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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

The Bloomington Coffee-A Festive Cocktail For Wintertime

Do you love to play with fire? This fancy coffee drink involves lighting rum on fire, and caramelizing sugar in your glass.

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    Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

    Lighting the rum warms the glass and caramelizes the sugar lining the rim. It's also a lot of fun.

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    Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

    If you pour the rum slowly over the back of a spoon, you can get it to float on top of the coffee liqueur.

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    Photo: Eoban Binder/WFIU

    The tricky part is pouring the coffee along the side of the glass without putting the flame out, and without burning yourself (Spradley does not recommend trying this part at home). , To play it safe, you can blow out the flame before pouring in the coffee.

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    Photo: Eoban Binder

    The lemon is the perfect accent to this coffee-rich cocktail.

Doug Spradley is the Head Bartender at Farm Bloomington Restaurant. He shared his recipe for a beautiful cocktail, complete with dancing blue flames, and house-made whip cream.

The Bloomington Coffee


  • 2 oz Cardinal Songbird Spirits Coffee Liqueur
  • 1.5 oz El Dorado Rum
  • 4 oz brewed coffee (more or less, to taste)
  • cream, freshly whipped or in a pressurized canister
  • sugar
  • lemon wedge


  1. Run the lemon wedge around the rim of the glass. Put a tablespoon or so of sugar onto a small plate and dip the top of the glass into the sugar. Coat the rim of the glass fully with the sugar.
  2. Pour the 2 oz of coffee liqueur into the glass.
  3. Slowly pour the rum over the back of a spoon, so that it floats on top of the liqueur.
  4. Light a bamboo skewer or long match, and lower it into the glass to light up the rum.
  5. Allow the rum to burn for a few minutes, caramelizing the sugar along the inside rim of the glass.
  6. Either blow out the flame and add the coffee, or, if you are feeling adventuresome, pour it slowly along the side of the glass (being careful not to burn yourself) allowing the flame to remain a bit longer. When the flame burns out, add the whipped cream and garnish with the lemon wedge.

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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