Bartenders Harness Flames to Add Complexity to Their Cocktails

Amy Cavanaugh

Fire has long played a role in cocktails and spirits, whether used to heat loggerhead pokers to make flips in colonial taverns, char barrels to age bourbon or toss flaming blue blazers. Today, bartenders are using fire to transform cocktail ingredients with smoky, toasty and caramelized flavors. Whether it caramelizes sugar, chars corn or brûlées orange slices, a little flame is key to these cocktails.

At El Che Bar in...