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28 May, 2021 | Bon Tea Cafe Updated 2021

Simple Ways To Make Flaming Spanish Coffee [+ Vital Tips]

Almost everyone loves coffee, fire, and liqueur. But when these three different things come together as ingredients, they become one dazzling drink, and the effect is staggering. If you've not tried a Spanish coffee drink before, this may be the best time to do so. 

If you want to delight your friends and colleagues with fiery performance, the flaming Spanish coffee recipe is for you. You also get the taste of a delicious coffee and the kick of a stiff drink. Simply put, you get the best of both worlds. 

With that said, let’s find out the simple ways Spanish coffee recipe and essential tips you need to know. 

What is Spanish Coffee? 

Generally, there are numerous variations, but the beverage is a Spanish coffee cocktail prepared with rum, coffee liqueur, and coffee. It’s usually topped in extravagant ways with things such as whipped cream, maraschino cherry, and chocolate syrup or shavings. 

You get to another level when you add Spanish coffee cake. It’s ideal for special parties and dinners. 

What Is Flaming Spanish Coffee? 

With this type of beverage, coffee, coffee liqueur, and rum are still present, including those delicious toppings. But there's one crucial element that needs to be added, and that's fire! You heard it right. You put the Spanish coffee on the fire. 

Apart from the awesome vibe, the fire helps the sugar caramelize on the rim of the glass. That brings out the unique aroma of the spices. If you want to light the beverage at room temperature, you have to get an overproof rum. 

It’s sometimes labeled 151 proof rum. The regular ones that are around 80 proof rum won’t light up unless it’s warmed. 

Why Is The American Drink Called Spanish Coffee? 

spanish coffee

Yes. The Spanish coffee drink is an American drink. The concept of spiked coffee extends over liquors and cultures, from traditional amaretto coffee to Irish coffee. 

The Spanish version of the drink is called carajillo, which is popular in Spain and Latin American countries such as Colombia, Mexico, and Cuba. Every country uses its liqueur. Spain uses brandy, and Mexico uses Licor 43, which is a bright yellow vanilla liqueur. 

So Spanish coffee is an American adaptation of the carajillo. It was invented in Portland at Huber’s Bar in the 1970s by James Louie. 

Spanish Coffee Ingredients And Equipment 

Before we go through the process of making coffee, you’ll need the Spanish coffee ingredients below. These will help you make the recipe at home. The ingredients are: 

  • Coffee. You can use any strong coffee
  • Kahlua or any coffee liqueur such as Tia Maria 
  • Orange liqueur such as Grand Marnier, Cointreau, Triple Sec. 
  • Rum. For the home method, use aged rum. For the bar method, use 151 rum.
  • Lemon and sugar for preparing the rim 
  • Homemade whipped cream. Get a heavy whipped cream and powdered sugar. 
  • Kitchen torch for home method. Lighter for bar method.

How To Make The Caramelized Rim 

These Spanish coffee ingredients require putting rum on fire to make the caramelized glass rim. Now, if you’re not careful, the glass can shatter if you pour the coffee in. So you need to be careful. After all, it is fire. 

The flaming method also requires some practice, and it's not ideal for a crowd. Due to this, we recommend using the kitchen torch, should you use our method. Here are two ways to try out. 

Method 1 

The best way to make homemade Spanish coffee is to use a kitchen torch. It ensures that your glass doesn’t break. It’s also the safest method, plus it’s simpler and faster to make, especially for multiple servings. 

Method 2

Another method is to use the traditional bar method, which uses 151 rum and a lighter. If you prefer the conventional way, proceed with it. Before it lights, you need 151 rum proof. Preferably, use a thin glass so that the caramelization occurs faster. 

When the glass is thicker, it takes longer for the glass to heat up. Plus, it gets hotter, which can cause the glass to break. 

Essential Tips On The Homemade Whipped Cream 

You have the option to purchase whipped cream from your local store. But if you take the trouble to make a Spanish coffee recipe, making whipped cream takes it to the next level. All you need is heavy whipping cream and powdered sugar. That sweetens the mixture. 

It takes about 1-2 minutes to whisk by hand. You can use coconut milk or coconut cream as a dairy-free alternative. Below are some ways to make homemade whipped cream: 

Classic Whipped Cream 

spanish coffee ingredients

Make sure to use the cream that’s fresh because it whips faster and has the best texture. Using old cream makes it too dense. Whip it until soft peaks, which becomes the right texture for it to float on top of the drink. 

Dairy-Free Whipped Cream 

You can also make dairy-free whipped cream at home. If you want a thick whip, we recommend using coconut cream or coconut milk. 

How To Make Spanish Coffee 

If you haven’t lit an alcoholic drink on fire before, you need to be extra careful. Also, make sure that your kids or pets are not in the kitchen. Don't wear flammable clothes and no flammable bottles near the preparation area. Always put on an apron and shoes at all times. 

With that said, let’s begin. 


For the Spanish coffee cocktail: 

  • 1-2 ounces of coffee liqueur (room temperature Cointreau, Amaretto, or Kahlua
  • 1-2 ounces of rum 
  • 3 ounces of dark brewed coffee (lukewarm) 

For the glass: 

  • Two tablespoons of sugar (spiced sugar or brown sugar) 
  • Two tablespoons of lemon juice 
  • One pinch of ground nutmeg 
  • One pinch of cinnamon 

For the garnishes: 

These are optional choices: whipped cream, ground nutmeg, chocolate shavings, ground cinnamon, zest of lemon, orange or lime, chocolate syrup, maraschino cherries (or brandied cherries). 

Steps To Make Spanish Coffee 

  1. Gather all the Spanish coffee ingredients. 
  2. Measure the coffee liqueur, brewed coffee, and rum in separate cups, and keep the spices close by. 
  3. Rim a wine glass that's heat-resistant with lemon juice and sugar. Put the lemon juice in a shallow bowl. The sugar should be in another bowl as well. Immerse the rim of the glass into the lemon juice, and while it's wet, place it into the sugar. 
  4. Pour the rum into the wine glass. 
  5. With caution, slant the glass to a 45-degree angle. Light the rum on fire, preferably with a long lighter or match. Maintain a reasonable distance away from your hair and face. Sometimes it can light on fire before it touches the rum. It's normal. 
  6. Place the glass on a flat surface in vertical form. Firmly hold the stem of the glass between your middle and index fingers. Move your hand in a circular motion. That will cause the flaming rum to caramelize the sugar. 
  7. When the sugar gets caramelized chiefly, sprinkle the ground cinnamon and ground nutmeg over the drink. The spices will add visual sparks and flavor to the drink as you prepare your Spanish coffee cocktail. 
  8. Pour the preferred coffee liquor on top of the cocktail. Don't worry if the liquid boils too fast. The more ingredients you add, the cooler it becomes. Add this rate; the glass should be two-thirds full. 
  9. When the fire goes out, the cocktail will be done. You can add one or multiple garnishes to complete it. That’s it! You have your Spanish coffee drink. Take care when sipping because it might still be hot. You can finish it off with a Spanish coffee cake if you like. 


You may have to make the Spanish coffee multiple times before you get the hang of it, but it's worth it. However, proceed with caution when preparing the beverage. Make sure that your children are not close by, as fires can be dangerous. 

As a dessert, you can always opt for Spanish coffee cake. If you want to order your favorite coffee online now, contact us. We’ll deliver them to you at your most convenient.