Esquire (USA)


- —Brady Langmann

I can’t tell you when I took my first Fireball shot, but I know deep down in my heart (burn), I enjoyed its taste. The whiskey, unavoidabl­e at bars in the 2010s—some had it on tap!—tastes like someone bottled Hot Tamales, or like you went to first base with the dragon on the label. Sure, it was very much a bro drink, but it introduced a generation to what was a proper shot: affordable, flavorful, and at 33 percent ABV, just enough bite. Kids these days? Few know Fireball, and so few know proper shots. At the Admiral’s Cup in Baltimore—sports bar, three floors of chaos, the perfect kind of place to take your first shot—the bartender informed me that on busy nights he batches a Flubber-colored vat of whiskey, schnapps, and lemon juice called a Green Tea shot for the zoomers. It’s their gateway shot. But a proper shot it is not. It’s too easy to down. (And too much work for the bartender.) It’s a participat­ion trophy! Pour one out for the Fireball. (Preferably, a bottle of Fireball.)

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