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Flaming Absinthe Shot Goes Terribly Wrong

Siberian bartender sets man's head on fire

• May 6, 2013 5:06 pm

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Twenty-eight-year-old Russian national Alexey Ponamarev is seeking over half-a-million roubles ($16,000) in damages after suffering severe burns to his ear and face while attempting to take a burning absinthe shot last Saturday in southwest Siberia, The Daily Mail reports:

Alexey Ponamarev, 28, had to be rushed to hospital with burns to his face after the incident in a bar in Novosibirsk, south-west Siberia, which was caught on camera by his girlfriend.

Doctors treated him for first- and second-degree burns and Mr Ponamarev is now reportedly preparing to sue the bar for half-a-million roubles (£10,300).

The bartender, Albert Bykov, maintains he has done the trick safely many times before, albeit with a different liqueur:

"The situation is ambiguous," he said. "The customer asked me to pour burning absinthe. Usually we do it with sambuca, but the guest is always right so, warning him of the danger, I tried to do it."

He said Mr Ponamarev had messed up the stunt by covering his mouth.

"We immediately tried to give him first aid, put a wet towel on his face and offered to smear it with cream," added Mr Bykov.

The bar's management said they hoped the situation could be resolved amicably.

Footage of the mishap has been handed over to police.

Published under: Media, Russia, Video