Fireball Whiskey is the hot (literally!) new trend sweeping the flavored shot market. While it is unlikely to draw in crusty, diehard disciples of single malts, it is rapidly becoming a favorite of youthful crowds in places like college bars and ski lodges. In fact the resemblance to an authentic whiskey taste is fleeting at best. Instead, as the name implies, Fireball Whiskey is like drinking a liquid version of the Atomic Fireball candy that most of us remember from our youth. Just try to imagine that candy coming in a 66 proof version!
Fireball Whiskey Origins
According to (marketing) legend, the origin of Fireball Whiskey is somewhat vague. It traces it back to Canada in the mid-1980’s during one of the coldest winters on record. It spent a number of years as a semi-secret concoction before a few bottles found their way south to the U.S.. Since that time, popularity exploded and the manufacturers claim to have difficulty keeping up with demand! In reality, Fireball Whiskey is a cinnamon-infused Canadian whisky produced by the Sazerac Company out of New Orleans. Some compare it to Goldschlager, a high proof cinnamon schnapps that appeared on the scene some 20 years. Others liken it to DeKuyper’s Hot Damn. Fireball Whiskey generally retails for approximately $20 for a 750 ml bottle and is currently available in Canada, the U.S., England, Sweden, Norway and Finland.
Ignite the Night
With a strong cinnamon taste that goes far in concealing its corn whiskey origins, Fireball playfully challenges us to “Ignite the Night.” Indeed, it looks like whiskey, however once one samples a shot, all similarities stop there. It is described as simultaneously hot and cold, smooth yet with a bite, and sweet but spicy. Fireball fanatics recommend that it be stored in the freezer until use, thus maximizing the pleasure of the much-touted burn from the cinnamon with the cold bite of whiskey at the end. While most will say that straight shots are the only way to go, there are several interesting cocktail formats in circulation:
1.5 oz Monarch Hazelnut Liqueur
2 oz Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
1 tablespoon honey
3 whole cloves
Hot water to top
Combine all ingredients in an Irish coffee mug and stir well.
3 oz Korbel Brandy
2 oz blended scotch whiskey
2 dashes Paychauds bitters
2 oz Fireball Whiskey
Combine ingredients in a rocks glass with a single ice cube. Gently stir and serve.
2 oz Fireball Whiskey
1 oz Grand Monarch Orange Liqueur
1 dash of ginger ale
Combine in a martini glass filled with crushed ice and stir
Something Out Of The Ordinary
There have been many “fad” beverages come and go over the years, however the cult-like popularity of Fireball Whiskey implies that it is here for the duration. So whether you prefer your libations in a hot or cold format, shooters or cocktails; the next time you are looking to try something out of the ordinary, be sure to look for the distinctive yellow and red Fireball Whiskey label and strap yourself in for a truly unique taste adventure!
Here’s more information.