Flaming Drinks — Adding Fire To Your Firewater

Before we discuss this, let’s review how not to make flaming drinks.

Don’t pour liquor directly from the bottle!
Don’t drink the beverage while it’s still flaming!

How to make flaming drinks:

Basically you add a bit of Everclear (75.5% and 95% alcohol) or Barcadi 151 (75.5% alcohol) to the top of the drink, and light it up.

It takes at least 50% alcohol to produce a steady flame. In theory, any drink with 40% or more alcohol will ignite.

Many different liquors can be used as ingredients in a flaming drink. Commonly used liquors:

  • Everclear
  • Amaretto
  • Cognac
  • Absinthe
  • Gin – burns but is not a pretty as high proof alcohols
  • Grand Marnier – has pleasant odor when burning
  • Kahlua
  • Overproof rum (e.g. Barcadi 151)
  • Sambucca – produces nice blue flame and has an aniseed odor
  • Scotch Whiskey
  • Vodka – produces big, blue flames

Safety Note: Combining fire with alcohol can be dangerous. Proper precautions must be taken to ensure the safety of both the bartender and the people consuming the drink. The fire should always be lit away from the area in which the drinkers are located to ensure their safety. The drink should not be consumed while the flames are still burning. The drinkware may become quite hot to hold or to sip from, and that could result in burns. Additionally, there is always a risk of spills or catching other items on fire, especially if the patrons are already intoxicated. Servers must carry lit shots or drinks carefully when delivering to tables. In addition, only an experienced bartender should light the given shot before serving or handing off to a server. Untrained bartenders should refrain from handling fire.

Quasi-Crystals — Irregular Crystals That They Said Couldn’t Exist

Conventional crystal structures are made of atoms, or clusters of atoms, that repeat periodically. For a long time these were considered hard and fast rules, and no crystals that broke these conditions were thought to exist.

Then in 1982 Dan Shechtman, an Israeli scientist, discovered a new chemical structure — quasicrystals — that researchers previously thought was impossible.

He was studying a mix of aluminum and manganese in an electron microscope when he found the atoms were arranged in a pattern — similar to one in some traditional Islamic mosaics — that never repeated itself and appeared contrary to the laws of nature.

A natural quasicrystal found in Siberian meteorite

Since then, quasicrystals have been produced in laboratories and a Swedish company found them in one of the most durable kinds of steel, which is now used in products such as razor blades and thin needles made specifically for eye surgery, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said. Quasicrystals are also being studied for use in new materials that convert heat to electricity. They were first discovered in nature in Russia in 2009.