Practically everyone loves coffee, booze, and fire – but when those three ingredients come together in one dazzling drink, the effect is synergistic.

If you want to enrapture your friends with a fiery performance, whilst simultaneously benefitting from the boost of a coffee and the kick of a stiff drink, this is the recipe for you.

Flaming Spanish Coffee

There are many different takes on Spanish coffee, but the general idea is a drink made with coffee liqueur, rum, and coffee. If you want to enrapture your friends with a fiery performance, whilst simultaneously benefitting from the boost of a coffee and the kick of a stiff drink, this is the recipe for you.

  • 3
    oz
    brewed coffee
  • 1-2
    oz
    151-proof rum
  • 1-2
    oz
    coffee liqueur or spirit
  • nutmeg
  • cinnamon
  • 1
    lemon wedge
  • sugar, brown sugar, or spiced sugar
  • whipped or heavy cream
  • wine glass with a stem
  • long/bbq lighter or long matches
  • hallow dish for rimming the glass with sugar
  1. Pour your choice of sugar into the shallow dish. Take a lemon wedge and use it to rim the glass. Put the rim of the glass into the sugar to get a good, even coating of sour-sweetness.

  2. Pour the rum into the bottom of the wine glass. 

  3. Take the glass with the rum in it, tilt it roughly at a 45-degree angle and light the rum on fire.

  4. Use your index and middle fingers to grab the stem of the glass and gently swirl the flaming rum in a circular motion in order to help caramelize the sugar above it.

  5. Add a good sprinkle of the nutmeg and cinnamon, then quickly add the liqueur to the rum and the coffee.

  6. Optional: top your drink with the cream, whipped cream, or both along with a bit more of the nutmeg and cinnamon.

What is Spanish Coffee?

There are many different takes on Spanish coffee, but the general idea is a drink made with coffee liqueur, rum, and coffee.

It is often topped in extravagant ways with things like whipped cream, chocolate shavings or syrup, and a maraschino cherry!

Note: If you’re into making signature coffee drinks with coffee liqueurs, here’s another great recipe you can check out that uses the coffee liqueur classic: Kahlua.

What is Flaming Spanish Coffee?

Ah, now, Flaming Spanish Coffee is a beast all its own.

While the coffee liqueur, rum, and coffee are all still present (as well as those exciting toppings!), there is one very important extra step added to the process: FIRE!

That’s right – you light this one on fire. Not only does it create a pretty sweet vibe, but the fire helps to caramelize the sugar and bring out a unique flavor in the spices.

So, are you ready to try this one out? We thought so. Let’s do this thing.

How to make flaming spanish coffee

This one has a pretty hefty ingredients list for such a small drink. Make sure to gather EVERYTHING up beforehand so you’re not scrambling for things while your cup is on fire!

PRO TIP – When it comes to the coffee liqueurs, you can use a tried and true liqueur like Kahlua, or you can feel free to try whatever else floats your boat. Mixing different liqueurs is also an option. If you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can make your own liqueur, too!

Ready? Let’s dive in…

Step #1. Clear the Area

First thing’s first: DO THIS IN A SAFE PLACE! Particularly if you are inside, please have a fire extinguisher handy!

Take additional steps to make sure you’re working in a cleared-out space, where the flame you will be working with will not have a chance to set anything else on fire.

Step #2. Prepare Your Glass

Pour your choice of sugar, brown sugar, or spiced sugar into the shallow dish (make sure the dish is bigger than the rim of your glass).

Take a lemon wedge and use it to rim the glass.

Before the juice dries, put the rim of the glass into the sugar so that it gets a good, even coating of sour-sweetness.

Step #3. Brew the Coffee

double brewed coffee

Brew your coffee and ensure it is easily accessible.

Step #4. Prepare Everything Else

Open the liqueur bottle and have it close enough to grab quickly but not so close you might knock it over once the fire is going.

Get your nutmeg and cinnamon containers opened and ready to sprinkle over the drink.

If the spice containers are already perforated, just have them ready nearby. If you need to physically grab each pinch of the seasonings to add to the drink, you may want to pour them into a bowl for easy access. 

Step #5. Set the Stage

Pour the rum into the bottom of the wine glass, but make sure not to hit the rim and wash off the sugary goodness!

Turn down the lights (for dramatic effect). Just don’t make them so dim you can’t see what you’re doing!

Are the lights dimmed? Is everything cleared away? Is your hair pulled back? Are your sleeves rolled up? Very good. You may proceed.

Step #6. Take a Deep Breath

Breath in. Breath out. Calm those nerves. You’re about to become a barista legend once you’re done with this one!

Did you find your Zen? Great. Move on.

Step #7. Make the Pyromaniacs Happy!

Here we are at the main event…

From this point on things will go pretty non-stop, so make sure everything is set, there is nothing that will demand your attention for a few minutes, and you (and your audience, if you have one) don’t have to go to the bathroom!

Read through the rest of this step BEFORE you go on so that you know what’s coming.

Take the glass with the rum in it, tilt it roughly at a 45-degree angle, and then light that puppy on fire. Don’t be surprised if it ignites before the flame even full reaches the rum!

Once it’s on fire, it’s time to move both quickly and confidently through the rest of this step.

  • Light the rum on fire.

  • Put out the match/lighter (DUH!)

  • Place the glass flat on the table.

  • Put your hand palm-down towards the table. This will give you control over the glass while keeping you away from the heat. Use your index and middle fingers to grab the stem of the glass and gently swirl the flaming rum in a circular motion in order to help caramelize the sugar above it.

  • When the sugar is almost done caramelizing, add a good sprinkle of the nutmeg and cinnamon. These can be adjusted to taste as you practice making this drink over time. Don’t be surprised if there is a bit of a flare-up when you add the spices, too. It’s a normal reaction, and if you play your cards right, it can add some great sparks to the already hot show!

  • As soon as the spices are in, quickly add the liqueur to the rum. It may boil a bit, and that’s okay!

  • Next, add the coffee to the glass. By this point, the glass should be somewhere between half and three-quarters full.

Don’t pour the liqueur in too fast or from too high or it can cause the rum (and it’s accompanying flame) to splash out of the glass.

Here’s a great visual of the whole process in one quick, continuous clip.


Step #8. Add a Garnish (Optional)

Phew! Nice job. If you’ve made it this far, you’re probably looking at a pretty sweet concoction right now.

The drink is almost done at this point, with the exception of a garnish.

Now, if you’re into intense flavors (which you probably are, if you’re making this!), a garnish can be the perfect sign-off on this impressive signature drink.

You can add the cream, whipped cream, or both along with a bit more of the nutmeg and cinnamon.

Zest some of that lemon from Step #1, or add some chocolate shavings, syrup, etc. Once you’ve got it all spruced up, feel free to toss a maraschino cherry on top as a final flourish.

Well Done, Conquistador, Well Done—Your Spanish Flaming Coffee Is Ready

And there you have it. You took on the Spanish Flaming Coffee and conquered.

This one is intense enough that you should be giving yourself a pat on the back. Don Quixote would be proud!

After all, it’s not everyday that you get to
make a cup of coffee and handle fire at the same time.

If you’ve tried it out, we want to know how it went. Leave a comment. Even better, if you’ve got any pictures, let us SEE how it went!

Please? Pretty please, with caramelized sugar on top?

We have more yummy recipes, try this delicious Grilled Pineapple Latte.

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