Fireball Cinnamon Whisky

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Fireball Cinnamon Whisky
Type Flavored Canadian whisky liqueur
Manufacturer Sazerac Company
Country of origin Canada
Alcohol by volume 33%
Flavour cinnamon
Ingredients Canadian whisky

Fireball Cinnamon Whisky is a cinnamon-flavoured whisky-based liqueur produced by the Sazerac Company. Its foundation is Canadian whisky, and the taste otherwise resembles the candy with a similar name, Ferrara Candy Company's "Atomic Fireball" candy.[1] It is bottled at 33% alcohol by volume (66 U.S. proof).[2]

According to the official Fireball website, the product was developed in Canada in the mid-1980s, and for a long time was little known outside of Canada.[3] Fireball is now widely available in Canada, the United States, and the United Kingdom, and can also be found in Israel, Norway, Sweden, Finland, Germany, France, Australia, Ireland,[4] and various other countries.[5]


The product was originally part of a line of flavored schnapps developed by Seagram in the mid-1980s.[2] The manufacturer's story line is, in part, that it was the product of a Canadian bartender's efforts to warm up from an Arctic blast. The Sazerac Company purchased the brand rights and formula from Seagram in 1989.[2]

It was originally marketed as "Dr. McGillicuddy's Fireball Whisky".[2] Ostensibly, the named doctor was Dr. Aloysius Percival McGillicuddy, more commonly referred to as "the shot doctor"[2] who was "born" in the year 1808.[6][A] Later, in 2006, the product was rebranded as "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky".

"It’s also one of the most successful liquor brands in decades. In 2011, Fireball accounted for a mere $1.9 million in sales in U.S. gas stations, convenience stores, and supermarkets, according to IRI, a Chicago-based market research firm. Last year [2013], sales leapt to $61 million, passing Jameson Irish whiskey and Patrón tequila."[2] In 2012 and 2013, the product had a surge in popularity, which the company achieved by using social media, cultivating bartenders, word of mouth, and a relatively small advertising budget.[1][7] In 2013, it became one of the top ten most popular liquors, displacing Jose Cuervo Tequila.[8] Based on current trends, it is in a position to overtake Jägermeister in popularity.[2]

In early 2012, the Sazerac company sued Hood River Distillers over the allegedly confusing trade name and marketing of its product, SinFire Cinnamon Whisky.[9][10][11]

Similar products[edit]

Cinnamon has become an important flavoring for many kinds of liquor, and is touted as a way to increase sales.

Somewhat similar products — Red Stag Spiced by Jim Beam, DeKuyper Hot Damn!, Gold Strike cinnamon liqueur containing gold snippets produced by Lucas Bols, and Goldschlager Cinnamon Schnapps containing gold flecks — which also have cinnamon as an ingredient in high potency liqueurs.

Joining the 'cinnamon-liquor band wagon' are products that feature cinnamon-infused vodka, including Smirnoff's Cinna-Sugar Twist.[12] In November 2013, Beam's Pinnacle Vodka and Cinnabon teamed up to introduce their own brand of cinnamon flavored vodka, Cinnabon Vodka.[B][13] Yet another is Stolichnaya Zinamom Vodka.[14][15]

A "sprinkle" of cinnamon and real cream is combined with Virgin Islands rum in Chila 'Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum.[16][17]

The first cinnamon flavored Tequila is Peligroso Cinnamon Tequila — made from 100% Blue Agave — launched in March, 2013.[18] However, a cinnamon cream tequila liquer expression called Hot Rose — made by McCormick Distilling Company of Missouri with a unique plastic package[C] — antedates Peligroso.[18][19] A follower is Jose Cuervo's Cinge.[20][21][22][D]

Rakomelo, that is Cinnamon and honey[23] brandy concoctions, called "Cinnamon liqueur" and made with Rakı[24] or Tsipouro, are popular in parts of Greece.[25][26][27]

For those who wish to make their own "cinnamon liqueur" there is much controversy concerning the proper ingredients.[28] Particularly, some purported "cinnamon" (that found in "cinnamon sticks") isn't in fact cinnamon, as the latter may be banned or limited in some countries due to the presence of coumarin.[29][E]

