DIY Fireball

by autumn on July 23, 2015

Make your own Cherry Fireball // Autumn Makes & Does

I have been scheming about how I could swing a DIY version of Fireball for a while, but this news put me in business mode and I knew I had to figure something out.


Make your own Cherry Fireball // Autumn Makes & DoesI was contacted back in May to be a Canbassador for the Washington State Fruit Commision and help highlight all the awesome ways to preserve the beautiful stone fruit like cherries that comes out of the state each summer. I have a couple other more traditional preserving projects (ie: putting fruit in jars) to share shortly, but I’m really excited about this cherry fireball.

If you’ve been reading here for a while, you know that one of my favorite ways to preserve fruit is to cover it with booze. I was thinking of the classic recipe for cherry bounce when I made this infusion. Since chiles go so well with cherries and I knew the fruit would lend some sweetness, it seemed like the perfect pairing.

Make your own Cherry Fireball // Autumn Makes & DoesI started with a high-proof moonshine (Ole Smoky White Lightnin’, which is 100 proof) rather than bourbon because I wanted a higher proof, fairly neutral tasting spirit to pull as much flavor out of the cherries, cinnamon, and chile as possible. Another 100 proof spirit, such as Smirnoff 100, would work great, but something 80 proof will work well too. While Fireball is technically a whisky, whisky is certainly not the dominant flavor, so I think you have some flexibility in choosing your base spirit.

Make your own Cherry Fireball // Autumn Makes & Does

My cherries looked and tasted a little drab at the end of the infusing, so I ended up straining them out. With a lower proof spirit, they will retain much more of their flavor and color and you could leave them in and enjoy them if you’d like.

Make your own Cherry Fireball // Autumn Makes & Does

DIY Cherry Fireball


1 pound cherries, or enough to fill a quart mason jar, no need to pit

Four sticks cinnamon

One whole dried chile de arbol

Enough high-proof moonshine to cover, just shy of 750 ml

Sugar to taste


  1. Place the cinnamon sticks in the bottom on a clean, dry quart mason jar.
  2. Add the cherries.
  3. Lay the chile de arbol on top of the cherries.
  4. Pour in enough moonshine to cover. Cover and infuse for up to two weeks. Taste each day at the beginning of the infusion period and fish out the chile de arbol when the mixture has reached your desired level of spiciness. Leaving the chile in for the duration of the of the two weeks will result in a very spicy final product.
  5. After two weeks strain out the cherries and add sugar a tablespoon at a time to taste, shaking to dissolve.


{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Cindy July 25, 2015 at 11:05 pm

I’ve never tried fireball because I’m scared of it, but I would totally go for this! I love spicy things with stones fruits.


2 autumn August 4, 2015 at 12:31 am

Ha! That’s a fair reaction, Cindy. After I posted this I enjoyed 1 part this DIY fireball and one part whiskey over ice, which was really awesome and probably a closer approximation to real fireball, but WAY better.


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