While a most spectacular show of bartender brawn, the Blazer is a simple drink which just happens to entail rolling flaming whiskey back and forth between two metal mugs. A number of mid-19th century bartenders claim the creation, but Jerry Thomas, of course, rises to the forefront with his authoritative recipe in The Bon Vivant’s Companion, 1862, flame-throwing selfie illustration included. Though the recipe is relatively basic, the trick lies in the tossing of fiery liquid from one mug to another without injury. PUNCH recommends practicing with a non-flaming substance first, and then proceeding with extreme caution. This variation comes from Seattle bartender Andrew Bohrer, who added earl grey tea and elderflower liqueur to the mix. He says the drink mixes just as well without fire, but a little flair never hurts.
- 2 ounces bourbon, high-proof (preferably Booker's)
- 2 ounces earl grey tea, double strength
- 3/4 ounce St. Germain liqueur (or 1 ounce elderflower syrup)
- hot water, optional
Garnish: peel from an entire lemon
- Fill up two silver-plated mugs with handles with hot water to warm them up. Discard after a minute or two.
- Fill a rocks or wine glass with hot water to warm. Set aside.
- Add two ounces bourbon to one mug.
- Add two ounces earl grey tea to the second mug.
- Carefully light a long match and touch to the contents of the bourbon mug.
- Extinguish match and pour the lit bourbon mug into the tea.
- Pour back and forth 4 or 5 times.
- Extinguish the mugs by alternately placing one on top of the other.
- Discard water from rocks or wine glass.
- Pour mug contents into the warmed up glass.
- Top with 3/4 ounces St. Germain elderflower syrup. (See Editor's Note.)
- Add more hot water if desired.
- Garnish with the peel of an entire lemon.
Bohrer's version uses 1 ounce homemade elderflower syrup. PUNCH swapped it out for 3/4 ounce St. Germain elderflower liqueur.