Here's How to Make Flambé Mayan Coffee [Don't Try This at Home, Seriously]


Back in March I traveled to Cancun to check out the The Cancun-Riviera Maya Wine & Food Festival. The experience was a spring break whirlwind of sorts -- filled with vivid memories of Yogi Bear dry-humping Spiderman (don't ask), azure beaches, and some of the most exquisite food I've ever tasted.

One of my favorite experiences took place the first night I arrived at Fiesta Americana Grand Coral Beach Resort. It was unexpectedly windy when the taxi rolled up to the resort and due to a delayed flight, I was running a few hours late for a press dinner. After throwing my bags into my room, I rushed back into the lobby to meet up with Jacqueline, the PR gal of Fiesta. Within moments she read my mind, that clever girl, and introduced me to Mayan Coffee.

Uh, lowkey mindblown and quite possibly the only way coffee should ever be consumed. The drink features  Xtabentún, an anise liqueur made in the Yucatán region of Mexico and derived from anise seed, fermented with honey made from the nectar of xtabentún flowers and mixed with rum.

The process of making "Flambé Mayan Coffee," as the name suggests, involves a skillful use of flames. So, I don't recommend trying this at home unless you're a skilled professional and know what you're doing. Aka, no drunken attempts at faux bartending swag here. Recipe below.

 Flambé Mayan Coffee



  • 1/2 oz Xtabentun liquor
  • 1/2 oz Kahlua
  • I cup brewed coffee
  • 1 scoop vanilla ice cream
  • orange slices
  • sugar


  • Crystal Goblet
  • Sauce boats (must be fireproof!)
  • Flame

Here's what you need to to . . . 

1. Moisten the rim of your glass by rubbing it with an orange slice.


2. Roll the rim of the glass in sugar.

3. Warm the goblet and sauce boat gently in flame.

4. Pour the coffee into the cup, leaving about two inches room for the ice cream and liqueurs.

5. Pour the Xtabentun and Kahlua into one of the sauce boats and light the spirits using the flame.

6. Pour the flaming spirits from one sauce boat into the other and then pour into the goblet.

7. Carefully spoon the ice cream into the coffee so that it floats and begins to melt. Do not stir.

8. Drank.

Kudos to the wonderful hospitality at Fiesta, without these lovely ladies and gents, I never would have discovered this heavenly drink.