Fireball has been compared to Yukon Jack, "the black sheep of Canadian whiskeys" which is chiefly a concoction with honey and whiskey, and lacks any cinnamon.[7]


"Straight shots" or on the rocks are preferred methods to drink it.[1] The Sazerac website offers this helpful data point about its fireball blend, "The cinnamon flavor is often used for shooters but can add character to a mixed drink."[7]

However, various cocktails also use Fireball as an ingredient,[30] and the company has encouraged the development of such cocktails.[1] They include "Cinna-Rita", "Fire Nut Ball", "Hot Cherry Fizz", "Red Apple Spice", and "Ring-of-Fire".[31] Another is a blend of Irish coffee called "Fire Starter Coffee".[32] An "Angry Balls" mixer is a combination of Angry orchard cider and Fireball cinnamon whisky.[citation needed] Listed concoctions made with Fireball include: 1. The Hotter Toddy (tea, honey, lemon; 2. Ciderball {hard cider); 3. The Drunken Dessert (hot chocolate); 4. The Ultimate French Toast Shot (Butterscotch Liqueur, Baileys Irish Cream); and 5. The F-Bomb {Red Bull).[30] The latter energy drink bomb shot may be compared to the Jägerbomb.

Awards and accolades[edit]

In popular culture[edit]

  • It is the whiskey referred to in the Florida Georgia Line song "Round Here" (which says "That Fireball Whiskey whispers Temptation in my ear"[33]).[F]
  • The name is used as a metaphor, and the bottle itself is prominently placed in Charlene Marie's Cinnamon Whisky, which eponymously references the product.[34]

Parmalee wrote a parody to the Miley Cyrus song Wrecking Ball, called "Fireball" which is about the whiskey.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ See his apocryphal will where he "present[s] the recipe for Dr. McGillicuddy’s Schnapps, whose intense taste made me a bit of a legend in these parts." "Dr. Aloysius McGilicuddy". October 20, 2008. Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  2. ^ It "offers lip-smacking indulgence that combines the decadent flavors of cinnamon, brown sugar and rich cream cheese frosting with hints of caramel to create a taste reminiscent of warm, freshly baked cinnamon rolls. At 70-proof, the product is smooth, five-times distilled and can be served chilled, on the rocks or mixed in festive cocktails at any brunch or get-together." "Pinnacle Vodka and Cinnabon join forces to develop an industry-first vodka innovation" (Press release). Deerfield, IL. November 21, 2013. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  3. ^ "As for the flavor: I work with words a lot, but I don't have the verbiage necessary to convey just how bad a beverage this is. . . ." Norton, James (October 28, 2011). "Lube or Liqueur? I Couldn’t Tell". CHOW Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  4. ^ "If you're in the market for boozy Red Hots, Jose Cuervo's Cinge should do the trick. Clocking in at 35 percent alcohol by volume, this syrupy hooch has about as much in common with tequila as Fireball does with whiskey." Morgan, Tara (January 15, 2014). "Flavored Tequilas: Only for the adventurous (or young)". Boise Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  5. ^ Coumarin is currently listed by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) of the United States among "Substances Generally Prohibited From Direct Addition or Use as Human Food", according to 21 CFR 189.130 Food and Drug Administration but some natural additives containing coumarin, such as the flavorant sweet woodruff are allowed "in alcoholic beverages only" (21 CFR 172.510). In Europe, popular examples of such beverages are Maiwein (white wine with woodruff) and Żubrówka (vodka flavoured with bison grass). In the late 1970s, the latter drink disappeared from shelves in the United States, and it was thereafter renamed and reformulated for U.S. distribution. In addition to the Coumarin problem, American authorities determined that the trademark on Żubrówka brand was diluted and unenforceable, as it was a generic name, like "Aspirin". Michaels, Daniel (18 January 2011). "Name Your Poison: How a Banned Polish Vodka Buffaloed Its Way Into the U.S.". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  6. ^ Goldschläger may also have been referred to in the song "Hell raisin' heat of the summer" by Florida Georgia Line with the line "and the gold flakes glimmer in the cinnamon booze". As noted earlier, gold foil and cinnamon liquor appear in several products. In addition to the other listed gold-enhanced liquors, Goldwasser is from Poland and Schönbrunner Gold Liquer is from Austria, but neither is cinnamon-based.


