If you’ve got a blow torch and fire extinguisher, then the Sydney rooftop bar, The Rook has a cocktail for you.
Now, this is one of the few cocktails we will warn you about, as it has to be made with an extream amount of care, ‘cause fire when it’s mixed with accelerants like alcohol are nothing to take lightly.
Eric Sarmento from Sydney rooftop bar, The Rook, describes their new cocktail Fire & Ice as the perfect winter cocktail as it combines a bitter herbal cocktail with the showmanship created by throwing a firey drink.
“Jerry Thomas was very well known for his showmanship,” said Sarmento, “and that’s part of the appeal of Blazer-style drinks. Let’s face it, throwing liquid between two tankards while it’s on fire looks really cool.”
Fire & Ice is, of course, a variation in method to the Blue Blazer Cocktail created by cocktail pioneer Jerry Thomas in a gambling saloon in Gold Rush-era San Francisco. In his 1862 “Bar-tenders Guide,” he describes it as a “blazing stream of liquid fire,” but it’s basically a Hot Toddy made with high-proof scotch and a whole lot of flair.
“I was very scared about the fire part,” said Sarmento, “so I practised with water, that’s probably ideal for people always to practice first, throwing water.
“But it’s just a lot of fun. You’re playing with fire, you feel like it’s just a primitive instinct, something that your ancestors were like “Whoa, fire!” It’s just fun, half of the drink is just the fun of it, just playing around with it.”
The other thing that Sarmento thinks that home bartenders should be cautious about when making this drink is the glassware.
“Make sure the glass you use is one that is heat resistant and shatterproof and definitely do not make your glass cold. Do not use a chilled glass because that can explode.
“Aside from the show it provides, the fire does serve another purpose, “ said Sarmento. “The fire in the drink melts the ice, to provide just the right level of dilution. Then we give it a little stir just so it’s not too hot and is the perfect temperature to start drinking.
Sarmento recommends using Sipsmith Gin as the base of this drink. He points out the Sipsmith are one of the few gins in the world made using the traditional ‘one-shot’ method of distillation and it is that method that makes the gin so easy to use.
“We love using Sipsmith. It’s probably one of our favourite Gins here at The Rook. It’s a bit citrusy, a little peppery and just a really good, all-round London Dry Gin. It’s as good in a drink like The Fire & ice as it is in a Gin & Tonic.”
As with any infusion, 24 hours is probably the minimum amount of time to leave the Raspberries but as Sarmento points out the longer you leave it there the more the infusion will take place.
“It’s a very simple maceration, something that is very old schools, anyone can do. It just brings out the tangy notes of the raspberry, give it that little sweetness that tart, that goes very well with the bitterness of Campari.”
The Vermouth is also infused with Ginger. “You can use any Dry Vermouth, “ says Sarmento. “The vermouth really tames the Ginger but it still adds a really nice mild spiciness to the drink.”
Fire & Ice
30 ml Sipsmith London Dry
20 ml of Green Chartreuse
15 ml of Ginger Vermouth
30 ml raspberry-infused Campari
10 ml of Rosemary Syrup
Garnish with a simple whole Raspberry
Add all ingredients to a tankard, then with a blow torch or a long BBQ lighter heat the base of the first tankard and the liquid inside it and then heat the base of the second tankard. Slowly and very carefully throw the liquid between each tankard, so it flows like a ribbon. Once it has been aerated, carefully pour it into a heat-proof Brandy Balloon over either a large block of ice or a mound of crushed ice.