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Flaming Spanish Coffee Tutorial
There are many variations on Spanish Coffee, but the most famous style of Spanish Coffee is also the most dramatic. Also known as "Flaming Spanish Coffee," it is lit on fire during its preparation. This step-by-step guide to Flaming Spanish Coffee includes instructions for several variations on the theme, including alternate liqueurs and toppings.
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make Flaming Spanish Coffee:
- 1-2 ounces 151-proof rum
- 1-2 ounces coffee-friendly spirits or liqueurs, such as Kahlua, Amaretto, Cointreau or homemade coffee liqueur (You can mix and match for a more complex flavor.)
- About 3 ounces brewed coffee
- Enough lemon juice to rim the glass
- Enough sugar, brown sugar, or spiced sugar to rim the glass
- Several pinches ground cinnamon and nutmeg
- Whipped cream or heavy cream (to taste)
You'll also need some equipment:
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- A wine glass, Irish coffee mug or other piece of heat-resistant stemmed glassware
- Two small bowls or plates suitable for rimming the glass
- A long match or lighter
- A fire extinguisher (just in case!)
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Rim a Wine Glass or Irish Coffee Mug With Sugar
Using the sugar and the lemon juice (or a liqueur), rim a wine glass, Irish coffee mug or another piece of sturdy, stemmed glassware.
To rim the glass, you'll need two shallow bowls or small plates, each with a larger diameter than the rim of the glass. Put the lemon juice in one bowl (or on one plate) and the sugar in/on the other. Dip the rim of the glass into the lemon juice and then, while it is still wet, dip it into the sugar. The sugar will stick to the rim of the glass.Continue to 3 of 6 below.
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Prepare to Light the Cocktail on Fire
Now, you're almost ready to light your Flaming Spanish Coffee on fire! Before you strike a match, there are a few things you need to do:
- Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. If you've never made a flaming cocktail before, please don't skip this step!
- Move any highly flammable objects away from the area in which you'll light the cocktail.
- Prepare your spices by either unscrewing the caps of their canisters (preferably with a perforated lid for dusting spices over the drink) or by placing them in a small bowl.
- Remove the screw tops from you liqueurs and place them nearby, but in a spot where they won't tip over while your drink is on fire.
- Move your brewed coffee to a spot near the glass.
- Turn down the lights in the room. (It will look more dramatic this way.)
- Pour the 151-proof rum into the wine glass.
- Roll up your sleeves and (if necessary) tie back your hair.
OK, now you're ready to light the drink on fire!Continue to 4 of 6 below.
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Light Your Spanish Coffee Cocktail on Fire
This part is a little tricky, so take a deep breath and keep your cool.
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- Tilt the glass at a 45-degree angle. With a long match or lighter, light the rum on fire. Don't be startled if it lights on fire before the fire touches the rum—this is normal.
- Return the glass to its vertical position and place it on a flat surface. If you used a match to light the fire, blow the match out.
- With your hand flat and facing down toward the table, hold the stem of the glass firmly between your index and middle fingers. Moving your hand in a circular motion, swirl the flaming rum in the glass to caramelize the sugar.
- Once the sugar is mostly caramelized, sprinkle the ground nutmeg and cinnamon over the drink. (The spices will flavor the drink and add dramatic sparks to the preparation of your cocktail.)
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Put out the Fire in Your Spanish Coffee Cocktail
Quickly and carefully pour the desired liqueurs and/or liquors on top of the cocktail. (Do not pour from too high or the flaming rum may splash out of the glass.) Do not worry if the liquid is boiling at first. It will cool down as you add more ingredients.
Once you have added the liqueurs/liquors and coffee, the glass should be 2/3 full or fuller.Continue to 6 of 6 below.
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Garnish Your Spanish Coffee Cocktail
After the fire is out, your Flaming Spanish Coffee Cocktail is nearly complete. However, you still have the chance to get creative. You can mix and match the toppings of your choice. Select from the following garnishes:
- Whipped cream or heavy cream
- Ground cinnamon and/or nutmeg
- Grated citrus zest
- Chocolate shavings or a drizzle of chocolate syrup
- A brandied cherry (or a maraschino cherry)
Once you've topped your drink, it's ready to enjoy. Just be careful—it's probably still very hot!