Tiki-philes have their flaming spent lime shells and scorpion bowls. Classic cocktailers have the magic of a flamed orange zest. Molecular mixologists have their Smoking Guns. (and yes, frat boys have their flaming shots.) Even brunchtime drinkers have spicy Bloody Marys.
You don’t have to go full Blue Blazer, not nearly — heck, you could go full Fireball Whiskey! (or Fire Rock Pale Ale, etc..) You could riff on the Old Flame or come up with an inventive name of your own. You could even use a good firewater or burned wine. (and if you’re grilling fruit, save some for me, will ya?)
In essence, bring the heat! Bring the Fire! Bring your inspiration!
On a serious note: remember that lass in Britain who lost her stomach because the mixologists weren’t in control of the dangerous elements they were using in a cocktail? Let’s have none of that here, huh? There’s a lot more to Fire than just the electrochemical reactions happening on the end of a lit match. Stay safe and trust your gut about what you’re comfortable doing. We’re all here to have fun.
Now, I have a Smoking Gun and a chef’s torch that I’ve recently used in drinks for Young Frankenstein, so I didn’t want to head straight to those. I have used sriracha and tabasco in past recipes as well and I’ve infused with habaneros and jalepeños, too. So to get away from what I’ve done in the past (and, to be quite honest, I’m not a huge FAN of spicy drinks), I headed to the liquor store and grabbed a bottle of Fire Eater, a cinnamon whiskey liqueur. And that brought me to Heathing (please forgive the cheesy flames — as my photo turned out blurry I thought well why not make the whole thing crash and burn):
- 1.5 oz Fire Eater cinnamon whiskey liqueur
- 1.5 oz. pear liqueur (Mathilde)
- 0.5 oz. Campari
- 1 barspoon ginger honey balsamic
- 1 pinch Thai ginger salt
Stir with ice and strain into highball. Top with 3.0 oz. ginger ale (Q).
I pretty much always start with a standard base spirit, but for this, to counter the spiciness, and since it is outside the norm for me, I wanted to do a liqueur-based cocktail. Cinnamon and pear just sounded right to me, and to balance the sweetness I added a healthy dose of Campari. For some acid, I turned to a balsamic vinegar I had that also added ginger spiciness, and the salt enhanced all those flavors for me.
Originally, I used an extra dry ginger ale to top, and that was nice, but upon verification of the drink the next day I found I was out, so turned to a sweeter Q. Both offered nice end results, though I would probably opt for the less sweet, personally.
As for the name, I struggled a bit as the drink, although spicy, doesn’t earn the “fireball” sort of moniker. My children, though, were recently introduced to the movie Clue, so Madeline Kahn’s hilarious monologue describing the “flames.. flames.. on the side of my face” came to mind. I looked up the quote online and found that (at least in some accounts) she ends with “heaving breaths.. heathing…” before being cut off by Tim Curry. Whether the quote is right or wrong, Heathing it was.