Queimada "Fire Drink" Recipe

Preparing a queimada (typical drink Gallega)
Preparing a queimada (typical drink in Gallega). Getty Images/Jose A. Bernat Bacete
  • 12 mins
  • Prep: 2 mins,
  • Cook: 10 mins
  • Yield: 8 servings
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There are many myths and mysteries surrounding the ritual of making queimada, the “fire drink” of Galicia, which is thought to have originated in ancient times when Celts established villages and settled in the region of Galicia. Although this drink is made with orujo, a strong liqueur similar to grappa, much of the alcohol is burned off in the flames. This is the perfect specialty drink for an outdoor Halloween or winter party.

Note: For the preparation of this drink, you will need a large fireproof clay pot or bowl, sealed or glazed on the interior and a very long-handled wooden spoon to stir the queimada. Sets of clay pots and glasses made specifically for this purpose are available through grocery stores and websites specializing in Spanish food.

What You'll Need

  • 1 liter orujo (substitute Italian grappa if orujo not available)
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • Rind of one lemon cut into strips
  • Scant 1/4 cup whole coffee beans

How to Make It

  1. Place the clay pot or bowl on a fireproof table of atop a cold BBQ grill. Be sure to have a large lid handy to put out the flames.
  2. Pour approximately 4 tablespoons orujo and 1 tablespoon sugar into a small glass and stir to dissolve sugar, then set aside.
  3. Pour the rest of the orujo and remaining sugar into the clay bowl and stir. Add the lemon peel and coffee beans and stir again.
  4. Pour the orujo and sugar mixture from the glass into a ladle and light it on fire. Carefully move the ladle very close to the clay pot until the orujo mixture in the pot catches fire. Stir frequently until the flames turn blue. Slide the lid over the pot to put out the flames. Serve hot.