Measure & Stir

A Craft Cocktail Blog for the Home Bartender that Focuses on Original Creations Drawn from Culinary Inspiration.


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Gummy Bears, Boozing Here and There and Everywhere

Hello everyone, I hope you had a good weekend. For father’s day, I drank a glass of my favorite scotch, in honor of dear old dad. But now, we’re going to talk about almost the exact opposite of that.

Today’s epic journey was inspired by this post at Serious Eats. I am not sure if I had very high expectations for cocktail gummy bears, and as such, I would say that these roughly lived up to my expectations. I followed the process described in the article, wherein I first soaked the gummy bears in a blend of spirits, and then froze them before consumption. The alcohol really jellied up the exterior third of the gummy bear, giving it a chalky texture and leaving gummy, gelatinous residue all around the inside of the vessels that contained them. If that doesn’t sound very appealing, it wasn’t.

Freezing them definitely improved the texture, but once they’ve taken a bath in a strong solvent, nothing is going to bring back the care-free, springy quality that is, in this author’s opinion, the primary allure of the gummy bear. Snacking on them all day did give me a hardcore craving for J.Wray and Nephew rum, however, so if you are looking for ways to turn yourself into perpetuate your behavior as a complete lush, you might as well make some.

For this experiment, I used Haribo gummy bears, which according to their website, come in five flavors

  • white – pineapple
  • yellow – lemon
  • green – strawberry
  • orange – orange…
  • red – raspberry

I actually had no idea until just this moment that the green was strawberry and the red was raspberry. I guess I can see it? Anyway, we were supposed to use the orange bears for the Negroni, as the artificial orange flavor in the gummy bear is intended to be a mirror of the orange peel notes in the sweet vermouth, but in a fit of cognitive dissonance, I put the red things together and made, apparently, raspberry negroni bears. That didn’t matter one whit, because at the end of the day, Campari was really the only experience these bears delivered. The gin botanicals were detectible if you knew to look for them, but it wasn’t important.

The flavor of Campari is pleasant to me, and so I had no complaints with the flavor, but the texture did not wow me. I would like to taste a good Negroni-flavored candy, but the better way to go about it would be to use the flavors of campari, gin, and sweet vermouth in the fabrication of the candy, rather than after the fact. There is so little alcohol per gummy bear that they are never going to get you buzzed, in any case.

Negroni Bears

1 oz Gin (Beefeater)
1 oz Campari
Handful of orange (oops!) gummy bears

Marinate the gummy bears in the spirits for about four hours, then remove them from the spirit and allow them to freeze solid. Trick all your friends into eating them.

The Negroni bears were decent, but I prefered the mixture of maraschino, white rum, and pineapple gummy bears seen here on the left.

Hemingwayish Daquiri Bears

1 oz Wray and Nephew Rum
.5 oz Maraschino liqueur
Handful of white gummy bears
Grated grapefruit zest

There is no pineapple in a Hemingway Daquiri, and there is no grapefruit in this recipe, but as with the Negroni, you will bearly taste the bears. I did not actually use grapefruit zest, but it would have been awesome. I love the flavor of this rum, and even though they were not great, I kept coming back for the flavor, and by the end of the day, I was driven to stir some J. Wray with some maraschino and dry vermouth.

The yellow bears, for me, were more of a problem child, although my friend James liked them.

Don’t Do This

1 oz mezcal (Del Maguey Mezcal de Vida)
1 oz Amaro nonino
handful of yellow? gummy bears

No one wants a smokey gummy bear. This simply did not please me at all. Amaro Nonino and mezcal complement each other beautifully, but sometimes my curiosity gets the best of me, and I make mistakes in the name of science.


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flying cucumber

With all the hullaballoo about the aviation, it seemed like the right time for this post. Last year I bought a juicer, and it opened up a world of mixed drink possibilities. Everyone wants to have the coolest, sleekest gadget around, but I got mine from a second hand store for twenty dollars. Although it’s no Champion, it gets the job done, and I get to enjoy its tasteful mauve 80s aesthetic.

Last March I had the feeling the spring was upon us, and to celebrate I juiced a whole english cucumber, skin and all. As you can tell, I am a wild man. The skin made the juice come out in a rich forest green color, but it also added a discordant sensation of chlorophyll, which took away from the bracing, crisp quality that any presentation of cucumber aspires to have.

Gin and cucumber go together like peanut butter and jelly, and once I started thinking down that road, it did not take long for me to hit upon the idea of using it in an Aviation. I think everyone in the world who cares has heard of the Aviation by now, and most people have moved on, but I am a real sucker for floral flavors and I have trouble letting go.  Using my tremendous mathematical prowess, I decided that Aviation + cucumber juice = The Flying Cucumber, but it turned out that A Dash of Bitters had already claimed that name, so I had to get creative:

The Flying Cucumber #2

2 oz Gin (Plymouth)
1 oz Fresh Cucumber Juice
1/2 oz Lemon Juice
1/2 oz Maraschino Liqueur (Luxardo)
1/4 oz of Violet Syrup (Monin)

Shake over ice and double strain.

The Aviation is intended to have a subtle purple-bluish color, evocative of a clear, open sky, whereas my drink was the color of a swamp, and just a bit muddy. Obviously, I will peel my cucumber in the future, which will also provide a much smoother texture, more appropriate to the original spirit of the drink. Other than that, the cucumber juice was mild and a perfect complement to the violet, capturing the romance of spring.