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Step 1 – Infuse:
- In a non-reactive container, like a glass mason jar, or infusion jar, combine:
- 8 Watermelon Jolly Rancher Candies with 14 fl oz of Twenty2 High Proof Spirit. No need to muddle
- Allow to sit for 24 to 72 hours at room temperature to infuse. Shaking occasionally is recommended, especially for this kind of infusion (which is really more of a dissolving of the candy)
- Strain the Watermelon Jolly Rancher candy from the infused spirit using a fine mesh strainer. Most of the candy will have settled and adhered to the bottom of your infusion jar. A slow pour (or decant) will keep most of the candy stuck to the bottom of the jar.
- Collect the infused spirit in a fresh non-reactive container. Sealed tightly, your infused spirit should keep for 1- 2 months.
Step 2 – Dilute into Watermelon Jolly Rancher Infused Vodka
- Combine 12 fl oz of Watermelon Jolly Rancher infused spirit with
- 6 fl oz of Simple Syrup
- 6 fl oz of Filtered Water
Sip neat ice cold or on the rocks… Combine with 2 parts club soda over ice. Mix 1 part infused vodka with 1 part concord grape juice and 1 part club soda. Combine 1 part infused vodka with 2 parts diet cola.
Cocktail Recipe – Watermelon on the Vine
- In a rock’s glass filled with fresh ice, combine:
- 1.5 oz Watermelon Jolly Rancher Infused Vodka
- 2 oz Welch’s Concord Grape Juice
- Top off with Club Soda
- Garnish with a skewer of concord grapes
- Let me start by saying that “fresher is always better”. But…..I have not had the best luck with watermelon infusions (Failed Attempt #1 and Failed Attempt #2). Fresh watermelon contains a lot of water (duh..), and that makes the flavor subtle. Unless you live near where watermelons are grown (like your own garden, or Southern NJ where I grew up and where I’ve tasted family member’s watermelon infusions that are killer), more than likely your watermelon was picked way early to get it to your market in a state of “ripeness”. Unfortunately, this early picking has an adverse affect on just how much flavor concentration your melon will contain, and that lack of flavor concentration will most certainly translate into your final infusion. So, in the absence of truly fresh watermelons, substituting candy that tastes good is more than acceptable.
- Using candy (vs the real deal) will also give you more consistent results with a longer shelf life.
- Breaking the candy into pieces will increase the surface area of your infusion, and thereby speed up the process. However, if you’ve ever tried to bite a Jolly Rancher candy, you will know that breaking them into pieces is not the easiest of tasks. For this infusion, I’ve elected to leave the candy whole, and the results were just fine.
- This “infusion” is really more of a slow dissolving of the candy into the alcohol. Leaving the candy in the infused spirit for longer than the time stated above will have no adverse affects or negative-changes to the final flavor.
- I’ve found the best way to clean the infusion jar after decanting out the infused spirit is with a butter knife and a lot of hot water. Give the dissolved syrupy-candy a taste before discarding however, you may have just found your new favorite ice cream topping.
Check out some pictures of my Watermelon Jolly Rancher infusion pictures on Flickr:
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