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The Dangers of Flaming Cocktails: SHOT, Drop, and Roll?

Know the dangers of this popular party trick...

With another holiday season starting to consume much of our time, it is important to both remember and practice the safety procedures for the recreational activities we partake in. Society is continuously searching for the newest, best, most popular items to buy or things to do; which often involves pushing boundaries and 'breaking the rules'. And although this party trick dates back to as early as the 1700s, some of us are still learning the dangerous lessons it can provide.

Flaming liquor:

Setting fire to alcohol is a process that has been used for many years. Most commonly used today in recipes and as a method of increasing excitement in culinary settings. And we get it, we can't deny the attraction the glowing flame adds, but with its excitement comes dangers more serious than one may think.

Did you know?

  • "In the 1700s and 1800s [...] there were stories of tavern owners lighting samples of whiskey that dealers brought in. If the whiskey caught fire, it was proof that it wasn’t watered down" Source
  • Flaming liquor/liqueur is said to enhance flavours in certain recipes such as; Bananas Foster, Greek Saganaki cheese and the popular British holiday dish, 'Christmas Pudding'
  • Popular shots that involve a fiery flame include; the flaming B-52s, flaming Sambuca and Bailey's Comet

So, what's the big deal?

  • Not just any liquor will ignite and the stronger the liquor the more difficult it becomes to extinguish the flame
  • Spilling any drop of the shot results in a flame going with it, setting fire to oneself, surrounding objects, or even other people...engulfing a large area instantaneously in flames
  • Second and third-degree burns require a lengthy and painful recovery process, which can include: skin grafting, nerve damage, permanent scarring and more

Please note: flaming beverages can be a great party trick when handled correctly and extinguished prior to consuming.

The following video clip from Inside Edition shares the frightening reality party goers have faced following their attempts to drink a fiery concoction without the necessary knowledge to do so safely.

Video Source | Dangers of Flaming Drinks After Woman Catches On Fire While Having Shot | Posted by Inside Edition | March 17, 2016 | Duration 2:15

Seeing the dangers that can and do occur reminds us just how quickly a small mistake can turn even the most joyous occasion into a nightmare. Health and Safety should not be something just for the Monday to Friday grind. Let's make this holiday season memorable for all the right reasons – and leave the flames in the fireplace - or at least, up to the professionals.