Flaming Cocktails

Todd Coleman

Legend has it that when President Ulysses S. Grant had his first Blue Blazer—a flaming whiskey toddy poured between cups in a pyrotechnic arc—he rewarded its inventor, Jerry Thomas, with a cigar from his own breast pocket. It was well deserved: Fire enhances aromatics, brings pleasing warmth, and caramelizes surface sugars, making the experience of sipping a cocktail all the more heady. While you're unlikely to land a presidential commendation for flambeing drinks at home, what you will get is showstopping libations, such as these from bartender Brad Farran of Brooklyn's Clover Club.