Water on fire

Just for the hell of it, at the last minute I added the Combustible Edison to the menu for last Saturday’s cocktail party. Ever since I read about it I thought it’d be fun to make, but I’d never gotten around to makign one. I’m still not a huge Campari fan (although I’m working on developing more of a taste for it), but I thought that maybe someone else might be adventurous and order one. Sure enough, when our friends Gregg and Mike mentioned that they were both Campari fans, I suggested this drink, and their eyes lit up. Pretty soon, the counter where I was mixing the drinks lit up too.

The story behind the drink is at the Drinkboy link above, and I reproduce the recipe for you here.

The Combustible Edison

2 ounces brandy (we like a good Cognac like Hennessy V.S.O.P.)
1 ounce Campari
1 ounce fresh squeezed lemon juice

Add the Campari and lemon juice to a cocktail shaker with ice; shake and strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Heat the brandy on the stove or in a chafing dish. If the heating vessel doesn’t have a pouring spout, put the brandy into something that does.

Lower the lights, carefully ignite the brandy, and pour it into a flaming stream into the cocktail glass. Aim well. If you’re a klutz, have a friend standing by with a fire extinguisher. (I’m a klutz, but I managed to do this perfectly last Saturday.)

If the brandy is shaken with the ice instead of being set aflame, the drink is called an Edisonian.

It’s even more fun when you make two of them at the same time.