Rum On Fire (a drink)

Rum on fire is a proud tradition passed from India to South Africa to Kentucky to British Columbia, and now to e2. It was originally a college party favorite as it combines not only built in pacing, but also a fine, fine drink. Drinking it not only requires a bit of preparation to make the drink, but there is a ritual involved in the drinking of it.

The Ritual

The people participating in drinking Rum on Fire sit around a coffee table or the floor in a circle. Each person makes the next's drink. The time involved to make Rum on Fire is long enough that this is a very inefficient way of getting drunk. The room should be darkened, and this looks best at night. You still need to be able to see to make the preparations, so a couple of candles or a light facing away will work.

Making Rum on Fire


Get one of the lemons (already cut in half), and put three toothpicks just under the top, so that the lemon can rest on the top of the glass, with room around it's edges. With this set up, you can now do the following.

  • Put about a shot of rum in the glass.
  • Put the lemon on top of the glass.
  • Cover the top of the lemon with sugar. The entire top should be covered, about a spoonful should do.
  • Pour a capful of rum over the sugar, soaking it. There should be no dry sugar left.
  • Fill the cap with rum. Depending on the size of the cap you may want to have a spare in case there's not enough rum in the first one.
  • Light the top of the lemon with the lighter. Because of the sugar it should light nicely. Move the lighter around a bit to make sure you have more than a small patch of fire.
  • Using the cap, slowly dribble the rum over the flame. This has to be done right! The desired effect is that the burning rum will slowly pour over the edge of the lemon and you will witness a lovely streak of fire from the bottom of the lemon to the bottom of the glass. This is probably the trickiest part of the whole procedure. You don't want to pour too fast and douse the flame, but if you pour too slowly there won't be enough momentum to create the fountain of fire that is desired.
  • When the flame has been achieved, it is the person for whom the drink has been prepared's turn to drink.

    Blow, Drink, Lick, Suck.

    First the drinker blows out the flame, then they shoot the rum in the glass (it will be quite sweet and yummy). Then they lick the sugar off the lemon, and bite down on it. These last two steps help to deal with the harsh taste of the rum.
  • (Optional) The drinker, depending on the affect the rum has had on them, can say (in a strained and coughing voice), "smooth!"
  • This person then mixes a drink for the next person.

Some notes and cautions:
Of course, the standard disclaimers about drinking apply. You also don't want too much rum in the bottom of the glass, one shot is normally enough, and you don't want to dribble more than a capful or two more into it. This is also a very messy procedure. The rum soaked sugar gets everywhere. Men with mustaches or goatees should also be cautious. Your floor is also vunerable. Capets beware. Hardwood or some other easily cleaned surface should be employeed. You can have a cloth or paper towels with you while drinking to clean up as you go, or just accept the fact you'll need a shower to clean off afterwards and get not only piss drunk but sticky too.

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