OK, I guess I've been out of NYC for too long. Saw an article in the NY Times about B-list celebs out on the town ordering sake bombs. I can assume they are boilermakers, but are they? What gives?
Since sake is a brewed beverage similar to beer, the typical alcohol content usually only ranges from 12-15%- about on par with red wine. Not much of a kick. Boilermakers, that's another story...
Much like I have an affinity for meat topped with meat--hot dog wrapped in bacon, bacon on a burger, ham wrapped around a chicken breast...you get the picture. Alcohol topped with alcohol is a wonderful thing.
I learned about Boilermakers from my grandfather when that meant Old Fitzgerald and a glass of Michelob. About $1.50 in those days--at his local in Stockton, California. The memories, priceless.
As I have learned through the years, booze on top of booze has a long tradition. In fact, I was eating at Soowon Galbi last Friday night with a Korean and she mentioned "bombs." Of course, I knew she meant dropping the small glass of soju into a larger glass of beer (Hite, of course) and downing the whole thing. I somehow felt like my days of drinking Flaming Dr. Pepper's weren't so bad (a shot glass of amaretto and 151 rum, lit on fire, and dropped into a 3/4 full pint of beer--tastes like Dr. Pepper--sorta).
Later in my life I learned about the Blaster. A shot of Jager dropped into a 16 oz. pint glass that had been previously filled with an 11 oz can of Red Bull. Dude, if you want to feel what it is like to have a heart attack at 3 in the morning, have 5 of these.
And the "Grand Dame" of alcohol topped with alcohol....The Irish Car Bomb. If you are thinking that some Guiness with a shot glass of Irish Whiskey and Cream Liquer dropped in it is any more sophisticated than my grandfather's boilermaker....you are sorely mistaken. This is a wolf in sheep's clothing. A killer. I've never been more stupid in my life than after a few of these.
BUT ANYWAY, this all got me thinking about Sake Bombs. The reality is that there is a very real tradition of these drinks. Not that it is any sort of national treasure of Japan or Korea, much like most American's wouldn't champion the Boilermaker over the Manhatten, but we are not the only ones who drop little shots of alcohol into larger glasses of more alcohol. And for that, I a can sleep easy.
By the by, MY grandfather's verion of a boilermaker was a short beer and a shot--do the shot and then drink the beer as a back. There was no messy glass-on-glass action--usually. He was the best.
It's fun with a rowdy bunch of people. My crazy friend puts chopsticks on top of a beer glass to balance the glass of sake. She makes us pound the table to drop the shots in that way. Silly party fun...keeps you more civilized while still being festive. Ever had an Irish Car Bomb? Those could kill you in large quantities! hahaha.
I used to go to a sushi place in San Francisco called Sake Bomb that would do this. Once every half hour or so they'd line up fifty or sixty glasses of beer down the bar, top each with chopsticks and a shot of sake, and balance it carefully... then the bartenders would pound on the bar to let the shots drop in all at once.