Technically Saturday: 10 Tips for Flaming Drink Safety & Success

(source: The Campus Champion)

(source: The Campus Companion)

There are many shots and mixed drinks which call for being lit on fire.  Flaming cocktails or shots are usually made by floating a layer of high-proof alcohol (such as Bacardi 151 or grain alcohol like Everclear).  Flaming a drink can add several unique characteristics: flavor, presentation, and an air of danger. If you follow some basic tips, you can safely drink any flaming cocktail or shot and impress your friends as well.

  • Never do the shot or drink the cocktail while it is still lit on fire.  The simplest way to put out the fire is to blow it, just be careful not to blow too hard and risk splashing the alcohol and fire out of the drink.  If you don’t blow it out, you risk horrible burns on your face and hands.   I had a friend who did a flaming shot after he had had a bit too much to drink and ended up burning half of his face.  These burns can be hot enough that they are disfiguring, so be careful.
  • Make sure there is no alcohol on your hands before you light the drink.
  • Close all bottles of spirits and wipe up any spilled alcohol before lighting your drink.
  • If you or your friends are drunk, think twice about doing anything involving fire…and don’t do it.
  • Alcohol often burns a bright blue which can be difficult to see under direct light.  If you can’t see the fire, dim the room.
  • Flaming drinks should be quickly flamed and blown out.  Not only does it heat up the drink but also has a risk of cracking the glass.
  • Never add more alcohol to an already lit drink.  You don’t want the bottle to catch on fire.
  • Use solid, heavy glassware.  Fine crystal and other delicate glasses risk cracking.
  • Never use plastic glasses or shot glasses.  Such containers can risk melting.
  • Larger surface area leads to a better, bigger flame.  Use glasses such as lowballs, shot or old fashioned glasses instead of tall glasses such as a highball or collins.

Flaming drinks can be amazing fun! There is nothing quite as impressive as fire when it comes to serving or garnishing a drink.  Taking just these basic tips into account, you should be prepared to serve many flaming cocktails and shots.

A Quick Overview and Demonstration:

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Posted in Technically Saturday, Techniques

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Nick McAfee
Nick McAfee is a student of Princeton University and is passionate about mixology. As a student with a low monthly income, he has developed ways to create simple cocktails with complex flavors from inexpensive ingredients. Learn more about Nick and Broke & Thirsty.
Do you want a free eBook on making homemade and ridiculously cheap bar syrups?

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