This fairly unique style of drink is easily identified by its use of layering different liqueurs, and sometimes spirits, within a small glass. What liqueurs will layer on what other liqueurs, is based on the density of the individual products. Typically, the more dissolved sugar and the less alcohol a liqueur contains, the heavier it is going to be. Using this knowledge, it is possible to pour the liqueurs in such a way that they maintain distinct layers in the glass. Liqueurs are often chosen for their distinct colors in order to create a visually appealing presentation. A pousse café is properly consumed by carefully sipping the individual layers off one at a time, this can be done by either sipping them from the top, or using a small straw to sip them off from the bottom.
Pousse Café is a French term meaning “Coffee Pusher”.