Earlier this month, the New York Times explained that the “Dirty Shirley,” or a shirley temple with vodka, was the drink of the summer due to a contemporary nostalgia for suburbia and college-town life. As I previously argued, the drink of the summer is a myth, but if you really want to drink like they do in suburban bars, there is one beverage of choice: the green tea shot.
At least, that’s how it seems on TikTok. Despite having the words “green tea” in its name, it doesn’t actually contain any green tea. Instead, it sort of just looks like green tea in hue. Don’t expect any of the health benefits of green tea like antioxidants to appear in this drink either — it’s made of peach schnapps, Irish whiskey, sour mix and either a lemon-lime soda like Sprite or lemonade in a 1:1 ratio of everything. Basically, it’s just a straight dose of sugar and liquor. A similar spin on the green tea shot is the white tea shot, which uses vodka instead of whiskey and has a lighter color.
But given how it’s discussed on TikTok, Twitter and elsewhere, it’s apparently an appealing mix. In some TikToks, people say it tastes “just like green tea,” but they’re likely referring to the bottled, sweetened kind rather than straight green tea. Similarly, some say they’re “dangerous” or have a love/hate relationship with the shot because they’re so easy to drink.
While there are videos of people drinking them just about everywhere, the majority of TikToks feature mid-size cities like Charlotte or college towns. On top of just being tasty and easy to drink compared to plain liquor, they also have a strong frat-boy connotation — whether their drinker is currently in college or graduated. One tweet suggests that the average type of guy to buy a woman a green tea shot is wearing Adidas Stan Smith’s and uses Zyn nicotine pouches; another asks you to imagine you’re at a bar on Halloween when a poli-sci major frat boy dressed as Bernie Sanders buys you a green tea shot with his father’s credit card.
That said, when you look at who’s making these tweets and TikToks, it’s primarily women. Just as many fruity and sweet cocktails are considered “feminine,” so too is the green tea shot.
All things considered, it’s not a terribly complex shot to order. At some bars, it’s apparently so popular that they just pre-mix it in big batches. Still, the logic behind the shot is somewhat lost on me — why not just order a full mixed drink? Sure, shots get more liquor in you more quickly, but considering the green tea shot is bogged down by mixers, you’re not likely getting a full 1.5 ounces of whiskey in there, anyway.
Besides that minor gripe, though, there is something youthful, tacky and fun to the whole thing. Just remember that there’s no real green tea in there — again, you’re primarily drinking liquor and sugar. Otherwise, bottoms up.