What Exactly Is A Flaming Dr Pepper Shot?

Shot glass full of flaming brown liquor
Shot glass full of flaming brown liquor - Maddas/Shutterstock

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For many of us, there's a drink that comes to mind immediately when we think of raucous nights at college bars — maybe it's a Jägerbomb, maybe it's an Apple Pie Shot. If you went to college in the South, though, there's a chance that this drink, for you, is none other than the Flaming Dr. Pepper.

What you need to know about the Flaming Dr. Pepper is that it doesn't actually include Dr. Pepper (it's designed to mimic the taste of the soft drink), but it does include flames. Its origins are hotly contested, with no fewer than three bars, each in different states, claiming to be the fiery shot's birthplace. The Flaming Dr. Pepper is downed by celebrities and appreciated by some of the nation's best cocktail bars, and at the same time, it has a reputation for being a fratty drink of choice and is actually outlawed in some jurisdictions.

The actual ingredients of the controversial drink are amaretto and high-proof liquor, set aflame in a shot glass, which is then dumped into a half pint of beer. As unlikely as it may sound, according to many, the final result tastes a lot like Dr. Pepper.

Read more: 10 Of The Healthiest Beers You Can Drink

Get Lit

Line of flaming shotglasses
Line of flaming shotglasses - Somboon Bunproy/Shutterstock

The fiery drink was born in the mid-1980s in either Bryan, Texas, or New Orleans, Louisiana — two different bars claim to have invented the cocktail right around the same time. Whether one bar ripped off the other's recipe, or the two bars happened to independently invent the same drink, is a mystery lost to time. But by the 90s, it had spread like wildfire throughout the college joints and dive bars of Texas, Louisiana, and North Carolina -- where yet another bar, in Chapel Hill, claims to be the drink's originator.

Throughout the South, you'll find a few variations in how exactly the drink is prepared. Dave Brinks, the New Orleans bar owner's son who lays claim to the cocktail's invention, makes his version with a locally-produced amaretto and a "little drop of Everclear" in the shot glass, which is then set aflame and dropped into a half-full pint glass of Miller Lite (via Punch). Other Flaming Dr. Pepper recipes call for high-proof rum instead of grain alcohol like Everclear, sometimes specifying Bacardi 141 in particular, with one part rum to three parts amaretto. In any case, a high-proof liquor is necessary, as it's what makes the shot glass' contents flammable. Most recipes don't specify a type of beer, but a light lager (i.e., most of the big-name American brands) seems to be a common choice.

Drink This And Call The Doctor In The Morning

Full beer and shot sitting on bar
Full beer and shot sitting on bar - Ehstock/Getty Images

As for whether or not the drink tastes like Dr. Pepper, it's ultimately a matter of opinion. The soft drink famously claims to contain 23 flavors, and the company has never publicly confirmed what they are — but amaretto and rum are often speculated to be among them, so the cocktail's ingredients make sense.

Fun as it may seem, the Flaming Dr. Pepper probably isn't the wisest drink to try making at home, unless you're an experienced bartender who's very comfortable dealing with beverage pyrotechnics and has a fire extinguisher immediately on hand. Flaming alcohol is dangerously prone to getting out of control, especially if you've already been drinking some of it — better leave this one to the pros. And if you do order one, be sure not to reach over it while it's burning for fear of your hair or clothes catching flame. Nothing kills a buzz like accidentally setting yourself on fire.

Read the original article on Daily Meal.