Last month I hopped on the vodka gummy bear bandwagon. It was Friday morning and Saturday night I would be going to a friend’s birthday party (who happens to have a thing for bears). I knew everyone around said that ideal gummies take 5 days to “marinate”, but I simply didn’t have that kind of time. I was up for the challenge though and figured the worst that could happen would be me having my own personal giant stash of vodka bears a few days after the party.
All the recipes I read said to keep the bears in the fridge as they absorbed the booze. I figured though, 1) They don’t need it; it’s straight up alcohol and sugar. Nothing to go bad anytime soon. And 2) Room temperature bears would absorb the liquid way more quickly than hard, refrigerated bears.
Since the vodka alone made for some perky bears, I wanted to tone down the burn factor and add a little sweetness. I had triple sec and organic apple juice on hand, so I threw some of that in there Saturday morning to meld with the bears. Saturday afternoon I noticed the bears starting to loosen up, so I kept them in the fridge until that night to try and maintain the structure of the bears (they end up somewhat delicate and jello-like, so you don’t want to go overboard with the mixing and tossing ((though the sound of these things stirring is out of control!))).
Whohoo! I’m happy to report my experiment worked wonderfully. I put them together to soak at around 11am on Friday, and they were tasty (and addictive, uh oh) and jolly, squishy bears by 9pm Saturday night.
I got so excited by the finished product that I forgot to take the always-popular comparison photo of original bear and boozed bear. Whoopsies. The finished bears were definitely significantly bigger, and all around more fun.
What makes this whole process even more awesome than expected? My bears didn’t soak up all the liquid, so after straining the bears, I was left with some delicious. Gummy bear. Flavored. Vodka. I mean truly tasty libations. It’s a tad thick and perfectly sweet from all the bear goodness that seeped out. Ohh man. This shaken with ice and straight in a glass is quite a tasty treat. There was sort of a white filmy/sediment thing (I assume from the gelatin breaking down) so I strained that through a coffee filter, but in the end I don’t think it made much of a difference. It wasn’t worth the extra effort and is fine as is straight after bear removal.
I assume the key is to get good gummy bears since the majority of the flavor will come from those. Because of my time crunch, I bought the only gummy bears Costco had that morning, which happened to be a great tasting pick (Black Forest). It wasn’t very convenient though, as it was a box of 24 individual serving packages. haha.
Have you tried any other gummy candies this way? I’m wondering about worms, sour strips/belts etc. And of course adding different flavored vodkas/liquors/juices. Hmm. So many possibilities!