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“Jerry Thomas, America’s most famous bartender of his age, would have laughed at the very idea that you could learn how to mix drinks from a book, writes cocktail historian David Wondrich in his book Imbibe! But I do have a strong feeling that Jerry Thomas would find this Blue Blazer video very interesting. Mr Thomas -also known as The Professor– died on December 1885. Fortunately, his cocktails are still alive, thanks to all those books available out there, and the bartenders who read them. Many thanks to my friend Alexander Sourmpatis -bartender, now, at Casabla cocktail bar, in Thessaloniki- for his performance and the outstanding Blue Blazer drink that he prepared for us during filming. Watch the video carefully and then read the following instructions to prepare a nice Blue Blazer.

Blue Blazer

  • 60 ml Scotch whisky
  • 60 ml hot boiling water
  • 1 teaspoon of sugar (or 10 ml of simple sugar syrup)

Obtain two large metal mugs with a handle to each mug. Add well-heated Scotch to one mug and boiling water with sugar (or simple syrup) to the other. Set the warm whisky on fire. Jerry Thomas was using a match, but you could use a kitchen torch instead. Pour the flaming whiskey into the other mug and then back and forth for about five-six times. This should have the appearance of a continual stream of liquid fire. Grate a little nutmeg (optionally) on top and extinguish the flames by covering one mug with the other’s bottom. Pour into a tumbler glass and garnish with a slice of lemon. Attention must be paid to prevent the fire from spreading over your hands. “The novice in mixing this beverage should be careful not to scald himself. To become proficient in throwing the liquid from one mug to the other, it will be necessary to practise for some time with cold water” writes Jerry Thomas in his book:  The Bartender’s Guide: How to Mix Drinks, or, The Bon-Vivant’s Companion, published in 1862