"a series of hazardous cocktails called 'Blue Blazers'"

A Blue Blazer is a simple whisky punch made with whisky or brandy, boiling water, lemon peel and powdered sugar. However, it is mixed by setting the alcohol alight and then pouring it between two mugs, as Richard describes. The cocktail was invented by the famous nineteenth century bartender and author Jerry Thomas; the U.S. President Ulysses S. Grant is said to have been particularly impressed with it.