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  • Alexi Johnson

Blue Blazer Cocktail & Flaming Drink Safety Tips


The blue blazer is definitely a cocktail for advanced bartenders because it involves rolling flaming whiskey from one mug to another. The story behind the drink is that Jerry Thomas created it in the 1800s and etchings of him making the drink are possibly the most famous images of "The Professor" that survive today. The blue blazer may be a drink for the pros, but anyone can try flaming drinks like the English Christmas punch, flaming Dr. Pepper, and goblet of fire. Be sure to read through the safety tips before attempting any of them, though.

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Scotch

  • 1 1/2 ounces water (boiling)

  • 1tsp sugar to taste (Demerara sugar is best)

  • Garnish: lemon peel

Directions

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Pour the scotch, boiling water, and sugar into a heat-resistant (silver-plated or pewter and tulip-shaped are recommended) mug with a handle.

  3. Light the mix on fire.

  4. While still ablaze, roll the mix into an identical mug and back again. Do this about four or five times.

  5. Pour the mix into another heat-resistant cup with a lemon peel, then put one of the mugs over the top to extinguish the flames before drinking.

  6. Serve and enjoy!

Safety Tips When making this drink, you are literally playing with fire! Safety is your top priority when mixing alcohol and fire, so play it smart and follow a few tips. Many of these come from David Wondrich's book "Imbibe!" for pouring a blue blazer:

  • Practice pouring with water first. Go outside during your first few attempts at flaming. It's also a good idea to pour over a tray full of water.

  • Clean up any liquor spills before lighting the fire. If your flame jumps onto the table where you accidentally spilled that rum or vodka, the fire can quickly get out of control.

  • Tie back long hair and loose clothing. Make sure all flammables are out of the way, including paper napkins and bar towels.

  • Have a fire extinguisher nearby. You will notice that in almost every video of "flaming shots gone wrong," it is the one thing that's missing. Rarely do you even see a non-alcoholic drink—small fires can be put out with water—so be prepared just in case an accident does happen.

  • Use a self-extinguishing lighter. The average cigarette lighter is better than matches or a Zippo-style lighter because as soon as your thumb releases the lever the flame goes out.

  • Pour drinks into thick glassware. The heat of the flames can quickly shatter thin glass, spilling liquor and fire all over the bar, table, and you.

  • Don't overfill the glass. Leave some room at the top of the glass to prevent splashes from going over the sides. Pour only half of the liquid each time.

  • You don't want the fire to go out while pouring.

  • Mix it quick as the handles of the mugs will get hot.

  • Turn the lights down to get the full effect and to make it easier to see what you are doing.

Always Extinguish before Drinking The flaming liquor can easily spill down your chin and onto your clothes or hair, causing a fireball effect and severe burns. Best case scenario, it may singe your nose hairs or leave you with no eyebrows, and neither of those options is pleasant either. Snuff Rather Than Blow It is very easy to get too close to a flaming glass when attempting to blow out the flames, and your hair can quickly catch on fire. Instead, use a stainless steel mixing tin (jiggers work for shot glasses) to cover the flaming glass until the fire is out. Keep Guests Back From the Flames This is an important note for bartenders as well: Don't let your patrons ooh and ahh right next to that flaming shot on the bar. Always put out the fire before they get close. If You've Been Drinking, Don't Try It Seriously, playing with fire while you are drunk is never a good idea, so just don't do it. Make the drink without fire, and save yourself a trip to the emergency room or a visit from the fire department. Know Your Skills This is particularly important for the blue blazer. Pouring flaming whiskey back and forth between mugs is not an endeavor to undertake on a whim in one of those "I bet I could do that!" moments. How Strong Is a Blue Blazer? The water added to the blue blazer knocks the scotch down to a comfortable sipper. The alcohol content will come out to about 23 percent ABV (46 proof) when made with an 80-proof whiskey.




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