Vodka consumption can result in unpleasant consequences such as severe hangovers or DUIs. But there is another less common yet potential hazard posed by vodka.
If you’ve ever seen a bartender set a vodka shot on fire, you might be worried that the bottle of vodka you have at home is flammable too. I did the research and here’s what I found!
Is Vodka Flammable?
Vodka can be flammable depending on its alcohol content. At 40% ABV, it isn’t yet considered flammable but it can catch fire. On the other hand, vodka with 50% ABV or higher is flammable. This means that vodka can ignite at ambient temperatures and is potentially hazardous.
If you want to learn more about the flammability of vodka at different proofs and whether dried vodka can still catch fire, keep on reading!
Is 80 Proof Vodka Flammable?
Technically, 40% alcohol by volume (ABV) vodka can catch fire, but it is not considered flammable.
To better understand the difference, you have to note that flammable liquids are those that catch fire easily at normal working temperatures of 37.8°C or 100°F.
So while a 40% ABV vodka can catch fire, it will require greater heat and time to light it compared to liquids that are officially classified as flammable.
Additionally, when you light a 40% ABV vodka, it will show blue flames, while higher ABV vodkas will have taller and more reddish flames.
Is 100 Proof Vodka Flammable?
A 100 proof vodka has 50% ABV, making it highly flammable. It has enough ethanol to ignite easily if it is ever exposed to a naked flame.
That said, you don’t have to refrigerate 100 proof vodka to eliminate fire hazards. Simply keeping it tightly sealed and stored at room temperature is usually enough.
Is Smirnoff Vodka Flammable?
A regular Smirnoff vodka has 80 proof, meaning it can catch fire, but it isn’t classified as flammable. If you want to light your vodka shot, using Smirnoff would make that possible.
That said, Smirnoff does have vodka products that contain up to 50% ABV or 100 proof. Just like all other liquors with that ABV, Smirnoff 100 Proof is considered flammable.
Additionally, Smirnoff has a 90 proof vodka which contains 45% ABV. While this isn’t considered flammable yet, it will catch fire more easily than a 40% ABV vodka.
Is Absolut Vodka Flammable?
Regular Absolut vodka has 80 proof, meaning it isn’t flammable, but it can still catch fire when exposed to a naked flame.
However, Absolut has a 100 proof vodka that is considered flammable. Just like other 100 proof vodkas, it is used for flaming drinks because it can sustain fire better.
Is Tito’s Vodka Flammable?
Tito’s Vodka isn’t flammable. Unlike Smirnoff and Absolut, Tito’s maintains an ABV of 40%, making it possible to catch on fire, but not enough to be classified as flammable.
Is Grey Goose Flammable?
Grey Goose Vodka maintains a 40% ABV. Just like Tito’s vodka, Grey Goose isn’t classified as flammable, but it is possible to set it aflame.
Is Vodka Flammable After It Dries?
Dried vodka is not flammable. This is because its ethanol content has evaporated, meaning there is no longer anything in the dried liquid that can catch fire.
Nonetheless, the degree of evaporation is affected by the area in which the vodka dries. If the area is well-ventilated, for instance, there’s a better chance that all the ethanol will evaporate along with the vodka’s water content.
However, when the vodka dries in an enclosed space without any form of ventilation, a small quantity of ethanol fumes could remain to make it flammable.
In spite of this possibility, the chances of residual ethanol fumes from dried vodka catching fire are slim.
How Do You Flame A Shot Of Vodka?
To create a flaming shot of vodka, simply pour an 80-proof vodka or higher into a shot glass and set it aflame using a lighter, preferably a long-reach one.
After the vodka catches flame, put it out by covering the shot glass with a shaker tin or a coffee mug. Never leave it burning for long because the shot glass can explode.
Furthermore, avoid adding vodka to the shot glass while it’s still aflame because the fire can travel to the bottle and cause it to explode.
Can You Drink Flaming Vodka?
While you may drink flaming vodka, you shouldn’t do so while it’s still on fire. You have to extinguish the flame thoroughly and check the temperature before drinking it.
If the shot glass is still hot, let it cool down before taking it. Additionally, vodka can spill to the sides while the shot is on fire, so be careful about touching the shot glass.
Waiting until the vodka has cooled down is important even if you’re planning to use a straw. Moreover, the straw can melt in the vodka if it’s still too hot, making the shot undrinkable.
If you want to learn more about vodka, you can see our related posts on whether vodka is tasteless, whether vodka is aged, and vodka facts.
While all regular vodkas can catch fire, not all of them are considered flammable. An 80-proof vodka isn’t technically classified as such, although you can set it on fire.
For vodka to be considered flammable, it needs to have an ABV of 50% or higher. With that amount of alcohol in the vodka, it can easily ignite in ambient temperatures.
For this reason, bartenders prefer to use 100 proof vodka for flaming drinks, because they can catch fire more quickly, and the flame they produce is more impressive.
Nevertheless, keeping flammable vodka from becoming a fire hazard is simple. Make sure that it’s tightly sealed at all times and keep it at room temperature.