We tend to go out to drink in order to unwind from the stress of the work week. Once in a while, however, people decide to use drinking as an added challenge in life, a sort of sudden sharp focus consisting of pain and punishment to ones taste buds in the name of pride and story (and occasionally a t-shirt.)
So it is with Poe’s Kitchen’s devil mix known as the Ghost Chili Margarita, an infamous drink with the claim that it is so hot, it cannot be finished without the use of heat-dulling aids. I, thoroughly representing Blast Magazine, took this challenge this Friday to see if the drink had the kick to back up the claim.
Before tasting begins, a waiver must be signed in to alleviate Poe’s Kitchen from responsibility of you harming yourself in the consumption of the drink. Once the proper signatures have been put on the proper lines, the drink is prepared. It looks almost childlike, a sort of cherry red mixture served up with a lime. There are warning signs though, including the bottle of tequila filled to the brim with sinister looking peppers used to mix the Margarita. There is also an unmarked red bottle, which squirts a thin red liquid that burns to smell, and a thin line of chili and habanero powder put on the rim in under the traditional salt.
But it’s a challenge for a reason. I said what nearly were my last words (“I’ve always loved my mother and Big Bang Theory isn’t funny!”) and took a drink.
There’s a certain state of mind that believes that if you are to complete this challenge, you must take it the entire drink in a single moment, in order to not allow the more cautious parts of your brain to tell you how suicidal that really is. So I sucked it through the straw in a single breath and then sit back proud of my accomplishment.
I looked at the bartenders and patrons and think you see faces of awe and excitement. Then it sunk in that these are faces of terror and alarm. Then it hit me.
The pain was something out of Dante; it was freezing cold and burning hot all at once, with just a hint of being stabbed for good measure.
I headed for the bathroom instinctively, and while it felt like the world was falling out from under me, enough focus eventually got me to the stall. From there, primal functions of my body’s self-preservation systems kicked in and everything that had gone in from the last 48 hours came out of any place with an opening. Luckily it went black after a while, and sweet, sweet unconsciousness kicked in.
I came to, stumbled out of the bathroom, paid my bill, and had a friend take me home before the ambulance likely showed up, and I would have had to explain to nice EMTs why they had to ride out to Boylston Street.
The challenge complete, I walked away under my own power with a story to tell and a possible ulcer to deal with.
As a drink goes, Poe’s Kitchen’s Ghost Chili Margarita packs a bit of a kick. If your insides happen to be replaced with the engine of a diesel truck, then it might be something to try out. If you want to enjoy what precious little time you have with your stomach lining however, you may want to try the Sam Brick Red.