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Layering: the technique that, when done right, can result in beautiful levels of flavour or, when done wrong, a cloudy muddle of ingredients… and let’s face it, no one wants their customer to say ‘that doesn’t look like a baby Guinness?!’

So whether you are making a French Coffee or a Baileys B52, it's time to get to grips with your layering technique. Not only does it add theatre to creating serves (making you look like the true professional that you are!), it can also enhance the taste experience for your customer as different ingredients are released in a specific order when the drink is sipped. So, let’s get started.

Essential tools for layering

First of all the tools – here’s what you need in order to perfect your layering technique:

Bar spoon

This is used to pour the liquids into the glass over the back of a bar spoon.


A specialised, non-medical syringe can be used for ease and accuracy.


There's a real art to layering and the slower you do it, the better!

How to layer

For layering, the important thing to remember is the densities of the liquids you're using.

Put simply, heavier liquids go first with the lighter liquids on top.

To begin, it's better to follow proven recipes as you know the order and densities will work once the method is perfected.

Practise your layering!

Now put everything you have learnt into practice with this Baileys coffee recipe.

Baileys Coffee


100ml Black coffee

Top up with double cream


Pour Baileys into a glass.

Heat with steam wand on coffee machine.

Fill glass 3/4 full with black coffee.

Carefully layer double cream on top of drink

(2 standard drinks – 1.6 units per serve)

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