Queimada: The Drink of Friday the 13th

On Haunt Jaunts today I published “Montalegre: The Spookiest Place To Spend Friday The 13th?

It’s about how Montalegre, Portugal, celebrates each Friday the 13th in Halloween style. There’s costumes, performances, music, and a fiery drink to drive the devil away. (Or as CataVino called it, “A Galacian fortified witches brew.”)

It’s called “Queimada” and is also known as the Galician Fire Drink. (For good reason. It sounds like the strong spirits used to make it would cause a fire in your belly, but they also use fire to make the drink.)

Traditionally you also say a spell while making it to add protection from evil spirits and to banish evil from whoever drinks it. (See why all this appealed to me?)

In one post I read that mentioned the drink, they said for Sexta 13 (aka Friday the 13th in Portuguese), the drink is prepared in a cauldron, but Wikipedia said it’s traditionally prepared in a hollow pumpkin. The Matador Network described it being prepared in a clay pot.

I’m not entirely sure what it’s prepared in, but here are the ingredients:

  • Augardente de Orujo
  • herbs or coffee
  • sugar
  • lemon peel
  • coffee beans
  • cinnamon

Here’s the instruction for making it from Spanish Wines:

Some of this liquor is put into a clay pot, along with some pieces of lemon peel, sugar and some coffee beans. The alcoholic mixture is then set on fire. After a while, once the flames from the pot turn blue, the flame is extinguished and the drink is then served in small ceramic mugs.

The drink is then served warm once the flames have been completely put out, including with the pieces of lemon and coffee beans.

And here’s what they had to say about making it using a pumpkin:

In some places in Galicia, the traditional way of preparing the queimada drink is inside a pumpkin which has been cut open at the top and emptied of seeds and flesh – a bit like you do when you make a jack-o-lantern at Halloween. By doing this, they make sure that the drink also acquires some of the flavours of the pumpkin – meaning that the pumpkin is both a utensil and an ingredient.

This spectacle is extremely exciting and it is often best seen at night, when the blue flames look their most impressive.

I’d love to see that! I may have to experiment with this come pumpkin season! (Not so much to taste the drink. I’m really not that big of a drinker. But I’d love to see the blue flames!)

Food Network has a recipe for Queimada too.

Their version includes most of the same ingredients, excepts adds apples and uses Spanish brandy and dry red wine for the alcohol.

But you still get to set it on fire.

I’ll have an extinguisher at the ready!

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