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Liquor reviews, cocktail recipes, mixology trends, and seasonal ingredients. Includes cocktail tips and info on local whiskey, gin, vodka, beer, and liqueur.

Stop the "After-Shot Shiver"

Devin Kidner

The final Presidential debate is on tonight, and that means you’re probably whipping out your Bingo cards or consulting this hilarious little site, which is dedicated to drinking during the debates – and features a live drink-totaling scoreboard!

We’re all for drinking while watching the debate (as long as you’re being responsible), but we also don’t want you to suffer as you drown your delirium with shot after shot.

We’re taking this moment to (briefly) scientifically describe to you the best way to take a shot without that pesky Hillary shimmy every time (spoiler alert: the key is to breathe!).

So, why do we often shiver when taking shots?

Well, it's related to the way we taste. As you probably know, there are 5 basic flavours that receptors on our tongue can detect: salty, sweet, sour, bitter, and Umami. This contributes to taste (along with our olfactory sense), but isn't the end-all-be-all.

There are, in fact, chemical senses that we pick up on, too, that are not related to flavour such as the pungency of ginger; the cooling effect of menthol (mint); the sting of alcohol (that causes you to shiver); the burn of cinnamon; and the heat of peppers. 

These chemical stimuli are not detected by our tongues, but rather a nerve called the trigeminal nerve.

When you take a shot, you are overloading your sensitive nerves with a lot of chemicals, thus causing you to shake. Remember that alcohol is ethanol, which is volatile, and, in shot form, is a concentrated dose!

So, how should you best take a shot without the shimmy? 

Breathe out.

It's that easy. Before you take a shot, take a nice deep breath in. Then throw back your shot, and the moment you swallow, breathe all the way out, pushing the alcohol fumes upward to your nasal cavity and out of your mouth, minimising the sting of alcohol on your nerves.

And there you have it! An easier way to take a shot, without all the shimmy! Try it tonight as you watch the debates. America!