28 October 2010

Halloween Countdown Day 4: Creepy Cocktails!

  Whaaat? But I thought today was the pumpkin post...

Yeah, it was, and I was pretty darned excited for that post. Unfortunately Stewart had to go and go to work on me, and it's not like I can carve these pumpkins up myself... so that's going to have to wait for tomorrow. Oh well. That just means that for now I can give you some super cool drink recipes!

But first, let me just tell you how ridiculous this day has been. I woke up at 7:30, scoured the internet for a decent article that had to do with astronomy, at 8:10 called the media arts building to set up an advising appointment, proceeded to write two four-page essays, drove stewart to class, came home and printed out the 1 page essay I wrote last night, biked to class, biked back, printed out the other two essays, studied, biked back to class, filled out 2 worksheets, biked to my advising appointment, panicked slightly about cramming in enough credits to still graduate on time, cursed the confusing and difficult transfer system, biked to a different class, took a test that involved 5 "short" answer essays (a page each), biked home, called stewart, and found out I can't carve pumpkins tonight.

It's been quite a day. And now I'm here.

So, cocktail recipes.

There's a recipe I've been wanting to try for a while, and that is a candy corn cocktail. Be forewarned, however, because it involves the very intricate and time consuming process of making candy corn vodka. Observe:

Take 3/4 cup vodka.

Take 1/2 cup candy corn.


Let sit for 2 hours.

Ok, i was kidding about the complicated part. Candy corn dissolves in vodka so it couldn't be easier.

In thinking up this cocktail, 2 things were very important to me:
I wanted LAYERS. not an orangish drink with whipped cream floating on top and candy corn bits at the bottom. Pretty, defined layers.
Secondly, I wanted it to taste like candy corn. You would think this would be a given but most candy corn cocktail recipes I saw called for orange liqueur. Does candy corn taste like oranges to you? Because it sure doesn't to me.

So, I began my thought process. Here's a rough guideline for layered drinks:
 So, alcohol is the lightest and very sweet drinks are the heaviest. Now wait a second- Take vodka and dissolve candy corn in it and where is that going to make it fall?? I decided I needed to approach this from multiple directions.

1. The jello shot approach:
Buy some yellow jello, mix with vodka, and make the first layer of the drink a little yellow jello shot, followed by a layer of candy corn vodka, followed by cream. Then you could stir up the cream and the vodka getting an almost white russian-ish drink, and have a little surprise at the end.

2. The fruit juice concentrate approach:
Buy some frozen pineapple or lemon juice concentrate and hope that it's thick enough to stay at the bottom of the glass. Layer with the same other two ingredients, only now when you stir it up it will have an extra dimension of flavor.

3. The wing it approach:
This approach is multiple approaches. Basically, I go to the store, buy any number of things that are yellow, orange, and white, and do some insane experimentation trying to get all three things at the perfect densities by adding various amounts of water, alcohol, or sugar to each one.

I also considered a yellow simple syrup approach, but I can't imagine adding that much straight sugar to a drink that already has candy corn infused vodka.

Oh, and it was 5:40 on a thursday so I scrapped the wing it approach almost immediately.

So that leaves Jello Shots and Fruit Juice Concentrate. Lets make some cocktails, shall we?

Start by whipping up some candy corn vodka. make as little or as much as you think you'll need. I started with the jello shot approach and used a 3 oz lemon jello package. Combine 1 cup boiling water with the jello and stir til dissolved. Then add 3 oz cold water and 5 oz water. If you're confused about ounces remember that 1 cup=8 oz and 1 typical shot glass=1.5 oz. Pour a bit of the liquid jello mix into each glass that you will be using.

Put the glasses in the fridge to chill so they can become all jell-ified. I was only using two glasses so I ended up with this:

Hopefully you will have planned ahead better than I did.

Ok. once the jello has solidified caaaaarefully pour a layer of the candy corn vodka over the top. I have to admit I cut this with mango juice- not because the vodka was too strong but because I actually didn't think it was sweet enough. I only used 1/4 cup candy corn though, which is why I upped the amount to 1/2 cup on here. In the future I might make a simple syrup out of sugar and water to add to the vodka. 

Tips on layering: take a spoon and angle it so it's just above the first layer. Pour the second liquid into the spoon, not the glass, so that it trickles slowly into the glass and minimized disruption of the layers.

Lastly, layer a THIN layer of HALF AND HALF or MILK  on top of the vodka. I was a super duper IDIOT and bought freaking heavy cream at the store. Why. why. I have no idea. It was super busy in Fry's and it had been a long day and I wasn't thinking. And then my cocktails were waaaaay to creamy and heavy. If I had just used milk or half and half they would have been SO much better.

Yummy. serve them like this for the wow effect and then tell your guests to stir up the orange and white parts with a spoon. The flavor is like creamy candy corn. After they finish their cocktail, they can use the same spoon to dislodge the jello shot. Aren't interactive drinks fun?

Ok, on to approach number two. 

I used pineapple juice concentrate, which wasn't as vibrant yellow as the jello. Follow the same process as before, layering the vodka and then the milk/half and half. This time, after the drinks have been served your guests can stir up the whole thing and drink it.

The verdict:
Jello shots: better appearance, require more work to drink, and much more alcoholic. I think if I had used lighter milk I would have really enjoyed the flavor but probably would still want to add a simple syrup.

Fruit concentrate: definitely not as pretty, but kind of cool cause all the layers are liquid. Definitely doesn't taste like candy corn though, because the concentrate totally takes control. 

Overall, I liked the jello shot ones better. If you decide to make them, definitely make a thin simple syrup out of 1 cup water and 1 cup sugar (boil until sugar is dissolved) and add as much or as little as you like to the vodka. Also, remember to get light milk. 1 or 2 % would probably even still float on the vodka. just NO CREAM.

If you're looking for more halloween cocktails, check out some of these links!

8 Sexy Halloween Cocktails

Drink to Halloween with these Cocktails

Alcoholic and Non-Alcoholic Halloween Drinks

Halloween Party Drink Ideas

iDrink Halloween Recipes


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