The perfect witch’s brew to serve at your Halloween party is a Galician drink called Queimada, the “fire drink.” Queimada is made with a spirit named Orujo, a strong liqueur similar to grappa, along with flavoring agents like coffee beans and lemon peel, and sugar.
Orujo is a traditional Galician spirit that is prepared from the remnants left during wine production. An integral part of the drink making is a ritual in which the drink is set afire at the time of preparation, and is traditionally consumed in a late night gathering with the goal of warding off evil spirits.
This is a very apropos drink for a late night outdoor Halloween party and, perhaps, drinking Queimada will ward off the evils of damage from Hurricane Sandy. A spell is chanted during preparation, and the ceremony is considered to confer special power on the Queimada as well as on those consuming it (excerpt from ifood.tv).
The ritual takes place outside, where everyone gathers in the dark. All the ingredients suggested by the recipe are taken in a large terracotta bowl. One person takes some of the liquid in a long ladle and sets it afire, holding it up and pouring it into the pot containing the rest of the liquid, reciting the spell at the same time. The flames look beautiful against the dark of the night, and everybody gathers around it, holding their terracotta or ceramic cups and reciting the spell. The drink is served after the flames die out.
Queimada (Recipe from About.com – Spanish Food)
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 12 minutes
- 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
This Queimada recipe makes about 8 servings
Special 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.
- 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.
- Pour approximately 4 Tbsp. orujo and 1 Tbsp. sugar into a small glass and stir to dissolve sugar, then set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
An optional recipe with more familiar ingredients is from Food Network kitchens.
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup Spanish brandy
- 1 cup dry red wine
- Peel of 1 small lemon
- 1/2 an apple, peeled, cored and cut in 4 wedges
- 2 teaspoons coffee beans
In a heavy skillet, dissolve the sugar in 1 tablespoon water. Cook until the sugar caramelizes to golden. Add brandy and stir. In a separate saucepan, heat the wine. Transfer the caramel/brandy mixture to a flameproof container. Add lemon peel, apple and coffee beans. Ignite with a match. After a couple minutes, put the flames out with the warmed red wine and serve in small glasses.
Suggested brandy to cook with: Felipe II Solera Reserva Augustin Blazquez.
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