The Flaming Moe

For the last three years Cari, Bridget, Joe and I have co-hosted a Halloween party at Cari's and my place. Every year I man the bar because I enjoy doing so and like the chance to talk to everyone periodically over the course of the night. This year I decided to turn the role into my costume and dressed as Moe Szyslak, the bartender from The Simpsons.

In one particularly good third season episode, titled "Flaming Moe" (, Moe finds great success serving a drink whose recipe was stolen from Homer. The drink, which Moe calls the Flaming Moe, includes as its secret ingredient Krusty Brand non-narkotik cough syrup and erupts into quickly retreating pillar of flame when lit. I figured if I was gonna do Moe I had to make that drink.

I started with the drink base and after many failed attempts to make that was (1) classy, (2) tasty, and (3) grape, I gave up on the first two and just went with grape kool-aid, grape pucker schnapps, and triple sec. It was palatable. After pouring that base in from a pitcher I'd then add just a little "cough syrup" (grape sugar syrup) from a re-labeled nyQuil bottle.

For the column of fire effect I'd place the drink in front of a tea light I had sitting on the bar, and would then use a salt shaker to sprinkle from above a cascade of non-dairy creamer onto the candle. When I got the concentration just right (too much and you extinguish the candle, too little and nothing happens) the non-dairy creamer would flare up in a foot tall fireball which looked for all the world like it was coming out of the glass. Unfortunately it only worked about one in ten times.

Below is a photo of the tail-end of one of the flare ups, and the illusion isn't bad. Thanks to Jan Creaser for the photo. Also attached is a small image of the label and an archive containing a full-size version printable at 300dpi for bottle modification.