Queimada with the flame

Queimada Recipe: Make the Drink That Protects You From Evil Spirits

Halloween in Spain tends to be a three-day event celebrating the lives of those who have passed away. In Northern Spain, the festival tends to be primarily celebrated in a unique way. For instance, due to the region’s Celtic roots, Halloween is more popular and celebrated in Galicia. For this reason, you should seize the opportunity to take on an Autumn Camino. You could be lucky enough to sample a traditional alcoholic beverage called Queimada.

Halloween night is also known as Noite dos Calacús (Night of the Pumpkins) falls on October 31st. The celebrations include pumpkin carving, costumes, trick or treating and a ceremonious drink called Queimada. The drink which has high alcohol content is made with orujo, unground coffee beans, sugar, and lemon rind or orange peels. Now many families have a specially designed clay pot that comes with cups, to prepare the drink.

Whilst on your Camino, take the time to discover the flavours of Galician cuisine. Sample some Autumnal traditional sweet treats called “Huesos de Santo” (Bones of the Holy). They are homemade, tasty almond and marzipan sweets.

Queimada Recipe

The best time to serve the drink is at night or with the lights off. This is due to the caramelised sugar producing a pretty blue flame when lit on fire.

Fireproof clay pot
Long wooden ladle 
¼ cup of coffee beans
4 tablespoons sugar
A bottle of oruju (or Italian Grappa)
Coffee beans
Lemon rind or orange peels
Gloves (as a precaution) 
 (a little bit dangerous to make so be cautious)

Wear gloves
Place all ingredients in the clay pot
Pour some of the alcohol and put some extra sugar, wait until sugar is dissolved
Set alight
Place some of the alcohol and sugar in the ladle and drop it in the pot and repeat until spell complete

Note: This drink is not for the faint of heart, drink with caution.

Queimada Ceremony

The making and drinking of Queimada follow a ceremony or ritual that has a number of parts to it. After the Queimada is consumed, a spell called the esconxuro is read aloud. Consequently, the spell wards off evil spirits that want to curse the unfortunate souls that cross their path. Read more about the history of this ceremony in our blog post Queimada, the Ritual.

To illustrate what occurs during the ceremony, you can watch a snippet below.

Uncover Adventure on the Camino de Santiago at Halloween!

Since we began operating tours on the Camino de Santiago we have sent thousands of happy clients along the Way of Saint James. Our travel options include guided and self-guided options, with totally customisable trips to suit everyone.

Queimada is not the only Spanish drink we could show you how to make! Have you ever heard about Spanish Sangria? Go check it out!

Explore the Camino for yourself and find your mystery.

If you are interested in experiencing some of the Galician traditions at Halloween on your Camino – get in contact!

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