Ban the Bacardi?

I’ve never been a fan of flair bartending. I’d much rather have an accurately measured, balanced cocktail than watch some jackass spill flavored vodka all over the floor, twirl bottles in the air, or set his customer on fire:

A bartender’s flaming drink stunt at a popular Upper West Side bar left a Manhattan woman “engulfed in flames” and horribly burned while “Great Balls of Fire” was playing on the jukebox, court papers charge.

Lauren Sclafani, 31, says she suffered second- and third-degree burns on her face, arms and hands thanks to the Bacardi 151 stunt at Brother Jimmy’s gone terribly wrong…

As “Great Balls of Fire” came on the jukebox, the bartender poured 151-proof rum across the bar and deliberately lit it on fire, according to a lawsuit she filed against the bar. The flame blew black into the bottle, turning it into a “flamethrower,” said Sclafani’s lawyer, Tom Moore.

“I was just about to leave, and the next thing you know, I’m lit on fire,” Sclafani said. “My face was burning, my hands were burning, my clothes were on fire. I was just praying to make it stop.”

It’s a horrible story and I hope the victim wins truckloads of money in her lawsuit against the restaurant. Yet my sympathy does not extend to this:

The bar pulled the drink off its shelves at all its locations the next day. Sclafani’s lawyer said they’re hoping to 86 the 151-proof drink everywhere.

“This is a product that has no value except for this kind of purpose,” Moore said. “One hundred proof is serious enough for anybody.”

Unlikely, I hope, but New York City’s not exactly known for its laissez-faire approach to regulating bars and restaurants.

[Via Behind the Stick.]


4 thoughts on “Ban the Bacardi?”

  1. That is a really strange response. It’s not the fault of the booze. It’s the fault of the idiot who set it on fire.

    Though I’m still sitting here stewing and pissy over the fact that the NY Post headline used “Gal.” So off topic over-reactions are my specialty.

  2. I always hated it when I told people I bartended and they’d reply: “Oh, can you flip bottles and stuff?”

    No. I can’t–and I don’t want to. Lady, I’m a bartender, not a juggling f***in’ clown. You want to see that? Go to a circus. You want a margarita that isn’t overpowering and still gets you buzzed? Come see me.


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