  1. ^ a b c d Melendez, Elazar David (29 July 2013). "Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey Is The Most Popular Liquor Brand You've Never Heard of". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  2. ^ a b c d e f g Leonard, Devin (April 24, 2014). "Successful Marketing: Fireball Whisky: Selling a Brand, Shot by Shot". Bloomberg Business Week (Bloomberg News). Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Brand Portfolio Entry on official web site.
  4. ^ About Fireball Cinnamon Whisky on official web site.
  5. ^ Distributors list on official web site.
  6. ^ "Fireball Whisky". Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  7. ^ a b c Reidy, Chris (July 13, 2013). "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky sales may be hotter than last week's heat wave, firm says". Boston Globe. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  8. ^ "Fireball Cinnamon Whisky Cracks the Top Liquors". NeilsenTopTen. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  9. ^ Barrouquere, Brett (14 February 2012). "Fireball Whiskey vs. SinFire Whiskey: Sazerac, Inc. Sues Hood River Distillers for Cinnamon Whiskey Names". Huffington Post. Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  10. ^ Farrell, Kenan (21 December 2012). "Oregon Trademark Litigation Update --Sazerac Company v. Hood River Distillers". Oregon Intellectual Property Law. Retrieved 5 January 2014. 
  11. ^ Simpson, Judge Charles R. III (19 December 2012). "Sazerac Company, Inc. v. Hood River Distillers, Inc. - Document 37 Court Description: MEMORANDUM OPINION". Retrieved 5 January 2013. 
  12. ^ "Smirnoff Cinna-Sugar Twist". Smirnoff. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  13. ^ "5 Things You Didn't Know About Cinnabon". Huffington Post. August 20, 2014. Retrieved August 20, 2014. 
  14. ^ "Drinks containing Stolichnaya ( Stoli ) Zinamom Cinnamon Vodka". Bar None. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  15. ^ "2013 Stolichnaya expanding in local markets in four new flavours". JSC Latvijas balzams. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  16. ^ "Chila 'Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum 750ml". Crown Wine & Spirits. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  17. ^ "Chila 'Orchata Cinnamon Cream Rum home page". Sazerac Company. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  18. ^ a b Shaw, Lucy (March 12, 2013). "World's Fist Cinnamon Tequila Launched". Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  19. ^ Norton, James (October 28, 2011). "Lube or Liqueur? I Couldn’t Tell". CHOW Retrieved March 2, 2014. 
  20. ^ "Proximo To Spend $10 Million on Jose Cuervo Cinge Launch". Shanken News Daily. October 11, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  21. ^ Morgan, Tara (January 15, 2014). "Flavored Tequilas: Only for the adventurous (or young)". Boise Weekly. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  22. ^ Kleinman, Geoff (December 20, 2013). "Review: Jose Cuervo Cinge Cinnamon Flavored Tequila". Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Rakomelo, Raki & Honey Alcohol drink". Kreta Foods. 12 February 2011. Retrieved 4 March 2014. 
  24. ^ "Rakomello". Roots Premium Liquor. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  25. ^ "Rakomelo". Greek Federation of Spirits Producers. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  26. ^ "Where can you buy Green cinnamon brandy in the UK?". Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  27. ^ "Rakomelo a warming winter drink". The Great Greek Food. November 29, 2010. Retrieved March 3, 2014. 
  28. ^ McAfee, Nick (20 September 2013). "Sunday Funday: How to Make Fireball Whiskey at Home". Broke & Thirsty. Retrieved March 1, 2014. 
  29. ^ "How to make cinnamon liqueur or so I thought". 13 June 2010. Retrieved 6 January 2014. 
  30. ^ a b Hoare, Peter (January 9, 2014). "5 Awesome Drinks You Can Make With Fireball Cinnamon Whisky". Food & drinks. MTV. Retrieved June 17, 2014. 
  31. ^ "Ring of Fire Shot". Fireball Drinks. Retrieved September 1, 2014. 
  32. ^ "Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey". Retrieved July 30, 2013. 
  33. ^ Florida Georgia Line. "Round Here Lyrics". Retrieved July 31, 2013. 
  34. ^ Marie, Charlene. "Cinnamon Whisky (official music video)". YouTube. Retrieved March 2, 2014. 

External links[edit]