If you’re a fan of the cinnamon-flavored whiskeys that have popped up in the last decade (Fireball, SinFire, Tennessee Fire, et cetera) this article is for you. Heck, even if you don’t like Fireball, it might be worth a read. Just like everything else, homemade cinnamon whiskey is far better than the store-bought stuff
Don’t worry, we’re not here to bore you with a long-winded discussion of whether or not small amounts of propylene glycol are hazardous to your health. Instead, we’re here to offer you an alternative.
Here’s how to make your own, better-tasting, chemical-free, cinnamon-infused whiskey.
Ingredients and Equipment
- 1 bottle of bourbon whiskey*
- 8-10 cinnamon sticks
- 1/3 cup raw sugar
- 1 tbsp uncrushed red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tbsp vegetable oil (or peanut oil, if you prefer)
- 1 large resealable container
- Cheesecloth (optional)
*Note: When choosing a whiskey, there’s no need to go all out and buy a decades-old bottle from the top shelf. The cinnamon and spices you’re going to add will likely mask the subtle complexities that years of barrel aging have given the booze, so it’s okay to nab yourself a cheapo bottle from the bottom rack.
- Pour the whole bottle of bourbon into your large container.
- Wrap the cinnamon sticks in cheesecloth to create a tea bag, then put it into the pitcher of whiskey to steep. This basically just makes them easier to remove. You can skip this step if you don’t mind fishing individual sticks out later on.
- Stir in the raw sugar. Let the whiskey and cinnamon sticks steep for up to eight days.
- Make the chili oil. To do this, grab a small nonstick pan and stir together your chili flakes and oil. Gently (very gently!) warm the oil and chili flakes over low heat for about five minutes. Remove from heat and allow the oil to cool completely before straining it through a fine mesh sieve and transferring to a squeeze bottle.
- Remove the cinnamon tea bag from the whiskey. Stir in two drops of the chili oil.
- Taste and adjust the level of chili oil to your liking.
- Return the flavored whiskey to a bottle that can be tightly sealed.
Article first published October 10, 2016.