If You Love Something, Set it on Fire

There's a little pyromaniac in all of us, and it frequently emerges while knocking back a few drinks; so what better way to spark up a good time than combining the human fascination with fire the human fascination with alcohol?

From Scottsdale to Soho, bartenders are creating new libations by holding a torch to them. While some of it is purely for presentation, lighting alcohol on fire (when done by a professional) can also heat up a drink and richen its flavor.

One common blazin' beverage is sambuca, an Italian liqueur, but generally any alcohol that's at least 80 proof (i.e. rum, whiskey, vodka, tequila) can be lit fairly easily. Because of its high alcohol content, Bacardi 151 is generally regarded as the most "lightable" liquor.

Places like Talavera at the Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North offer a variety of flaming drinks, but our personal favorite uses fire as a garnish rather than an ingredient.

The Volcano Bowl ($30) at Hula's Modern Tiki is a giant "moat" of tropical juices and liquors that features several brightly colored mermaids swimming around the flaming peak at the center. It's probably illegal to order this alone (it serves 4-6), so make sure to bring some thirsty friends.

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Adriane Goetz