Goodbye, Fireball!

On January 24, 2013 by Kim Wetter
hella firebire

My Roommate, Emily’s birthday present

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.

camping fireball

My version of camping used to look like this

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.

I knew I had looked it up before and assured her it was fine. But, as soon as I googled it, Wiki Answers and Cha Cha informed me that Fireball was not gluten free.

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.

13 Responses to “Goodbye, Fireball!”

  • Sierra

    Hey I just got this response from the Fireball people. Thought it make help you 🙂 Hello
    Thank you for your recent inquiry regarding our whiskey. Our whiskey is considered gluten free as it is a distilled product with no additives after distillation. The distillation process should remove the protein and gluten associated with the starting grains. However, because we cannot 100% guarantee this we always advise our consumers to consult with their physician first to make sure our products are safe for them. I hope this helps!

    • I know, that is their canned response on their website and that I got back via Facebook. The issue is – it’s lawyer speak. Jameson and Jack Daniels both proudly state they are gluten free on their websites. If a company isn’t willing to say it, there’s probably something in their process that makes them nervous.

    • Cynthia

      I had FIREBALL 3 shots. no side affects..I usually have reaction within 1 hour.. if you are blood type O.. perhaps you have an allergy to Brewers Yeast. Yes there is Brewers Yeast in distillation process with Fireball. I too have gluten allergy.. Get a blood test IGG it is a 96 food panel test.. Most health insurances do not cover the blood test. However it can tell you a lot about yourself. As fireball company says they do not use any additives pertaining to gluten after the distillation process.. if we are going to talk about jameson and other whiskeys how it is they do not contain gluten with their distillation process.. Maybe dig a little more into your blood type and IGG test so you really know what the bottom line is. hope this helps… then buy the book EATING FOR YOUR BLOOD TYPE. Good Luck… Corona is now gluten free contains less then 20ppm… good old fashion Corona..

  • Erica

    Hey Kim! I was searching the web today if Fireball was gluten free and came across your blog. Our stories are so similar it’s as if I was reading a blog of my own. I walk into my local bar after work and the bartender throws a cider down accompanied by a fireball…what an amazing combination, right? I have Celiacs as well, and I think ive just realized that ive been having lots of tummy issues since fireball has been introduced into my life :/. Was just wondering how you’ve been feeling since saying goodbye to Fireball? I think it might be time for me to say farewell to my tasty friend as well. Any input would be great! Cheers 😉

    • I feel a LOT better after I cut Fireball out of my life. In fact, I’ve been a lot more careful about what I call “Lawyer responses” when it comes to questions of gluten. If you ask someone, does this have gluten in it? The answer should be yes or no. Even in the great debate of blue cheese, they can still test a popular brand of blue cheese for gluten levels and tell you yes or no. So, for me, Fireball will be forever off limits, which makes me sad but it’s just another in long list of things I miss after my Celiac’s diagnosis.

  • Brenna

    Foods and drinks can be gluten free and still induce a gluten response. Its not all cut and dry in this department of nutrition. Good times trying to sort through it all :- \ ha!

  • I came across your blog while searching how to make my own Fireball…since we live in Ecuador and can’t get such yummy things. We are trying to reduce the gluten in our diets even though we don’t have Celiac disease. Hoping it will help us keep weight off and I do feel better off it for whatever reason. We made some absolutely delicious pineapple infused vodka and a few other options in the works now. My friend opened my eyes years ago about the insidiousness of gluten in everything since she has to be so careful about her diet. She has a website called celiacchicks dot com with lots of good recipes. Her name is Kelly and she was the first person I ever heard of to have Celiac disease, so she’s been at it a while, maybe she can help you too.

  • Celiac Girl

    Thanks for this blog. As I am up puking and pooping my brains out… I came online to figure out what exactly I drank last night. I was being nice picking up a pizza for my husband yesterday and the bartender gave me a shot of fireball to try while i was waiting. I did a quick google and seemed ok to drink, so I did. Big mistake. I cannot consume gluten at all, not one drop, or I have reactions the same as food poisoning… because truly that is what happens- it poisons me. I can 100% say fireball is not gluten free.

    • I have also found that the majority of my sickness went away once I stopped drinking Fireball. I would also say with 100% certainty it is not gluten free.

  • Kim, I love Fireball, and have been gluten-free since last Autumn. I felt better for awhile, but noticed I had some returning issues. What is the one wonderful thing I had discovered after going gluten-free? Fireball. I think I will take my last shot to Taps. It is a sad day, but there has to be something else out there…….there has to be! I found this, because Fireball was the only questionable thing in my diet. I am very disappointed, but I survived the grief of losing Voodoo Donut, KFC biscuits, and PopTarts, so I will survive this loss, as well.

  • Please, let us know if you find something else. PLEASE.

  • Kelly Graham

    You can put real fireballs in Vodka – let them melt and it’s about the same – we did it last year at the Island. . . .

  • Just found this. I have a wheat allergy, and I have to say finding the limits is pretty weird and individual. I’m usually okay with Fireball, but I had Fire Jack last night and that one’s a no go for me. Maybe we’ll have opposite reactions!

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