The distinguished members of TATTGOC sure do love their curry, as evidenced by their now-outdated title of Curry Lovers Of The Year 2010. But their ongoing quest for spicy satisfaction isn't merely limited to TATTGOC's regular excursions to some of Glasgow's hidden-gem curryhouses. If they happen across almost any curry-related foodstuff, Trampy and The Tramp feel compelled to take it for a spin – and thus was born the irregular feature Tastin' With The Tramps. What spicy product is in the hot seat this time? Why, it's cinnamon-enriched Canadian whiskey liquer Fireball! Why?
The Product: Hot from the US, Fireball has recently been making in-roads into the UK market, invading quality off-licenses and also being featured by the popular Wetherspoons chain. As the label makes clear, it's a fiery blend of cinnamon and whiskey with the pleasantly gloopy mouthfeel of a liqueur, with the ability to fire up the taste of cocktails or blow off the roof of your mouth as a shot. There was some debate as to whether such a sugary 33% liqueur could justifiably be featured in Tastin' With The Tramps but, c'mon, cinnamon is definitely a spice, one that is often employed in curries! And this shot is hot Hot HOT!
The Packaging: Any doubts that Fireball was right up the Tramps' street were dispelled when the flames featured on the stocky bottle extended as far as the screwtop lid like it was a hot rod or suhin. Design-wise, the label keeps things pretty simple, but there's no mistaking the guaranteed fieriness of the product inside. When your corporate mascot is a half-man/half-dragon so unperturbed by the fact that their head is on fire they're able to casually spit out a cheeky fireball, you know things are serious. It's not visible in the picture, but there's a viewing window in the back label that allows you to see the mascot silhouette in reverse, almost as if it has burnt through the material. Scorchio!
The Process: With The Tramp still hard at work, it fell to visiting Foreign Curryspondents Tikka Mabaws and Phall From Grace to make up the numbers for this very special Tastin'. After a lovely Thai meal, they were tempted to toast the evening with a shot of Fireball at the table. But since the waiting staff would take a slightly dim view of patrons swigging moonshine from a tiny hipflask, the official Tastin' took place in the charming environs of a nearby multi-storey car park. Since it was cold and a bit draughty, what better place to put the body-warming abilites of Fireball to the test? But just to be clear: the designated driver did not drink any booze (luckily, both Tikka and Phall had some "previous" with Fireball during their last visit to the US).
Trampy says: "I quite like the bootleggy feel of the label with actual scorchmarks but I wasn't prepared for how similar this was going to be to the original Aftershock, right down to the sizzling cinnamon taste. It acts a little bit like a time machine, transporting me back 15 years to when Aftershock was actually a thing. Maybe it's because I'm swigging it from a tiny hipflask but it feels like quite an exciting drink, and seems like it would be an excellent way to get a party started. And the alcohol is disguised enough by the hotness to make it quite swiggable. In a word: more!"
Tikka MaBaws says: "Fireball was being promoted heavily when we were in Nashville so I have actually tried it before, for $2 a shot. To be honest, I wasn't convinced it would go on to big international sales after that fateful night but it does taste the same. It's definitely warming and I find it easier to drink than Aftershock and some bad whiskies as well so it's doing the job there. It also reminds me a lot of those Fireball gobstoppers you got as a kid, except I never really enjoyed the flavour when I was wee. But now I'm an adult that feeling is compensated by the prospect of drunkenness. So it's a thumbs up from me."
Phall From Grace says: "The last time I had this was actually with my parents in the US so I'm glad it's now available in the UK because I think my dad would like to pick up a bottle. I don't usually drink shots but this stuff seemed very effective and created fun times. I think it's got more flavour than your usual shot and it would probably make a good gift for the curry lover in your life. I'm not sure that it would necessarily be a very good thing to drink while you were eating curry though. Maybe it would be best to keep them separate so you could, uh, enjoy the flavours of both. I think I will probably return to Fireball sometime in the future."
The Verdict: Ignore the above photo, drinking Fireball doesn't make you immediately square up to the nearest fella, it's just a boxing-themed portrait to show how tough Trampy and Tikka MaBaws are in their own minds. Among the panel, there were generally positive reactions to Fireball, and while Phall From Grace correctly pointed out its charms would perhaps be lost if consumed in the midst of a curry feast, it would perfect for a round of shots at the end of a meal, especially if the intention was to keep the party going into the night. It's a party drink, in other words, so your enjoyment will depend on just how Andrew WK you are.
PREVIOUSLY CONSUMED ON TASTIN' WITH THE TRAMPS
Spice Tree Whisky!
Innocent Veg Pots!
Seabrook's Desi Curry Crisps!
Chilli Papas Spice Mixes!
Mongoose, Aboot The Hoose!
Waitrose Hot And Fiery Salad!
The Pot Noodle GTi!
Mr Singh's Curry Pies!
The Pot Noodle Fightback!
Mr Singh's Punjabi Chilli Sauce!
McCoy's Vs Golden Wonder!
The Nation's Noodle!
Mr Singh's Bangras!