Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Jolly Rancher Vodka

Recently, I had the idea of infusing my own liquor and was planning to do a fruit infusion.  As occasionally happens, I stumbled into a bar, had a conversation with a bartender, and found out something incredible. Well, at least, in my drunken state, it seemed incredible!  The bartender told me that the "newest thing" is to infuse liquor with candy.

I immediately consulted the World Wide Web, and discovered that candy infused vodkas are very popular, particularly Skittles and Jolly Rancher.  Who knew?!  It sounded so delicious that I immediately invested in a large quantity of vodka (Smirnoff) and Jolly Ranchers.

1.75 liter bottle of vodka
3.75 lb bag of Jolly Ranchers
5 glass bottles with stoppers

You can modify this recipe to whichever bottles you get (there are many different sizes and shapes available). 
The bottles I got were 17.5 oz capacity and cost less than $5 each

Here's where I purchased the bottles:
The vodka doesn't need to be expensive– the Jolly Rancher flavor should smooth out any cheap vodka bumps!  I used 24 Jolly Ranchers for each flavor.  Note - the flavors in each bag are totally random.  The first couple of small bags I bought had a disproportionate amount of watermelon and blue raspberry, which is why it is smart to just get the big bag, which has around 40 of each flavor.  That way you'll have plenty of leftover Jolly Ranchers, for eating or future infusions.
Start by unwrapping and separating the Jolly Ranchers by flavor.  The five flavors are apple, cherry, grape, blue raspberry, and watermelon. This is literally the most time consuming and difficult part.  Once you've unwrapped the first 100 or so, you might be exhausted!  But don't worry, you're nearly done.  Drop the separated candies into each individual flask.

Next, pour in the vodka.  You can use a funnel or just be careful not to spill!  Fill each bottle to nearly the top of the neck.  The vodka will begin to take on the color of the Jolly Ranchers immediately, as it begins breaking down the candy.
Put your flasks into the refrigerator and let them chill for a couple of hours. Return to shake every few hours, to encourage the candy to dissolve.  The flasks should be ready in 10-24 hours - the more you shake it, the faster the candy disappears.  It is actually a little disconcerting how fast they dissolve.... it makes you wonder what vodka does inside your stomach!
I made mine during the day, and they were ready the very next evening.  Luckily I had the common sense to stop on the way home and get a bottle of Sprite! 
These look very pretty when they are finished and would make great gifts.  I am planning to label a few bottles for that very purpose.
They are also incredibly delicious, so another option is to keep them all for yourself!  When they were ready, we tried all of the flavors and argued over which was the tastiest.  Major contenders were watermelon and the green apple, but honestly it's hard to choose because they all taste so intense.  Yum!
Be careful though - it honestly tastes so good, it is easy to forget that it's basically pure vodka.... which can lead to headaches, nausea, and unexpected sick days!
You can mix any of the flavors with club soda, 7-up or Sprite, or just serve over ice.  Or make a martini!  Either way, I suggest keeping the vodka chilled, cause it just tastes so much better that way.

Other variations on the recipe that I saw used rum or tequila instead of vodka, but that seems like it would interfere with the flavor of the candy.

All in all, this was a fun, easy, and cheap project that resulted in a delicious, drunken night.  I am planning to experiment with Skittles next, before I move on to something sophisticated and adult (snooze!) like fruit.  Cheers!


  1. Moonglow6@hotmail.comNovember 7, 2012 at 1:39 PM

    I'm doing the same thing for Christmas gifts. My family loves...booze! Thought of making funny labels for each flavored bottle. I bought my 'flasks' at 'The Container Store'. If you have this store in your area, go visit it. It will blow your mind...and pocket-book!

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