The wide world of booze includes some of the best cocktails, which make it easy to celebrate any occasion, matching a classic drink with a formal fete or the best margaritas with a hot summer night. But on nights when you and your friends really want to let loose, what could be more fun than a literal firecracker of a cocktail, one that’s been set aflame? From slushy drinks at tiki bars to margaritas on the Upper East Side, these are the best flaming cocktails in NYC.
RECOMMENDED: Full guide to cocktails in NYC
Best flaming cocktails in NYC
One of the city’s oldest tiki bars—established in 2002, the Technicolor bar well predates NYC’s current tiki revival—Otto’s is a haven of kitsch, with fruity drinks like the Shrunken Skirt and Suffering Bastard packing a boozy hit. Head there in a group and order the Volcano Blast, a rum-soaked punch that serves four to eight drinkers and is served in a ceramic bowl with a flaming shot at the center.
At this tiki-fied Cobble Hill spot, bartenders mix up the crowd-friendly Scorpion Bowl, a frightfully strong concoction of almond-laced rum and brandy that will get you and your friends happily buzzed. Watch out for the flaming volcano at the center of the bowl!
This classically divey Hell’s Kitchen spot tends to get a little rowdy—which should come as no surprise after taking a look at the heavily alcoholic list of more than 100 shots. With names like Freddy Kreuger, Fat Elvis and Deer in the Headlights, the layered shots pack a punch. Request the flaming Harry Potter, and the performing bartenders will cast a spell as they set it aflame.
A bewitchingly caffeinated cocktail-for-two served in a Chemex coffee brewer, Slowly Shirley’s Tahitian Coffee blends rum, pisco, guava and passion fruit along with potent cold brew and serves the elixir heaped over mounds of crushed ice. A pristine orchid and a booze-soaked flaming lime finish off this happy hour stunner.
This cozy Upper East Side cantina specializes in (what else?) expertly mixed and churned margaritas, both on the rocks and frozen. Whether you opt for a clean-and-classic lime margarita or a fruity mango iteration, be sure to request a flaming lime on top for an extra kick.
This serious steakhouse from Iron Chef Marc Forgione celebrates smoke and heat in all its forms, right down to the cocktail menu. An appropriately pricey Plank Smoked Old Fashioned—it costs a hefty $20—comes with a show, as the bartender torches a maple plank, smothers the flame and covers the smoldering plank with the cocktail glass, imbuing it with smoke. When the cocktail’s mixed and poured into the glass, both the aroma and the flavor are pure drinking-by-the-campfire goodness.
This East Village stunner showcases rum in its inventive cocktails that layer both flavors and textures. A recent arrival to the drinks menu takes banana cognac, pisco and overproof rum and mixes it with kiwi, watermelon and pineapple juices. And you can't have a drink with this name without throwing in some Skittles.