Aspen's Flaming Arse



Bert Petersen




Aspen, Colorado

Claim to Fame: Every bartender has a signature beverage, but Petersen’s concoction, lovingly known as the Flaming Asshole, takes sport-drinking to an embarrassing new low. Once a celebrity bartender of sorts at La Cocina (he got canned), where the drink became famous, Petersen now pours at the Steak Pit, a venerable—if relatively tame—eatery known for its top-notch…salad bar. Here, as at jobs past, he preys on the uninhibited and attention-starved—a birthday girl, say, or a patroller celebrating closing day. Once his victim is adequately alcohol-lubed, Petersen shouts: “Get on the bar and pull down your pants! The dupe usually obeys, at which point Petersen ignites a snifter of Sambuca, holds it aloft to a cheering crowd, and presses the glass firmly against the willing victim’s butt-cheek. The flame extinguishes, and the flesh gets Hoovered deep into the glass, creating a giant hickey. Then the flaming a-hole drinks the potion.

If You Must:
1) Pour a flammable cocktail (50 percent pure alcohol) into a snifter; apply match.

2) “Don’t let the glass get too hot, he warns.

3) Before contact, swab the skin with a wet cloth for a secure seal. “If it’s some hairy ass, he says, “don’t spend too much time with it.

Quadruple The Excitement: Petersen’s most memorable Flaming A’s? Twin sisters (at the same time, of course), and the daughter of an Aspen bank president who wanted shots applied to her breasts. “She was well endowed rasps Petersen. “She was trying to impress somebody, and it worked—she ended up leaving with him.

PRINCE AMONG MEN: Like everyone else in Aspen, Petersen passes the winter skiing powder and binge-drinking. The difference is that he does it all on the clock: By day he guides for the cat-skiing operation Aspen Powder Tours, tallying 15,000 vert per session. Later, at the Steak Pit, he slams five or six beers.

ON AGING GRACEFULLY: “It’s alright, says Petersen with a grin. “You’re only as old as the last girl you… (Yeah, yeah, Bert. We get it.)

Sept. 2004