Fireball Whisky and I have a love-hate relationship; I love to hate it. At first Fireball shot, its sweet cinnamon flavor may fool you into believing it tastes like heaven, but then the burning sensation kicks in like a cruel joke. Still, there is no denying this fiery liquid is igniting bars and college dorms across the country. If there were one liquor meant to get the party started, Fireball is the official choice.
Of course, we wouldn’t want you to party without a little trivia to go along with it. From the origins to its multi-million dollar profit, here are 10 fun facts about Fireball Cinnamon Whisky you can bust out next time someone starts pouring the shots.
1. Its motto couldn’t be more accurate.
“Tastes Like Heaven, Burns Like Hell” sums up Fireball in a nut shell, or at least the second part does. While not everyone may be a fan of downing shots of cinnamon flavored whisky, no one can deny the latter part. True to its name, Fireball does in fact “burn like hell.”
To combat the burn, try whipping up a few Fireball whisky cocktails; Fireball is one of the best mixed drinks ingredients out there. Add it to a batch of Apple Pie Moonshine to really up the cinnamon flavor.
2. Fireball is not the original name.
When Fireball was first thrust upon the drinking world, it was known as Dr. McGillicuddy’s Fireball Cinnamon Whiskey, named after the mythical legend of Dr. Aloysius Percival McGillicuddy. According to legend, Dr. McGillicuddy was a bartender who won a saloon in a duel.
While he is now long and gone, his spirit was meant to live on through Dr.McGillicuddy’s. It wasn’t until the 2000s that marketing would change its name when the flavored whiskey began to take over.
A Canadian bartender developed Fireball during an Arctic blast, and ever since, Canadians have been using it to conquer their coldest winters.
3. It has Canadian roots.
Judging by all the hype, it’s easy to assume that Fireball is an American product, but it’s not. It’s actually the Canadians that came up with this fiery, warming liquor. Born in the mid-1980s, the Canadian whisky mixed with cinnamon flavoring was only popular in Canada.
It wasn’t until 2007 after Seagrams sold their entire McGillicuddy lineup (flavored whiskey, flavored schnapps, and all) to the Sazerac company that it came to the states. For that, you can either thank or blame Seagrams for unleashing this fire-breathing dragon on your life.
4. Fireball Whisky tastes better with GoPro.
Ok, it may not taste better with a GoPro, but it’s a damn clever idea that’s way more entertaining than watching your buddy take a shot the normal way.
Strapping a GoPro camera to a bottle of Fireball, a wedding party has at it, getting up close and personal with a hilarious video of guests downing the stuff. Did anyone get a good shot of grandma? That would be priceless. Take a look at the video here.
5. Speaking of grandmas, they like Fireball, too.
Can you image your own grandma sipping on a shot of Fireball? Neither can I. But OBSEV decided to put a few grandma’s to the test to see what their reaction was to Fireball.
Surprisingly, they liked it. They even went back for seconds. Watch these adventurous grandmas try Fireball here.
6. Fireball has its own game.
Because taking shots of essentially red hots candy isn’t fun enough, they’ve gone and invented a game for your phone – proving there is an app for everything. I know what you’re thinking, the game probably involves some version of an interactive drinking game that counts up the shots you take until you breathe fire. While you’re not going to be breathing fire, the drinking part isn’t far off.
What sounds like the sponsor branded adult version of Truth & Dare, the game is called “Dragons, Dice & Dares.” Dice-rolling, card-flipping, and dragon slaying are all components of the game that you and your five closest drinking buddies can get in on. If curiosity is crippling your brain, you can download the free app.
7. Fireball Whiskey sales keep skyrocketing.
Maybe it was the smart marketing plan to infiltrate bars across Nashville and Austin with rounds of shots, or maybe it was targeting the college demographic who already likes to mask their liquor, but whatever it was, in the early 2010s, Fireball business proved to be booming.
In 2011, Fireball sales accounted for $1.6 million dollars. Not bad. But Fireball knew it could do better. In two years time by 2013 sales increased exponentially, reaching $61 million. By the way, that number doesn’t even include bar shots.
8. It was voluntarily recalled in three countries due to a recipe-related issue.
While sales in 2013 were damn good, Fireball hit some backlash in 2014 after countries discovered that Propylene Glycol was a listed ingredient. Norway, Sweden, and Finland recalled bottles of Fireball since the chemical is used in some forms of anti-freeze. The Huffington Post reported at the time of the recall that the countries “recalled the popular cinnamon-flavored liqueur — a trendy favorite of sweet-toothed college students — after a batch of the North American recipe, which contains higher levels of propylene glycol, was shipped there.” The recipe was corrected and returned to the countries without issue.
As a Fireball representative reached out to tell us, the chemical is used in thousands of food and beverage products in the United States and in fact is the only grade application appropriate for food due to strict handling practices. Their use of the chemical is “different than the grade used for industrial applications” and it is a harmless flavoring ingredient. Fireball no longer contains PG, though, so you can sip easy.
9. Like your spirit animal, your Fireball drink says a lot about you.
Fireball doesn’t want to just shove burning shots of cinnamon whisky down your throat, they want to help guide you on your quest towards better drinking. That’s why they came up with a clever little quiz to help determine “Which Drink are You?”
From your ideal first date of wrestling a live alligator in a pool of hot sauce to dreaming of unicorns, the quiz investigates the inner depths of your soul – or really your sense of humor. Curious as to your Fireball cocktail of choice? Take the quiz here.
10. America loves Fireball, a lot.
From Alaska to Maine, people love Fireball. I mean, they really love Fireball. When ranking favorite liquors according to state, social app BARTENDr found that Fireball ranked one of the highest across the country. The favorite liquor of thirteen states, this Canadian whisky is truly on fire. Sorry, couldn’t resist.