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Layered Cocktails Made Easy

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Layered cocktails do not create new textures or flavors but make a beautiful presentation, showcase all the ingredients and could add to the drinking or eating experience as different flavors or temperatures are experienced in turns. Layered drinks have been made for a long time but this technique is still being used today in creative ways by molecular mixologists and chefs to craft fabulous cocktails and dishes.

A layered drink, also called a pousse-café, is a cocktail in which various liqueurs are used to create an array of colored layers. They have been traditionally made by carefully pouring slowly one liqueur at a time over the back of a spoon but this process requires practice, patience and takes a long time. The Cocktailmaster device was designed to make layered cocktails easy and fast for the busy bar, restaurant or at home.Cocktailmaster at work!

The Cocktailmaster has been used by molecular gastronomy chefs such as Ferran Adria and Cornelius Gallagher. With Cocktailmaster you can craft even a 7 Layer Hurricane with multiple juices and types of rum. Chef Ferran Adria has been using the Cocktailmaster to prepare incredible beverages at El Bulli such as the two-layer sangria. And the Cocktailmaster also works great to make layered soups! Chef Cornelius Gallagher has used the Cocktailmaster to make a foie gras soup layered on top of chilled mango juice. Get your Cocktailmaster from our store and create your next signature cocktail or dish.

The Cocktailmaster makes beautiful cocktail and hot beverage presentations like the B-52 shot, Tequila Sunrise, Fourth of July, Irish Coffee and Macchiato. Layered cocktails are also great to showcase all the ingredients and show the guests all the work that has gone into its preparation. In other beverages and dishes, the Cocktailmaster is used to enhance the drinking or eating experience by tasting one flavor at a time. The Princeton cocktail, for example, starts off all gin and citrus, but the port at the bottom of the glass gradually makes its way to the sip changing the flavor. The layering technique can also be used to layer liquids at different temperatures to create a distinct experience.

Cocktailmaster steps animationThe Cocktailmaster and layered drinks are based on the principle of liquid densities: sweeter liquids are heavier; drinks with higher alcohol content are lighter. To create layered cocktails, each ingredient is carefully poured into a glass or carafe starting with the densest liquid first and progressing to the least dense. If you want to change the relative densities of the liquids you are using, you just need to add sugar to increase density and add water (or alcohol) to reduce it.

M. Armand Basch, the inventor of Cocktailmaster, is an owner of a restaurant named ‘’Aux  3 Fleurs’’ (The 3 Flowers) sine 1971 in Oberhoffen sur Moder in Alsace, France.  The idea to invent the Cocktailmaster came to M. Basch on the night of November 10th 1988. He was serving during this night when he got a large order of Irish Coffees. The proper way to make this is to heat the whisky with sugar in the glass, to pour espresso coffee very delicately on top of the alcohol with the back of a spoon and finish with fresh whipped cream topping.  If you are not careful you can easily get the different ingredients mixed up and miss the presentation.

Layered cocktails

Being in the restaurant business for that long, Armand knew he had to invent something to become efficient and simplify his work. He started by studying the laws of density between types of liquids, with and without alcohol but ultimately efficiency would come by getting rid of the spoon.

He drew a sketch of was rapidly became a prototype. Like most inventions, the Cocktailmaster went thought some trial and errors and with the right materials he got the final version and patented it.

Today, M. Basch still has fun showing off his knowledge of the liquid densities and surprising his customers with special cocktails.

How the Cocktailmaster Works

Wet the floater with water and then :

1) Start with the heaviest liquid which will always be the sweetest (the liquid with the most sugar content) and pour that into the glass.

Then add the Cocktailmaster to the glass and keep it in the glass until the layers are finished. You pour the layers into The Cocktailmaster and the floater will rise as each layer is added.

2) Add the next layer which must be a liquid that is not as heavy or dense as the first layer.

3) Keep adding liquids making sure each layer is lighter (less dense) than the one beneath it.

Remove the Cocktailmaster and your drink is ready to be served.

Note: You can make any layer heavier or lighter by adding sugar, alcohol or water to it.

