If you want to add a little bit of alcohol to some of your favorite mixtures, vodka is one of the best spirits for it. This drink is incredibly versatile, and can be drunk neat after being chilled in the freezer for an hour or so.
You can add it to other flavors like juices or sodas, and this will make some delicious cocktails! What you may be wondering though is what will happen if you put an open flame near to your glass of vodka.
Is something terrible going to happen? Is it better for your safety to drink a different kind of alcoholic beverage?
Vodka is 80 proof most of the time, meaning that in terms of volume there’s around 40% alcohol in it. This may seem like a staggering number, and it is - but that doesn’t mean that you need to be concerned about your safety while drinking it.
This beverage is not flammable most of the time, and it’s certainly not enough alcohol to keep a fire running. Of course, if the vodka is higher proof than this then sustaining a fire is going to be much easier.
The short answer is that the flammability of the vodka will highly depend on how strong it is. With that in mind, here’s everything that you need to know about the flammability of vodka.
What Is the Chemical Makeup of Vodka?
Vodka is a little strange as far as spirits go. Mainly because there’s nothing in particular to say what vodka is and what vodka isn’t. You can make vodka out of all sorts of different things, including potatoes and fruit.
Ultimately this is because ethanol and water are the only things that remain in the beverage after someone is finished making it.
Ethanol is what you will find in any kind of alcoholic beverage, but vodka is basically a watered down version of it.
This may seem obvious to say, but alcohol is flammable. You’ve probably sat there and watched someone attempting to light it on fire. Perhaps you were that person.
Naturally though, you may be wondering if the strength of the alcohol dictates the flammability of the vodka. Ultimately, the answer is yes, but it’s hardly that simple.
Is It Possible to Light Vodka on Fire?
Technically, it is indeed possible to set vodka alight, but you aren’t going to get a fire that will keep on burning with vodka alone.
You may have heard of something before known as flair bartending. This is a mode of entertainment - people will watch bartenders making a cocktail, and it’s part of the enjoyment of making them.
One particular movie known as Cocktail starring Tom Cruise shows off this particular craft. Sometimes drinks are lit on fire as they are being made. In particular, vodka will burn with a steady and bright blue flame, so it’s very enjoyable to watch for flair bartending.
Naturally, you won’t find that every kind of vodka will burn consistently well. For the most part vodka tends to be 80 proof or have 40% alcohol, and it can be hard to keep a flame going with an alcohol level this low.
If the alcohol is 80 proof then it will catch alight but eventually it will burn out because the water will extinguish it.
What Proof of Alcohol Will Catch Fire?
If you want a flame to keep on burning then you need to make sure that the vodka - or any other kind of alcohol - is 100 proof. Ideally it should be higher if you want a flame to keep on running. This would equate to more than 50% alcohol.
There are actually a number of vodka kinds out there that will provide 100 proof vodka. This is mainly because people like stronger alcohol and flaming drinks.
If the vodka is still a mixture of water and alcohol then there technically isn’t a limit to the amount of alcohol that you can put in it, aside from any local limits that have been enforced with alcohol concentration. Otherwise, technically any proof of vodka can exist.
Most of the time though you can only get 100 proof vodka at the maximum.
Is It Okay to Drink Flaming Vodka?
Absolutely! You just need to be sensible about how you do it.
With that being said, it may seem obvious but you should stay away from drinking flaming drinks while they are still on fire.
It’s best to avoid becoming one of the many people that end up in hospital because they have drunk shots that are still on fire. If you are going to drink a flaming drink then you need to be certain that the flame has completely gone out, otherwise it will not be safe to consume the drink.
Before you drink it, you should also check the glass’s temperature using your hands. You may notice that it will be a little too hot if there has been any drink spilling down the sides as the beverage burns. If you do this then you should be safe while drinking the beverage.
The same can be said when you use a straw to drink it. It can actually be a little more dangerous if you use a plastic straw in a burning beverage since the straw can melt. Melted plastic is very bad for human consumption, so it’s best to avoid consuming it.
How Flammable is Vodka?
As we have already established, 80 proof vodka is hardly very flammable. With that being said, if you are using a higher proof vodka, it is far more flammable.
The main reason for this is because the alcohol content is quite low, to the point that it isn’t going to keep a flame constantly burning.
This isn’t something to be troubled by, especially if you are intending to keep the vodka in your own house. Your vodka isn’t going to catch on fire very easily. On the off chance that it does end up catching fire, the flame is going to extinguish before any other fires start to form.
Of course, it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that even 80 proof vodka can cause some serious damage if it’s lit on fire.
When you get to 100 proof vodka, it’s very easy to catch it on fire. For this reason, you should make every effort to ensure that the vodka is removed from any naked flame sources.
You aren’t likely to experience many risks if the vodka remains in a glass bottle that has been tightly sealed, however?
What About Absolut Vodka?
Absolut is actually the brand name that covers a variety of different products, not one singular product.
In most cases, you will find Absolut vodka available at 80 proof, sometimes less. For this reason it isn’t very flammable at all. Of course, the brand also makes 100 proof vodka which is much more flammable if put next to a flame.
If Vodka Dries, Is It Still Flammable?
If you are concerned about dry vodka catching fire, you don’t need to worry. Neither vodka or any other spirits will catch alight when it is dry. This is because the alcohol in the beverage evaporates.
If the room isn’t ventilated though, the fumes from the alcohol can still catch fire, though it is unlikely.