What is a Chaser: Definition and Common Uses

You’ve definitely heard the phrase “chaser” before if you enjoy drinking cocktails. But what is a chaser exactly, and what function does it serve?

Organic Ginger Ale Soda in a Glass with Lemon and Lime as an alcohol chaser

A chaser, to put it simply, is a drink that is consumed right after a shot or a stronger libation, usually to assist hide the taste or quench the burning sensation that might occur from consuming hard liquor.

Depending on your own preferences and the type of alcohol you’re consuming, chasers can take many different shapes. Soda, juice, beer, or even plain water are some examples of common chasers.

The goal is to select a drink that enhances the liquor’s flavor or helps to temper its strength. A shot of whiskey might be accompanied by a sip of soda or a gulp of beer, whereas a shot of tequila might be followed by a drink of lime juice or a bite of a salted lime wedge.

While shots and hard liquor are frequently paired with chasers, they can also be employed in other situations. For instance, some people may use a chaser to cover up the taste of a drug that has a very potent or unpleasant flavor.

Others may use a chaser to slake their thirst or to soften the flavor of an especially hot or flavorful dish. Whatever your motivation for utilizing a chaser, it’s crucial to pick a drink that goes well with it and helps you get the intended result.

What is a Chaser?


A chaser is a drink that is consumed after a stronger alcoholic drink to mitigate its effects or enhance its flavor. It is usually a milder beverage like water, ginger ale, or beer.


Chasers have become a popular tool in bars and pubs, where they are often served alongside shots of whiskey, vodka, or tequila.

The most common chaser used in bars today is a shot of liquor served with a beer chaser. This is known as a “boilermaker” in the United States and a “one-two” in the United Kingdom.

Chasers can also be used to enhance the flavor of a drink by complementing its taste. For example, a shot of tequila can be served with a lime chaser to bring out the tequila’s citrus notes.

gold tequila with lime and salt

Some chasers are also used to mask the taste of a stronger drink, especially for novice chasers who are not yet accustomed to the taste of alcohol.

Types of Chasers

When it comes to chasers, there are a variety of options available. Chasers can be divided into three main categories: alcoholic chasers, non-alcoholic chasers, and common chasers.

Alcoholic Chasers

Alcoholic chasers are typically a shot of liquor that is taken after a primary alcoholic drink to help cut the taste of the drink. Whiskey, tequila, and vodka are some of the most common types of alcoholic chasers. Some people prefer to use beer as a chaser to help balance out the taste of a shot.

Non-Alcoholic Chasers

Non-alcoholic chasers are usually a sweet or sour drink that is taken after a primary alcoholic drink to help ease the taste.

Common non-alcoholic chasers include fruit juices such as lime or orange juice, soda such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, or Dr. Pepper, and energy drinks like Red Bull or Monster. Non-alcoholic chasers are also popular among people who prefer not to drink alcohol.

Can of carbonated soft drink Dr Pepper in ice

Common Chasers

Common chasers are drinks that are used to chase a primary alcoholic drink or to enhance its flavor. Some of the most common chasers include beer, soda, and juice.

Beer chasers are popular among people who want to balance out the taste of a shot or a strong distilled liquor. Lime juice is a popular chaser for tequila, while orange juice is a common chaser for whiskey.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

Written by Paul Kushner

I have always had a deep interest in the restaurant and bar industry. My restaurant experience began in 1997 at the age of 14 as a bus boy. By the time I turned 17 I was serving tables, and by 19 I was bartending/bar managing 6-7 nights a week.

In 2012, after a decade and a half of learning all facets of the industry, I opened my first restaurant/bar. In 2015, a second location followed, the latter being featured on The Food Network’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives.

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