Wednesday, September 5, 2012

The Flaming Dr. Pepper: A Trip Down Memory Lane

I was recently asked if I knew what a Flaming Dr. Pepper was by Ms. Kelli and decided that I should retell a story from my days of studying at the School of Stupid Drinkers. Yes, I am very familiar with the Flaming Dr. Pepper. What is a Flaming Dr. Pepper some of you might ask? Well, allow me to describe its glorious form to you.

See, back in 1996 (yes, I was of age in 1996) when I used to work and hang out at Down the Hatch over on 4th Street in the West Village we used to do Flaming Dr. Peppers on a regular basis. It was quite easy to do since the bar there had a glass top. Shots like these are verboten (forbidden for you english monoliguals) at the Bleecker Street Bar. Why? Well we have a nice wooden bar and anything that's flaming shouldn't be applied to it. Don't you think? But I digress. Before I go any further, here is the recipe for the Flaming Dr. Pepper:
Flaming Dr. Pepper
3/4 shot amaretto almond liqueur
1/4 oz 151 proof rum
1/2 glass beer (Bud Light works nicely)

- Fill a shot glass about 3/4 full with amaretto and top it off with enough 151 proof rum to be able to burn.

- Place the shot glass in another glass and fill the outer glass with beer (right up to the level of the shot glass).

- Ignite the amaretto/151 and let it burn for a while. Blow it out (or leave it burning if you're brave - not recommended) and slam it. Tastes just like Dr. Pepper.
Photo Courtesy of Out of the Frying Pan

So the process of consuming the shot is very much like a Jager Bomb. In this case as the directions indicate you light it, drop it and chug it. Though I would recommend using a half full pint glass rather than a mug. I have to admit, it does taste like a Dr. Pepper soda. Quite tasty too if I remember correctly. Very simple, right? Well, except for the one night where I had a "little" accident. Allow me to elaborate.

Now back in my F&F days, we would regularly go out on Friday nights. Usually we'd go out with my supervisor at the time and she was quite game to go anywhere we'd want to go with the provision that we'd end the night where she wanted to go. This time it was Mimi's Italian Restaurant and Piano Bar at 984 2nd Avenue. So this particular night I was feeling particularly feisty (and quite buzzed) and decided that I wanted to flex and have a Flaming Dr. Pepper. Now here is where I got my degree from the School of Stupid Drinkers. I tell you folks, if I had the power to travel time I would go back and tell my younger self "What the fuck are you thinking doing a Flaming Dr. Pepper at a PIANO BAR!!!!" But alas I do not and so back to the story.

So I order for one. Now I might add the bartender was wise in suggesting that I do NOT have one at her bar. But no, Sisco Vanilla circa 1998-2000 thought he knew it all while not knowing squat. He wanted his shot and after a "you are on you're own" shrug from the bartender I got my shot. Now herein lies the rub. I forgot to mention one little detail. Unlike most bars, this particular bar served their shots in PLASTIC shot glasses rather than shot glasses made of GLASS. Can you see where PLASTIC and a FLAMING shot might be problematic? I'll finish my little story while you chew on that one.

So the bartender serves me my shot, I light it and hold it up admiring the bright blue flame that the Bacardi 151 makes when lit. Instead of simply doing the shot right away, the time that I stood there like a jackass admiring the ever burning shot, the heat generated from the flame started to melt the aforementioned PLASTIC shot glass. What happened next? A little fireball leapt from the melting glass and landed on the middle, ring and pinky fingers of my right hand. The customers around me panicked but no I just stood there watching the fingers burn, telling everyone around me not to worry, that the alcohol was burning OFF of my fingers. LOL. What an idiot I must have looked like. No folks, the burning alcohol was burning MY FINGERS. So I drop it in the beer and chug and put the fire out and acted as if I was Caesar marching on Rome. The Fucking King of the World. But no, it doesn't end there.

A number of minutes later, I start to feel a bit of an ache on my fingers. When I look, the skin to the left of my fingernail of the burned fingers was bubbling up. So instead of doing something like go to the Emergency Room, I do what any drunk asshole would do: I ripped the skin off and spent the rest of the night with my fingers in a glass of ice water. Boy, do I remember the pain that I was in the next morning when coming to.

With that little escapade I graduated Summa Cum Laude from the School of Stupid Drinkers. Luckily for me, no study for the Graduate degree in the Flaming major was needed. Well, expect for that time that I took an extra credit course by sucking down a Flaming Bob Marley with a PLASTIC straw. But kids that is a story for another day.

Until Then Happy Drinking,
Sisco Vanilla