Housemade Fireball Takes Over Artisanal Cocktail Bars

Housemade Fireball Takes Over Artisanal Cocktail Bars


Whether you love it or loathe it, Fireball is one of the hottest shots around right now. Maybe it's your punctuation mark to a long night or maybe the smell is reminiscent of hangovers and bad choices. Either way, Fireball is taking over the bay, and now, top bartenders are mixing their own artisanal Fireball shots. For a grownup version of this college-friendly booze, head to these local SF bars. 


Swanky, modern lounge, Novela, is taking a break from its literary-themed cocktails to satisfy the masses with the Red Hot Rye — their very own take on the Fireball shot. After blending cinnamon-flavored candies with Dickel rye, Punchmeister Dillon Lockwood noticed that it needed to be both mellowed out in sweetness and kicked up in heat. He diluted the mixture with water and stirred in dried chipotle to get the final product. Turns out, candy in your cocktail makes for a shot that goes down smooth and begs to be ordered again. 662 Mission St.

Blackbird Bar 

Bar manager Matt Grippo makes an extra fiery version with 100 proof bourbon, cinnamon sticks, cinnamon tincture, honey, and a bit of Arbol chile to give it some real heat. What started as a joke because of the high demand for Fireball turned into a popular artisanal shot at this Castro bar. The first version he tested out was made with red hots, but Matt opted for the less artificial bright red and more spicy version he serves now. Blackbird Bar only makes a couple bottles at a time, but parties will drink up every last drop of the spicy-sweet stuff! 2124 Market St.

Trick Dog

Barmasters the Bon Vivants aren’t usually quick to follow suit. But when customers started requesting Fireball, they knew they’d have to create an alternative. Their spiced shot is inspired by Fireball, but gets a unique twist from Becherovka, an herbal liqueur made in the Czech Republic, which tastes like Christmas trees and cloves. Try their “Fireball” shot, a blend of Fighting Cock bourbon, Becherovka, and cinnamon syrup for a colorful take on the original. 3010 20th St.

Natoma Cabana 

Newly opened Fi-Di tropical bar, Natoma Cabana, knows something about crowd-pleasing sips. Bar owners Dennis Leary and Eric Passetti realized that demand for Fireball is high, so they make their own using Evan William bourbon, simple syrup, allspice dram, Scrappy's Firewater Bitters, and Big Red (yes, that spicy cinnamon gum). They make large batches to satisfy customers, but try making your own with their DIY recipe. 90 Natoma St.

Natoma Cabana's Fireball 

Serves 1

1/2 oz simple syrup
1/4 oz St. Elizabeth Allspice Dram
2 dash Scrappy's Firewater bitters
1 stick of Big Red

1. Combine and stir all ingredients together.

2. Refrigerate overnight.

3. Serve a 2 to 2 1/2-ounce pour in a 6-ounce rocks glass.

4. Shoot it!

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