Was The Green Tea Shot Created By Jameson Irish Whiskey?

"Green tea" shots contain about as much actual tea as a Long Island Iced Tea — which is to say, none. The green hue which makes the shot festive for pregaming on St. Patrick's Day comes from the interplay of ingredients: Whiskey, peach schnapps, sour mix, and lemon-lime soda. The first three ingredients get wet-shaken and strained, and the soda gets added to each shot at the end. It's lightly fizzy but goes down smoothly, which is what makes this such a popular party shot.

Any Irish whiskey works here, but whenever a recipe goes to the trouble of calling for a specific brand, that brand nearly always seems to be Jameson Irish Whiskey. In fact, green tea shots are also colloquially known as "Jameson Green Teas," leading some fans to wonder whether the green tea shot was invented by the Jameson Whiskey Company in the first place. The Cape Codder (aka a plain old vodka cran) was a marketing plant by Ocean Spray to sell more cranberry juice back in the 1940s (and it totally worked). So, is there any merit to the theory?

The official Jameson website lists over 100 Jameson-based cocktail recipes to get fans' bevy brainstorms rolling, and interestingly, a recipe for green tea shots is not among them. The closest drink ideas proffered by the company are the Jameson Ginger and Peach, the Jameson, Sprite, and Lime, and the Jameson Iced Tea, which contains actual iced tea.

Is the brand saying slainté or sayonara?

It's purely speculative, but given the green tea shot's widespread popularity and Jameson's inherent link to it as the preferred whiskey brand, the recipe omission almost seems intentional. Could the distillery be trying to distance itself from the shamrock-hued shooter? With St. Paddy's Day fast approaching, fans might expect to see photos of artfully crafted green tea shots cropping up on Jameson's official Instagram account, but no such pics have yet arrived. 

The short answer is: It's ultimately unclear whether or not Jameson backed the green tea shot's rise to stardom, but either way, this once-trendy shot is certainly here to stay. Green tea shots first started gaining popularity around 2011 with a heavy concentration in the Midwest as well as Delaware, and New Jersey. Thirteen years later, if you order a "green tea shot" in pretty much any bar in America, the bartender will know what to do.

Green tea shots clock in at roughly 12.5% ABV, which isn't particularly strong for a shot, but, they go down so easily that it can be equally easy to catch a buzz without a whole lot of effort. It's an ideal shot for fans of the lemon drop, toting a sweet-sour profile and similarly resembling a craft cocktail more than a ripper of well liquor. Plus, thanks to its pleasant balance, folks can enjoy a green tea shot whether they prefer to rip it or sip it, with no chaser necessary.