If you ever had atomic fireballs as a kid or had a shot of fireball whiskey, you know there is nothing quite like the burn of cinnamon. And while I live fireball whiskey and think it is a well made product, I have one big issue with it: the price. At around $16-20/fifth, the quality of the whiskey doesn’t quite justify it’s cost even with it’s amazing cinnamon flavor. With it a bit of experimenting, I came up with a recipe using in infusion to make my own version of fireball cinnamon whiskey.
Cinnamon (Fireball) Whiskey (unsweetened)
- 1 fifth cheap whiskey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
If you like your cinnamon whiskey nice a strong but think Fireball is to sweet, than this is the drink for you. Simply drop the cinnamon sticks into a bottle or jar, add the whiskey, and shake daily while storing in a dark environment for 2-4 weeks (to taste). This will yield an 80 proof whiskey for your shooting or mixing pleasure. The best part of this process is that you can use each set of cinnamon sticks for several batches of cinnamon whiskey as they will hold their flavor for numerous infusions.
Cinnamon (Fireball) Whiskey (sweetened)
- 650ml cheap whiskey
- 3 cinnamon sticks
- 100ml simple syrup
I have found this to be the perfect amount of sweetness for those who love Fireball and it knocks it down to right around 70 proof (the same as Fireball itself). It is easiest to make a batch of the unsweetened and then pour 650ml into another bottle and add 100ml of simple syrup. I have found that if you add the simple syrup while still warm and shake thoroughly, it will mix and stay mixed until it is consumed. If you are in need of a good bottle for storage purposes, Ikea makes a great $4 e called the Korken that holds 1 liter.
I have used three different whiskeys so far to make cinnamon whiskey. If you wanted to make a truly authentic duplicate of Fireball, you should probably use a blended Canadian Whiskey as Fireball is in fact a product of Canada. But as I prefer bourbon, that is what I used in my test runs. The first batch used Setter Bourbon, a cheap plastic handle which can be picked up for around $13. The second batch used Heaven Hill, another cheap bourbon in the same price range. The third and so far final batch used McAfee Benchmark No. 8, my go to cheap bourbon of choice ($9-10/fifth, $16/handle). I found that while the first two batches were enjoyable, they were a bit too rough around the ages to drink straight. They worked well when mixed, but just didn’t have the same burningly smooth finish that one can expect from Fireball. However my final batch with McAfee Benchmark was quite smooth, so smooth that it is enjoyable to shoot or even sip. I highly recommend it.