Massachusetts Daily Collegian

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A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

A free and responsible press serving the UMass community since 1890

Massachusetts Daily Collegian

Monday shots at McMurphy’s: an unofficial review

Madeline Jackman/Collegian
Madeleine Jackman/Collegian

We weren’t really sure what to expect coming into McMurphy’s Uptown Tavern on a Monday night and ordering a series of specialty shots. We had heard names like the “Drunken Leprechaun” and the “Haymaker” before, but neither of us had tried them.

So we thought we would head over to the watering hole in Amherst Center and see what these specials are all about. For those of you who may have heard rumors about McMurphy’s specialty shots, but were never sure if you wanted to try them, and for those just hearing about them now for the first time, we present to you an unofficial review.

Drunken Leprechaun

Chad: We’re here on a laid-back Monday night sampling McMurphy’s great variety of house shots.

Mad: Right, we can’t actually reveal what’s in the shots though, since it’s a pub secret.  To find out, readers will have to visit and do some investigating of their own.

Chad: So what did you think of the Drunken Leprechaun, Madeleine?

Mad: Starting off asking me with the question – not fair.

Chad: It’s a nice transition, roll with it.

Mad: I found the Drunken Leprechaun to taste more like coconut than anything else, which I don’t necessarily associate with the Irish, so I ended up being a bit thrown off with the disparity between its title and flavor.

Chad: You’re right, it was sweet, it was coconutty. It had a kind of tropical feel, almost like something you’d get at a tiki bar more than an Irish pub.

Mad: It is green, though. I think the Drunken Leprechaun would be good as a quick pick-me-up shot after some hard liquor. Easy to do with friends, fun to order and overall great shot if you like coconut and pineapple.

Rating: Chad 3/5, Mad 3.5/5

What we toasted to: Working on a Monday night

Brain Hemorrhage

Chad: Next, we tried the Brain Hemorrhage, an off-the menu trick shot suggested by one of McMurphy’s bartenders.

Mad: So Chad, I’ll ask you first this time, what’d you think of it?

Chad: Honestly, of the ones we tried, I think it was my favorite. It was unique, weird-looking and interesting to watch them make. This one we are allowed to tell people about. The Brain Hemorrhage shot is layered Baileys sitting on a base of peach Schnapps with grenadine and blue something.

Mad: Right, the blue was Blue Curacao.

Chad: It actually did look like a bleeding brain, the way the shot congealed together and the Baileys hung down from the surface. Perfect for Halloween, super spooky.

Mad: I was surprised by how creamy it was. I don’t think I’ve ever had a shot besides a jello shot that was that thick.

Chad: Even though the Schnapps was the main ingredient, it was the creaminess of the Baileys and then the sweetness of the grenadine at the bottom that really came through. It did sort of have a weird grainy texture which I thought added to the whole brain motif.

Mad: I agree, it’s definitely a cool shot to try. Great for Snapchat stories and Halloween time. Another bartender also mentioned other fun trick shots they know, like the Vegas Bomb. These shots make McMurphy’s a great locale for a 21st birthday, or if you’re looking to try something new. Ask the bartender who’s working for the secret shots they know.

Rating: Chad and Mad 4/5

What we toasted to: Brain hemorrhages, and finally learning how to spell the word hemorrhage

Green Tea

Mad: Up next, the “Green Tea,” which we were told by the bartender is the second most popular specialty shot in the bar for the students who frequent McMurphy’s.

Chad: While we can’t reveal the specific recipes of some of the shots we tried, we can say that McMurphy’s seems to be a fan of peach Schnapps, and the Green Tea shot is no exception.

Mad: The Green Tea shot was also very sweet, continuing with the trend of the shots that came before. Another good one for if you want to take a shot with a built-in chaser that hides most of the alcoholic taste. It did not, however, remind me of green tea at

all, besides the pale green color. The names seem to be based on appearance.

Chad: It was generally good, but not overwhelmingly memorable. It had a lot of the same elements of the other shots.

Rating: Chad and Mad 2/5

What we toasted to: Not being covered in glitter


Chad: What did we have next? The Haymaker, right?

Mad: I know this one is bourbon based, but honestly what I tasted most was the cranberry. I think people who would enjoy this shot are those who like cranberry juice but with a very minor kick. I do have to say, this is coming from a person who isn’t a huge fan of cranberry juice.

Chad: Now, as somebody who enjoys both cranberry juice and bourbon, I would recommend this one. But you’re right; it could have had a little more kick to it. It, like most of the shots we’ve tried tonight, was smooth and almost too sweet. But… it is a nice break from straight hard liquor.

Mad: Plus, it comes in a nice glass, and the color is a beautiful light red, great for those Instagram shots.

Rating Chad 3.5/5, Mad 2.5/5

What we toasted to: Late essay assignments

Bomb Pop

Mad: Alright, so the last one that we tried was the “Bomb Pop.” My first instinct was to smell it because the light blue color reminded me of a slushy. It actually did kind of smell like a blue Otter Pop.

Chad: That’s a freeze pop for those of you from this half of the continent.

Mad: The Bomb Pop did also taste almost identical to an Otter Pop, but with the strongest bite to it out of all of the shots we tried tonight, which I enjoyed. This one was my favorite of the night.

Chad: Like a melted freeze pop with a notable hint of vodka. Appropriately named, I think.

Rating: Chad 3/5, Mad 4/5

What we toasted to: Going downhill from here (especially from the presidential debate drinking game article)

Overall, McMurphy’s provides a casual and welcoming atmosphere, with friendly and helpful service. The shots we tried were all good, but did tend to run together, with few that really stood out from the crowd. Like most mixed shots, these won’t get you as drunk as straight liquor, but they are a nice change of pace if you are looking to try something a bit different and sweet.

We were only able to try five of the specialty shots, but for those thinking of heading over to McMurphy’s, you can also order shots like the “Green Monster,” the “Arctic Blast” and the “Trashcan.”

Madeleine Jackman can be reached at [email protected]. Chad Stoughton can be reached at [email protected].

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