Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen restaurant in Las Vegas seems to have hired Dante Alighieri as a design consultant, with its Inferno-themed walls, flame-red color scheme and pitchfork logo. Its drinks menu reflects that same fascination with fire, featuring $14 cocktails with names like “Meet Your Maker,” “Smoke on the Blvd” and, of course, “The Pitchfork.” Despite all of that, it’s still unbelievable that two people were actually burned at the restaurant after suffering injuries from a flaming drink.
According to KTNV, two customers were transported from the restaurant on Thursday night and taken to a local hospital for treatment. “Unfortunately, two guests were injured at Gordon Ramsay Hell’s Kitchen at Caesars Palace last night,” Caesars Entertainment spokesperson Jennifer Forkish said. “We stand ready to provide any assistance they may need to help them through this difficult time.”
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that the cocktail involved was called the Rum Donkey, which is served in a Tiki-inspired mug and topped with a slice of burning passion fruit. Forkish said that, although that kind of drink has been “served at the finest restaurants worldwide without incident,” Hell’s Kitchen has since removed it from the menu. (Meanwhile, Vital Vegas reports that other restaurants in the city are currently “re-evaluating” their own smoldering or all-out aflame drinks as a result).
The Deputy Fire Chief for Clark County, Nevada confirmed to the Review-Journal that the fire department had responded to a call at the restaurant but, as it was deemed a medical issue, he declined to provide any comment about the customers’ injuries.
In July 2017, two customers at the Shoal Creek Tavern in Highland Village, Texas had to be airlifted to a nearby hospital with “major burns” after a mishap involving a flaming cocktail. And in May, a Los Angeles woman filed a lawsuit against Clifton’s Cafeteria after suffering significant injuries from a flaming drink called the Scorpion Bowl. According to NBC Los Angeles, her legal filing alleges that she was permanently disfigured and now has difficulty “[functioning] as a wife” to her husband.
It seems both obvious and unimaginable, but fully ignited cocktails can cause very serious injuries; these kinds of incidents have happened often enough that papers documenting their aftermath and treatment have been published in the Journal of Burn Care and Research and The American Surgeon.
“This type of accident is readily preventable,” that latter report suggests. Yes, maybe slushy, frozen drinks aren’t so bad after all.