Densities Table

Cocktailmaster Density PrincipleThe following table has the densities of popular beverages to help you create your own layered cocktail. The table is from

Cream White Milky very light
151 Rum Light Amber Fire light
Maker’s Mark Bourbon Dark Amber Bourbon 0.941
Hiram Walker Kirschwasser Clear Cherry 0.941
Dekuyper Kirschwasser Clear Cherry 0.941
Sauza Silver Tequila Clear Tequila 0.945
Jameson’s Irish Whiskey Amber Irish Whiskey 0.948
Rain Clear Vodka 0.9498
Sauza Gold Tequila Gold Tequila 0.95
Skyy Citrus Vodka Clear Lemon Vodka 0.9555
Pernod Clear Anise/Licorice 0.985
Ouzo Clear Anise/Licorice 0.984
Southern Comfort Dark Amber Peach Apricot 0.99337
Hiram Walker Ginger Brandy Light Amber Ginger Brandy 0.995
Tuaca Amber Vanilla Orange Caramel Brandy 1.0157
B&B Amber Sweet Herbal Cognac 1.0245
Dekuyper Sloe Gin Dark Red Sloe Berries 1.0261
Hiram Walker Peppermint Schnapps Clear Peppermint 1.027
Grand Marnier Amber Orange Cognac 1.03
Malibu Clear Coconut Rum 1.03
Hiram Walker Root Beer Schnapps Brown Root Beer 1.037
Cointreau Clear Orange 1.0385
Dekuyper Apricot Brandy Dark Orange Apricot 1.0437
Dekuyper Triple Sec Clear Orange 1.05
Chambord Maroon Black Raspberry 1.05
Lady Godiva White Chocolate Liqueur White White Chocolate 1.05
Baileys Irish Cream Tan Creamy Spiced Irish Whiskey 1.05
Irish Mist Dark Amber Honey Herb Whiskey 1.05
Dekuyper Blackberry Brandy Dark Purple Blackberry 1.0552
Campari Red Bitter 1.06
Benedictine Light Amber Herbal 1.07
Dekuyper Blue Curacao Blue Orange 1.0704
Dekuyper Root Beer Schnapps Brown Root Beer 1.0705
Drambuie Light Amber Heather Honey Scotch 1.08
Amaretto Di Saronno Dark Amber Almond 1.08
Sambuca Clear Anise/Licorice 1.08
Frangelico Clear Hazelnut 1.08
Tia Maria Brown Coffee 1.09
Dekuyper Anisette Clear Anise 1.0921
Dekuyper Melon Liqueur Bright Green Honeydew Melon 1.0924
Dekuyper Wildberry Schnapps Clear Berry 1.0894
Dekuyper Green Menthe Dark Green Mint 1.0885
Dekuyper Bluesberry Clear Blueberry 1.0863
Dekuyper Grape Pucker Purple Grape 1.0864
Dekuyper Banana Yellow Banana 1.0822
Marie Brizard Blue Curacao Blue Orange 1.0999
Dekuyper Coffee Liqueur Brown Coffee 1.189
Hiram Walker Crème de Noyaux Red Almond 1.148
Marie Brizard Coffee Liqueur Brown Coffee 1.142
Hiram Walker Crème de Banana Yellow Banana 1.142
Midori Bright Green Honeydew Melon 1.15
Kahlua Brown Coffee 1.152
Marie Brizard White Crème de Cacao Clear Chocolate 1.1602
Marie Brizard Dark Crème de Cacao Brown Chocolate 1.1602
Hiram Walker Crème de Cassis Dark Red Black Currant 1.179
DeKuyper Razzmatazz Red Raspberry 1.139
Marie Brizard Anisette Clear Anise 1.1371
Hiram Walker Dark Crème de Cacao Brown Chocolate 1.136
Dekuyper Buttershots Schnapps Amber Butterscotch 1.1225
Dekuyper White Cocoa Clear Chocolate 1.1204
Marie Brizard Green Crème de Menthe Dark Green Mint 1.1204
Marie Brizard White Crème de Menthe Clear Mint 1.1204
Dekuyper Cassis Dark Red Black Currant 1.1211
Hiram Walker Butterscotch Schnapps Amber Butterscotch 1.126
Galliano Yellow Vanilla Licorice 1.11
Dekuyper Thrilla Vanilla Clear French Vanilla 1.1193
Dekuyper Hot Damn Red Cinnamon 1.1191
Jägermeister Black/Green Herbal Bitter
Marie Brizard Parfait Amour Purple Vanilla Orange Almond 1.1163
Goldschlager Clear w/ Gold Flakes Cinnamon 1.1111
Dekuyper Strawberry Liqueur Red Strawberry 1.1005
Dekuyper Watermelon Pucker Red Watermelon 1.1051
Dekuyper Peachtree Clear Peach 1.1037
Dekuyper Mad Melon Red Watermelon 1.0971
Dekuyper Island Blue Light Blue Fruity 1.095
Dekuyper Apple Pucker Lime Green Sour Apple 1.0944
Dekuyper Cheri Beri Pucker Red Cherry 1.0937
Dekuyper Coconut Amaretto Clear Coconut Almond 1.0925
Grenadine Red Cherry/Pomegranate Heavy