Flaming a drink impresses friends and shows everyone its high alcohol content. Liquor that is 40 to 50 percent alcohol, or 80 to 100 proof, have flash points of about 80 degrees, which means it ignites easily. A flash point is the lowest temperature where a liquid mixture vaporizes and catches on fire. To create your own outrageous cocktails, here is a list of flammable liquors.
Rum is commonly used in flaming cocktails because of its high alcohol content. One type is Bacardi 151 Rum, which is 151 proof and 75.5 percent alcohol per volume. It is considered overproof or excessive in its alcohol content and is banned in several countries. For a blue cocktail, pour 1/2 ounce anisette and 1/2 ounce vermouth into a shot glass. Add a small splash of 100 proof rum so it stays on the top of the drink. Light it with a match and blow it out before drinking.
Sambuca is 84 proof and 42 percent alcohol. It is a liquor flavored with anise and sweetened with sugar. It is originally from Mediterranean countries such as Italy and Greece. For a flaming cocktail with sambuca, place a shot glass on the table. Pour equal parts blue curacao, sambuca and chartreuse into a brandy balloon glass or snifter. Light the brandy balloon and rotate the glass. Pour the cocktail into the smaller glass so the flame cascades. Then cover the shot glass with the brandy balloon to suffocate the flames.
Absinthe is a controversial liquor made from wormwood. According to The Wormwood Society, absinthe is actually considered an aperitif because no sugar is added to it like other liquors. It’s green color earned it the name La Fée Verte or The Green Fairy. It is now available in the United States if it has less than 10 parts per million of the chemical thujone, which is found in wormwood. Absinthe is up to 74 percent alcohol and it is usually diluted with water. One method of flaming absinthe is to pour it into a shot glass. Then, a spoon with a sugar cube is dunked into the liquor. Place the spoon with the sugar on top of the glass and ignite.
Tequila is a Mexican liquor distilled from the agave plant. The Aztecs first fermented a wine from agave. After Mexico was occupied by Spain, tequila was developed when trade was set up between Mexico and the Philippines, according to Salon. In 1600, the first large agave liquor distillery was built near the town of Tequila. To flame a tequila cocktail, use a higher alcohol content tequila. Place 1 ounce of tequila into a shot glass and light with a match for a simple lit shot.
References and ResourcesDrinks Mixer: Flaming shot recipes
"Washington Post"; Combustible Combination, Robert L. Wolke, July 2006
Drinks Mixer: Bacardi 151 Rum
Drinks Mixer: Sambuca
The Wormwood Society: Absinthe Known
Salon; What You Didn't Know About Tequila, Felisa Rogers, May 2011
ResourcesMatador Nights; 10 Drink Recipes You Can Light on Fire, Alex Nolette, May 2010
The Wormwood Society: Is Absinthe legal in the United States?