Domestic Sluttery is changing! Visit our new homepage to check out our fabulous makeover.


Friday 17 February 2012

The boy and his poison: Pyromania and other smoky antics

Half the fun of shaking drinks is the flamboyance. Those little touches of glamour that impress your crowd and whet their appetites. Nowhere is this more pleasurable than when it involves fire. I've always had a fascination with fire and despite kicking the cigarettes I've never managed to cure my obsession with the Zippo.  Initially it might be intimidating there's nothing quite like the theatrics of fire.

The basics
I'm overlooking torching absinthe and sambuca, not because of cocktail-elitism, just for fear of law-suits. I think the basics of cocktail pyrotechnics come in when making drinks like the Cosmopolitan. Whilst cranberry juice, vodka and triple sec is a fairly lazy, albeit tasty mix, what really sets it apart is the flamed zest of an orange.
  • Starting with fresh citrus fruit (the freshness and firmness will give you an indication of the oil content of the fruit) peel a strip of the orange using a vegetable peeler and hold it with finger and thumb on the long-sides 
  • Light a match or lighter over your drink and move your hand with the peel above the flame and the drink
  • Squeeze the peel sharply which should project the citrus oil towards your drink
  • Drop the peel into the drink
The quirky
I'm always an advocate of the idiosyncratic. Whether it's the addition of a rum filled flaming lime to a zombie or a flaming sugar cube to a lemon drop this is where bartenders have decided to embrace the fun of eyebrow singing to enhance the flavour of perenial favourites. For example, take a standard lemon drop recipe (lemon vodka/Galliano) soak a sugar cube in 151 proof rum and set it alight before dropping it in the drink.

The smoky
Finally there are the smoky drinks. Whether its an accompaniment to the taste like the Corner Rooms 'Ron Burgandy' (served on a leather bound book and smoked in mahogony) or a Don Draper from Amanda Humphrey's Paramount bar with its charred cigar smoke lacing the taste of each sip, these drinks decide that taste isn't the only sense that deserves pleasuring when we order our cocktails. Whilst it may sound perverse, the smell of smoke as you drink can complete a drink. The 'Draper' is essentially a nuanced old fashioned but the theatre and fun of pulling off a napkin from a glass of cigar smoke really makes it.

Whether its a spritz from some orange peel or a waft from a cigar, have some fun. It can't just be me and my secondary-school mentality that delights in playing with the odd bit of controlled fire. If it entertains you it will amaze your guests. So get flaming.

1 comment:

  1. I could use some tips on successfully torching things. Oscar night is coming up and my traditional dessert, flambe´d Twinkie has been hit and miss.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...