Happy hour is an important part of any vacation. If you don’t let loose and relax a little, what’s the point? So when we were planning our beach vacation with my husband’s family a few weeks ago, I knew I wanted to make something special. (Especially since my mother-in-law has been experimenting with many delicious cocktails recently.) Since my husband I are kind of obsessed with Starburst Jelly Beans, I thought that it would be fun to try to infuse that flavor into a fun alcoholic beverage full of fun colors, and so rainbow infused jelly bean vodka was born.
When I came up with this crazy idea, I was a bit skeptical. I was worried that it would end up being too sweet or that it would taste too much like cough syrup. Thankfully, I was wrong, and when mixed with a little tonic or even just sparkling water, the jelly bean vodka turned out to make for a delicious and easy cocktail while we were at the beach.
Making this does take a bit of pre-planning because it takes a some time for the flavor of the jelly beans to infuse with the vodka. I had planned on this process taking up to two weeks, but I was pleasantly surprised when it seems like it took just 48 hours. I ended up letting mine sit with the jelly beans for about 10 days, but I don’t think it was necessary. I didn’t see any change in the color or consistency after those first two days. So as far as infused vodka goes, this can happen pretty quickly. Honestly, the hardest part of this recipe was sorting the jelly beans by flavor, but it only took about 10 minutes.
When you make the jelly bean vodka, you’ll end up with six different flavors. My favorite flavor was probably the grape (purple) followed by the green apple. All of them were delicious, so you’re favorite will just depend on how you like your jelly beans.
- 3 large bags Starburst Brand Jelly Beans
- 12 cups vodka, divided (I used the ultra-cheap Aristocrat brand because the jelly bean flavor overpowers it anyway)
- Start by sorting the jelly beans by color. With three bags, I ended up with 7.2oz orange jelly beans, 7oz green jelly beans, 4.8oz yellow jelly beans, 6.62oz purple jelly beans, 6.3oz red jelly beans, and 8.4 pink jelly beans.
- When all the jelly beans are separated, pour the candies into quart sized mason jars or other air tight containers. Pour 2 cups of vodka on top of each jar of candy. Seal tightly, and shake gently. You'll immediately notice that the vodka starts to take on the color of the jelly beans.
- Leave, shaking occasionally, for at least 48 hours. You can leave it for longer, but I think this is the minimum amount of time you would want to let it infuse.
- Using a fine mesh strainer, strain the leftover jelly beans out of the vodka.
- Mix the jelly bean vodka with two parts tonic or sparkling water and enjoy on the rocks!