. Fieri reveals that its menu will feature 20 different kinds of chilled shots. That’s one way to get to Flavortown.

If Wells’ poor impression of Guy’s Gotham eatery is any indication, the Vegas offshoot likely won’t do any favors for the reputation of the much-maligned shot, a staple of so many bad decisions.

But the shot glass can have purposes beyond the conveyance of sugary, vodka-based shots cut with Kool Aid—that is, if you’re willing to think outside the glass. Here are a few uses that won’t give you flashbacks to a sticky-floored frat house.

Soup shots. Whip up a batch of velvety parsnip soup with leeks and apples and portion it into shot glasses for a posh dinner party hors d’oeuvre. Garnish with sautéed leeks for extra razzmatazz.

Oyster shooters. These briny shots are often made with vodka, but we prefer ours like they’re served at the John Dory Oyster Bar—with top-shelf gin, pickled pepper juice, and celery.

Sake. Worry not if you haven’t got a pair of the traditional (and very cute) cups meant for sipping sake. You can certainly use shot glasses to the same effect.

Palate cleanser shots. Scrape up small balls of mint-grapefruit granita or pear-vanilla sorbet and plunk them into shot glasses, then serve them between courses at your next dinner party. It’s super easy, and your friends will be in awe of your mad dinner party hosting skills.

Panna cotta shots. Instead of preparing honey-yogurt panna cotta in a single shallow dish, use several shot glasses to create diminutive desserts. 

Measuring in the kitchen. Shot glasses are often used to measure the amount of liquor going into a drink, so why not use them to measure out other things? For your information, bakers: In the United States, a standard shot is considered to be 1.5 fluid ounces.

Cookie cutters. Turn those shot glasses upside down and use them to cut out adorable circular shapes. Try teeny versions of these coconut cookies or these lemon-currant ones.

See? Not a single Jell-O shot in sight. Perhaps someone should tell Guy Fieri.