Self described as, “what it feels like to stand face-to-face with a fire-breathing dragon who just ate a whisky barrel full of spicy cinnamon,” Fireball Cinnamon Whisky has grown to become one of the top selling Whisky brands in the United States. Over the last several years, the flavored Canadian Whisky brand has become more popular than Jagermeister when it comes to choosing a shot for a night out.
A mixture of Canadian whisky, cinnamon flavoring, and sweeteners, Fireball is bottle at 33% ABV (66 proof). The flavor is intended to resemble Ferrara Candy Company’s “Atomic Fireball” candy.
Generally drank as a shot, the flavored Whisky has also become a favorite ingredient for mixed drinks. If you’re looking to mix something up, the company recommends a Fireball Manhattan:
- 1 part Fireball whisky
- 1 part Buffalo Trace Bourbon
- Splash dry vermouth
- Dash Peychaud’s Bitters®
Pour all ingredients into a rocks glass over ice and stir.
Originally part of a line of flavored Schanapps created by Seagrams in the 1980s, the Sazerac Company purchased the brands rights and formula in 1989. As the story goes, the liqueur was created by a Canadian bartender in an effort to warm up from an Artic blast. Until 2007–when the company rebranded to its current name–the drink was known as “Dr. McGillicuddy’s Fireball Whisky”.
In 2011, “Fireball accounted for a mere $1.9 million in sales in U.S. gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets,” according to Bloomberg. Just two years later, the sales had jumped to $61 million. By 2015, the brand had sales in excess of $150 million. This was all done without a major advertising budget, with most of its growth being due to social media and word of mouth, with much of the effort due to Beer Can Alley, a Des Moines, Iowa Country bar.