This Pennsylvanian winter cocktail is sweet, spicy, and possibly explosive

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Huh. I’m in southcentral PA, just south of anthracite country, and I’ve never heard of it. That paper is my local newspaper as well. (Teaberry ice cream is our most famous local food notoriety.)

Just checked the PA liquor control board’s website. Four Queens is $8.99 a fifth. Which is very cheap for our state-owned retail liquor monopoly.


So cheap that it deserves to be on fire.


I’m from PA as well and never heard of this.

Also, is an alcohol mixture like this actually flammable? The whisky is 50% alcohol by volume and a 750ml bottle equates to around 3cups. The recipe calls for adding 3 cups of non-boozy liquid. So, 25% alcohol by volume or 50 Proof.


The one on Allrecipes suggests using a half gallon of 190 proof. :open_mouth:



I made krupnika a couple of years ago and gave small bottles of it to friends and family for Christmas. Vodka and Everclear were both involved, as well as assorted spices, herbs and citrus; the result was tasty but definitely flammable and kicked like a Rockette.

eta: to generic_name Eeewwww!


Maybe if it was heated the vapour could light?

I once had access to a still; a still with a poor gasket between the pot and column. Sure enough, I had a small fire from the leak.

I got the idea from the article that the danger is in adding alcohol while the cooking fire is going. You could spill some, or it could boil over (boilo) onto the flame.


That makes sense and especially if you have a gas cooktop!

If you reheat it to the point where alcohol vapor is forming, you are just wasting it. :wink:

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Agreed, unless you stand over it and breathe.* Woohoo!

(* not this year :neutral_face:)

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Room temp booze can be lit on fire at at least 50 proof. 101 proof liquor is commonly used for this. Heated up it doesn’t need to be that high, even some wines can be lit heated in a pan. Almost all liquor can be.

For both it’s the volatile alcohol fumes coming off the liquor that burn, so you just need enough fuming off to hit the right air fuel mixture. A lot like gasoline.

A half US gallon of grain alcohol?! That would be one expensive recipe. Can you even get 190 in PA?

I don’t know how prevalent it is elsewhere in the US, but in the Chicago area you can get Spirytus from Poland, 192 proof. That’s as strong as you can get with distillation alone. It’s actually slightly cheaper than Everclear as well, but it ain’t cheap. A 1.75L handle of it is about $35 out the door.

*shudder* An electric hot plate is a worthy investment if you’re going to be boiling alcohol, not to mention an exhaust fan.

That looks like it belongs in the Gallery of Regrettable Food.


Hmm. Boiling a solution of alcohol in water. Seems suboptimal. Why not just throw the alcohol away and make a nice cup of tea instead?

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