The Flaming Doctor Pepper Cocktail

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When discussing cocktails, few are as misleading as the Flaming Doctor Pepper cocktail, because the famous carbonated drink Dr. Pepper has nothing to do and is not one of the ingredients of this mixed drink. In fact, it got its name partly because consumers said it sort of tasted like Dr. Pepper. The origins of this beer cocktail are hazy, but some accounts first place it at the Ptarmigan Club in Bryan, Texas, sometime during the 1960s.

One of the things that makes this cocktail very popular is the “flaming” part and the strange way in which it is served. Although it is not an official IBA cocktail, most bartenders know about it and how to prepare it, and there’s not much to it either. Generally, the ingredients used for the Flaming Doctor Pepper cocktail are:

  • 13 parts (one pint) or beer
  • 3 parts Amaretto
  • 1 part high-proof liquor

You fill half of one pint with beer, and then mix a shot glass with the Amaretto and high-proof liquor, which is usually Bacardi 151 or Everclear. The two alcohols in the shot glass don’t have to be mixed; first you pour the Amaretto and then the liquor gently, so it remains on the upper layer. Now the fun part begins, because you set fire to the shot and drop it in the beer; the flames will drown, and one has to consume the cocktail immediately, while it still has residual heat. It is important to note here that the shot should be made from heat-proof glass, or to be filled to the brim so the heat from the fire doesn’t crack the glass.

As you can see, the Flaming Doctor Pepper cocktail is a really fun drink, both to admire its preparation and to drink it, because the alcohol combination really knocks you out. In order to avoid copyright lawsuits with the original Dr. Pepper beverage, this cocktail is sometimes spelled wrong, such as Dr. Peppar, or with the entire word “doctor” spelled and so on.

It is important to mention that one has to be very careful when preparing this cocktail, because the alcohol flames can cause serious burns; there have been cases when the person who dropped the shots got severe burns because the flames spilled over. The Flaming Doctor Pepper cocktail is also referenced in popular culture, such as The Simpsons episode called “Flaming Moe’s”, where Homer invents a similar flaming cocktail and Moe steals the recipe to serve at his bar.

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