Week Nine: Flame’s Edge

March 2, 2009

New drinks are weird, intangible things. Sometimes, they can be engineered. Sometimes, they come from little more than an instinct. And sometimes, they just happen.

We’ve been hosting cocktail masterclasses at work for a while now. They’ve proven to be popular with birthday and hen parties, possibly because it provides a decent excuse for exposing the guest of honour to phenomenal amounts of alcohol. There’s a standard format for the session – a champagne cocktail of some description on arrival, followed by a demo of the different ways of making cocktails before getting each member of the group to make their own drink. Depending on the size of the group and how much time we have, I sometimes try to mix up a couple of drinks based on suggestions from the group. Most of the time, it’s pretty easy to come up with something that ticks all the boxes. Every once in a while, though, it’s a bit tougher.

On Saturday night, they wanted fire.

(Flaming Cassanova by cr03, licensed under Creative Commons.)

The problem was that I had totally run out of overproof rum, removing the easy option for fuel. So, I decided to go for Jamie Boudreau’s Rubicon – only to discover that the kitchen was out of rosemary.

It was starting to feel like one of those dreams where you turn up to your high school graduation naked, but the idea behind the Rubicon has intrigued me since Jamie posted the recipe. In his words:

The burning Chartreuse also has the benefit of cooking the rosemary, releasing a lot of aroma and allowing the flavors to better permeate the beverage as oils are released. As for the “wow” factor, when you extinguish the flame with the rest of the ingredients, a thick white smoke develops.

I’m pretty certain blue flames come under “wow”, too. So, taking the Rubicon as a starting point (after all, there’s no going back from this point), here’s what we ended up with.

Flame’s Edge
An orange
10ml Green Chartreuse
40ml Monkey Shoulder
15ml Lemon Juice
20ml White Creme De Cacao
Strip three long strips of peel from the orange with a channel knife. Place two of the strips in a rocks glass with the Chartreuse, keeping one aside for garnish. Pour the whisky, lemon juice and Creme de Cacao into a shaker, add ice and prepare to shake. Before you do, light the Chartreuse in the glass with orange zests. Shake the remaining ingredients and strain into the glass, extinguishing the flame. Fill the glass with crushed ice and garnish with the remaining orange zest twist.

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4 Responses to “Week Nine: Flame’s Edge”


  1. Creating on the fly is often the catalyst for amazing creations. Love the video. It’s wonderful. Explanation of your classes comes at a terrific time for me. I’ve recently been asked by two different venues to begin teaching and demonstrating for groups. Learning from what others do is great. Thank you for sharing.

    • Jon Says:

      Thanks for the comment! I wasn’t sure about the video at first, but I reckon it looks pretty good now.

      The classes are a lot of fun. I was a little apprehensive when we started doing them, but basically it’s a live-action version of the blog. The only major problem I come across is a tendency to geek out way more than the layman’s going to appreciate.

      Thanks again.

  2. RaiulBaztepo Says:

    Hello!
    Very Interesting post! Thank you for such interesting resource!
    PS: Sorry for my bad english, I’v just started to learn this language 😉
    See you!
    Your, Raiul Baztepo

  3. PiterKokoniz Says:

    Hello !! 🙂
    I am Piter Kokoniz. Just want to tell, that your posts are really interesting
    And want to ask you: will you continue to post in this blog in future?
    Sorry for my bad english:)
    Thank you!
    Your Piter


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