Today is a sad day. Today, I am giving up Fireball.
What’s Fireball, you might ask? It’s heaven. Pure heaven in liquid alcohol form.
Fireball is a cinnamon whiskey craze that has swept the nation (everywhere except California because I visited for two weddings last summer and couldn’t find Fireball anywhere, and believe me, I tried). It’s 35% alcohol by volume, which is slightly less than whiskey. The difference between Fireball and whiskey, however, is the taste. A shot of whiskey might create a gag reflex and better whiskeys deserved to be sipped slowly. Fireball, on the other hand, is so easy to stomach.
One time, we went to Whistler with 14 people in one small condo and no one turned down a shot of Fireball.
Were there calls of “ew, gross” or “I don’t really want to take a shot”? No. There were not.
Because Fireball is tasty, easy and fun for everyone.
I went to visit our neighborhood bar the other day and when I sat down the bartender said, “Cider and a fireball?”
First, some might be concerned that the bartender now knows my drink, but I thought it was awesome. Second, it was a Wednesday night and I probably would have just liked a cider but if he’s going to recognize me and my favorite beverages, I’ll order it.
It was delicious. It always is.
So why would I give up such a joyous thing?
I have Celiac’s disease, which means I cannot ingest gluten. I’ve been on a gluten free diet for two years and have been feeling much better. Thinking about the fact that I had to give up beer and fried food and other wonderful, delicious, gluten-ful things or the fact that I will never, ever have them again is one of the only things that can make me instantly depressed. As I walk through a grocery store that I’m unfamiliar with, I become incredibly frustrated as I continue to pick up item after item I can’t have. I’ll often text my best friend in frustration when I’m expected to “grab a quick bite” and have no way of doing so because everything I know I can eat requires cooking in some sort of way. Fast food is not part of my vocabulary.
I talk about it a lot and for that, I’m sorry. But, starting in October, I was feeling sick again. I tried to figure out if it was something in my diet but didn’t find anything. After 4 doctor visits and a trip to a nutritionist, the answer is gluten. The answer has always been gluten. I’m ingesting large quantities of gluten and have no idea what it could be. Nothing about my diet has changed since October. I used to be able to figure out I had ate something with gluten in it because I would get sick but currently, I always feel sick.
So, I had to sit and think about every single thing I eat or drink. It was driving me crazy.
Then, the other night on the phone, a friend asked me “What is Fireball?” I answered enthusiastically but then she stopped me and pointed out that it might be a source of gluten.
Sure, these aren’t completely reputable sources but I can’t take chances. Not anymore. I’ve lost too much sleep due to an unhappy stomach over the past three months to continue consuming anything that might not be gluten free.
Today, I must say goodbye to Fireball. I will try not to let this be another thing that makes me sad or frustrated. I cannot change this, I have to let go.
Fireball, I will miss you. We had some good, good times. Pour one out for this homie.
UPDATE: I have been without Fireball for almost a year now. I do think it was the source of my sickness this time last year. I now stick to potato vodkas or spirits that are distilled more than three times and don’t have any problems.