Flaming cocktails do not have the same appeal for me in my mid-40’s as they did in my early 20’s. A case in point occurred over the weekend when I got 2nd degree burns on the thumb and forefinger of my left hand and the middle knuckle of my right forefinger.
We got some new neighbors back in January, but we didn’t have much chance to meet them. They seemed nice enough; both in their late 20’s to early 30’s somewhere, him an engineer of some kind, and her a lawyer. They seemed relatively quiet, nice, and polite. We spoke a bit over fences and chance encounters coming and going. We met their dog.
So, it seemed natural that when they planned to host a barbecue at their place and invited the Peanut, the Missus, and me over that we should go and say hello.
It turned out to be generally pleasant evening with good food and drink, and our hosts were positively genial. We learned that he is originally from the Ukraine and is working on some stealth tech idea that he wants to turn into a startup. We also learned that she is in her second trimester and expecting a boy sometime around Halloween. They are also vegetarians, but nicely asked friends to bring meat to grill — which other friends did, including some lamb chops that were cooked over a very hot fire to crispy meaty perfection.
After the Missus decided to take the Peanut back to our house for bath and bed, I decided to linger a bit to get a little more to eat. It was at this point that our host asked if I wanted to try this flaming shot that his brother (or brother-in-law) showed him how to make. He called it a “Gorilla Boob” but the closest thing I can find in the online cocktail guides is the Gorilla Tit. I hadn’t touched any kind of flaming drink in years, but I figured it would be an “adventure”.
The Gorilla Tit is composed of Kahlua, Yuckon Jack, and Bacardi 151, and recommended to be served in an Old Fashioned glass. The Gorilla Boob as I experienced it on Saturday is made from something I didn’t quite catch, Jägermeister, and Bacardi 151 served in a tall shot glass. Both drinks are to be drunk with straws. My sense of adventure raised a notch when I saw him pouring the Jägermeister; cocktail culture has become a very adult, serious, almost gourmet kind of thing in the last few years and this was starting to feel more like the kind of thing you do on a dare at a keg party in college.
So drinks were poured and lit. Someone wanted to take a picture. A phone was produced and a flash went off.
I picked up my drink. The glass was HOT. I could feel my fingers burning. I put it down on the table. It spilled and the liquid on the table caught fire. I put that out with a strawberry margarita someone left nearby. I picked up the glass and sucked the remaining liquid through the straw.
It was agreed later that taking the time to take picture was a mistake — the glasses got too hot. I would also suggest that the shot glass was a mistake. An Old Fashioned glass would give more to hold onto.
In any case, I immediately shoved my fingers in ice water and kept them there for much of the remainder of the evening. When I was asked if I wanted to try again, I politely declined.
It was an unusual end to an otherwise pleasant evening. I hope we see our neighbors again.