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There are Christmas cocktails....and then there's the Blue Blazer.
The Blue Blazer is the Iron Lotus of cocktails. You can make your own wild thistle shrubs and grow all manner of throwback facial hair, but if you want to join the big leagues you have to master this drink. It’s a deceptively simple creation by the legendary Professor Jerry Thomas that consists of scotch, water, lemon peel and sugar. Big deal, you say.
Now, light it on fire. And throw the burning mixture back and forth between two tankards, we say. Here’s how (if you dare): pour boiling water into a sturdy-handled mug—quickly followed by the cask-strength whiskey—then ignite it with a long match. With the burning tankard in one hand and an identical empty tankard in the other, pour the aflame mixture back and forth a half-dozen times, then into a mug with sugar and lemon peel. Stir and take a well-deserved bow: you’ve joined the big leagues.
5 oz cask-strength whiskey (I use Glenlivet’s Nadurra First Fill, which also happens to be on sale until December 29th)5 oz boiling water4 sugar cubes4 slices of lemon peel