Although it only packs the same alcoholic punch as a traditional shot, the heat coming off the Ghost Chili Moonshine warrants having the fire brigade at the ready.

This sadistic shot is available in Bootleggers, but requires you to sign a disclaimer before you drink it such is its potency.

Ghost Chili Moonshine is created when un-aged whiskey is infused with Bhut Jolokia chili, which in 2007 was recognised by the Guinness Book of Records as the hottest chili in the world. It’s since been superseded by the Carolina Reaper chili.

Barman Max McPherson, who is the man responsible for this lethal concoction, told how he gets his kicks in seeing how people react to it.


He said: “I worked in a couple of places in London and this shot was really popular. It’s not for everyone. The chili in it is one of the hottest in the world. It will have you in pain unlike you’ve ever experienced for about 10 minutes, but then when it subsides you get an endorphins rush and feel amazing.

“We advise anyone taking it to have a Coco Pops cocktail with it which has plenty of milk in it. You’ll need it to tackle the heat.”

So why would anyone want to put their body through this?

Max commented: “People like a challenge. It’s great entertainment watching your mate with steam coming out his ears. And when it’s over there’s no lasting effects. Of all the people who’ve had it there’s never been a reaction afterwards. It’s just five to 10 minutes of discomfort and then you’ve achieved legendary status.”


Bolstered by Max’s words I had to try the shot myself. It did everything he promised and more.

After downing the shot I thought it was all a big joke because there was no initial reaction. Then I gulped, coating my throat with fresh saliva, and the pain kicked it.

It felt like someone had discharged a blowtorch down my throat. I could feel the burn making it’s way towards my stomach inch by inch. The Coco Pops cocktail took on the role of the fire brigade and extra glasses of milk were needed as reinforcements.

As I tried my best to look like I wasn’t dying, I can remember talking to the crowd who had gathered to point, laugh and take video, but I can’t remember anything I said. It was like taking a mild hallucinogen without any of the visual side effects like pink elephants or naked Indian guys.

And then, just like that, the pain ended and I was king of the world.

I returned to work steaming, not drunk, just steaming.

The good news for people who don’t fancy the heat of the Ghost Chili Moonshine, is that Bootleggers have a full range of moonshines, the rest of which don’t pack the same heat punch. They’ve got fig, raspberry, pineapple and even bacon. Plus they’ve put together some excellent moonshine cocktails…

Owner Chris Wolsey said: “We’ve introduced moonshine to tie in with the prohibition theme of the bar. Some bars have tried to recreate with prohibition era by going for swanky cocktails, we’re going for more of a deep south feel, with moonshine and poteen.”

That’s right folks, next on the menu in Bootleggers will be their own brand of poteen. Watch this space…


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