Food & Drink

Fireball Is the Michael Bay Of Liquor. Make the Wes Anderson Version

For the uninitiated, Fireball is a drink that tastes like Red Hot candies and booze had a baby. A rude, rowdy baby that buys rounds of shots at 2am. This decoction, which claims that "tastes like heaven, burns like hell" is now one of the top 10 spirits sold in the U.S.

Despite the fact that Fireball calls itself "cinnamon whiskey," at 66 proof and a large smack of sugar per serving, Fireball is a liqueur. We can't speak for everyone, but if our choice is to do a shot of actual whiskey, or a shot of liqueur, we're going whiskey every time.

But that doesn't mean you have to wean yourself off the hot stuff. You can make your own high-quality cinnamon whiskey by making just one ingredient: cinnamon syrup.

How to make your own high-quality Fireball facsimile:

Ingredients:
One 750ml bottle of decent (but not high-end) bourbon.
(We recommend Wild Turkey or Four Roses Yellow Label)
Half a cup of water
Half a cup of sugar
3 cinnamon sticks
1 Teaspoon Cinnamon Extract

To make the cinnamon syrup, combine the sugar, water and cinnamon sticks in a saucepan over medium heat. Stir the syrup until the edge of a boil. At this point, all of the sugar should have dissolved, leaving a clear liquid. Let it cool, then pour the syrup (with the cinnamon sticks) into a Mason jar. Close and refrigerate for 24 hours, then strain out the cinnamon sticks and add the cinnamon extract.

This recipe yields about a cup of syrup, slightly more than you need for a bottle of cinnamon whiskey. We left some wiggle so you can dial the sweetness and bite up or down, according to your taste.

To assemble, you'll need to get rid of some of that pesky whisky in the bottle. We recommend you do this by measuring out 6.5 oz of bourbon, dividing it between two ice-filled glasses, then offering one to a friend. Toasting your resourcefulness and good taste is optional, but recommended.

Now, pour 6.5 oz of your cinnamon syrup into that bourbon bottle. Replace the cap and shake vigorously (the bottle, that is).

And that’s it. Your bourbon just became a damn fine cinnamon whiskey. Enjoy as a shot, on the rocks, or in cocktails. In the summer we like a Cinnamon Whiskey Sour. In the winter, cinnamon whiskey makes the best Hot Toddy you’ve ever tasted (make sure you leave out the honey or it will be too sweet). And stay away from rowdy babies. Not only do they never, ever pick up the check, but you're the one who always has to clean them up and get them home.