Let me first say that I am obsessed with all things gummy. Gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy penguins, gummy cola bottles….you name it, I love it. Add on some sour sugar or some juicy filling-it’s over. So, when Mike and I went to KU homecoming a few weeks ago and a lovely lady brought a giant bowl of “drunken” gummy worms…well, you had me at vodka! (This wonderful drunken gummy creator is also a pharmacist, I mean obviously-we’re pretty awesome like that!) So of course I ate those gummies like it was my job at the tailgate and had to get the recipe to make for the next Bears game.
I search of the best gummies for the job, Mike and I stopped into Candyality on Southport and I couldn’t believe my eyes….orange and blue gummy bears, the perfect bears for the job. My recipe wasn’t an exact science and honestly, it doesn’t need to be. Here’s how I got the job done-
Drunken Gummy Bears
3 1/4 lbs gummy bears
1 fifth (750mL bottle) of Smirnoff vodka
1 can juice concentrate
1. Find yourself a large container and throw all your gummies in.
2. Add in your vodka. For the size of the container and the amount of gummies I used the entire fifth. Basically just add enough vodka to cover the gummies. I was a little worried that the entire fifth was too much because the tops of the gummies were covered-but have no fear…those little guys suck up the vodka like its what they were made to do. I used plain vodka but I’m sure flavored vodkas would add a tasty twist. My next experiment with gummies will be cola gummies and whiskey.
3. Stir the gummies and vodka together or shake the container really well. I was told that especially with the worms, they break a little easier once they’ve soaked up some of the vodka so instead of mixing with a spoon and potentially breaking them into worm fragments, just shake the container. Cover the container, stick um in the fridge for five days, stirring the gummies at least a couple times per day. The vodka makes the gummies super sticky. At first they’ll be difficult to stir, but that’s why you need more vodka than you think is necessary, once you start stirring them they loosen up with the vodka and keep on soaking it in.
4. On day 5 all of your vodka should be pretty much soaked up. If not, no big deal, just leave it in there and eventually it’ll soak it up. Thaw out your can of juice concentrate. I found some sort of apple, passion, mango can and it was pretty good. Just use your best judgement, what kind of flavor do you want to add to your gummies? The juice concentrate is used to mask the vodka flavor that has now be imparted into your big fat gummies, they will still keep a lot of their original flavor, this just helps sweeten them up and make them a little more dangerous-the most common comment from my friends was “I can’t even taste the vodka!”.
5. Dump the thawed fruit juice concentrate into a bowl and add in only HALF the water recommended on the can. The amount of this juice mixture you add to your gummies is kind of to your own discretion. Whatever isn’t soaked up after the next 5 days you can just drain out. I think I added about 2 1/2-3 cups to mine. Stir this all up and stick it back in the fridge for another 5 days, stirring daily.
6. It’s day 10! Your gummies are done! Notice a difference? Mine were about double their original size. The orange bears lost a little of their color, but you got the idea.
Stir these babies up, drain out any excess liquid in the container, and enjoy! They’re pretty sticky so I found it easier to have some tiny solo cups to scoop them out and eat from. Keep some wipes around so you’re not walking around with sticky hands afterwards.
Now, I know what you might be thinking. 1o days? That’s a long time to wait and it takes a good amount of planning. If you don’t have 10 days just cut the soaking times in half. My vodka was pretty much all soaked up after 2 or 3 days so once that happens you can just move to the next step. Another piece of good news is that these babies keep very well in the fridge. Its a week later and they’re just as good as they were after 10 days. Make them ahead and have them on hand for unexpected visitors or gatherings…they’re a crowd pleaser, that’s for sure!