Lighting drinks on fire looks really cool.
However, like setting most things on fire, it may not be the best thing for the cocktail. The ice melts rapidly which dilutes the drink; the flame heats up the glass to lip burning temperature; and the biggest reason, it burns off the alcohol! That’s the good stuff!
That said, drinks on fire look really cool and are an added flair used in bars all over the world. Here are some tips for safe flaming drinks that should keep you in the host hall of fame and out of the emergency room.
- Prepare on a flat clutter free surface: keep all flammables, including other bottles of alcohol, away.
- Use an accelerant: Any alcohol can burn but warmer or higher proof alcohol lights easier. This point where the alcohol can burn is known as the Flash Point. To help ignite your flame use an alcohol with a lower flash point. In other words, prepare the cocktail first then use an additional high proof alcohol to start the burn. Top the glass enough so the flame goes up and out but not enough to spill.
- Controlled ignition is best: Use a reusable controllable fire source like a torch. No need to be throwing matches in your drink.
- Use a thick glass: When glass heats up quickly, it could crack sending flaming liquid everywhere. Thicker glass generally avoids this.
- Have a fire extinguisher ready: because “fire bad”.
- Don’t forget the mood lighting: Some flames may not be visible in bright light. Many drinks may actually be burning with invisible flames, which could prove ‘unpleasant’ for those not aware.
Besides lighting the beverage on fire there are many other ways to enhance the beverage with flame. Try toasting garnish, rims or spices, a direct flame can deepen or completely change the flavor. The most common use of this is with the adding of zest to a drink as described below.
Flaming a Zest
Slice a thick (fruit free) peel from a fresh lemon. Holding it carefully, use the flame to warm the outside of the peel, coaxing the oils which should bead on the surface. Squeeze the peel towards the flame and glass. The oils should ignite causing a momentary burst of flame. Now rim the glass with the peel for a dark orange essences.
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Think you’re an expert? Then try these burning hot recipes.
Warning: Fire is dangerous and booze is highly flammable, you should not attempt to perform any fire tricks while intoxicated. We highly recommend doing this at the start of a party, while sober and please remind your guests to put the fire out before they drink.