Drink Up! Skittles vodka

This will either be an exercise in deliciousness or a tragic waste of perfectly good vodka.

Since the candied ginger vodka experiment turned out so well, I have been mulling over other flavors to try. For example, would honey lavender vodka be delicious, say with grapefruit juice, or would it taste like medicine? I like the idea of rosemary vodka, too — like a spa treatment for your mouth! — but can’t think of a good mixer to accompany it.

So I decided to sweeten up instead and try making Skittles-flavored vodka. I confess that this project is more about the cool glass flasks at right, which I found online, than how the vodka ends up tasting.

In a side note: The Container Store offers curbside pickup for online purchases. Ingenious, since they deliver the goods straight to your car, but part of me was a little sad afterward: By not setting foot in the store, I didn’t get the chance to look at anything else. I might have to sneak up there tomorrow just to browse.

Step 1 was separating the Skittles into their respective flavors. Some posts mentioned quantities of like 120 per color — I was lucky to get 60 of each from a jumbo-sized bag — at a ratio of 10 candies per ounce of vodka. Doesn’t 10 Skittles per shot seem like a lot? I’m making this batch at half that intensity (60 candies, 12 ounces), and if the final result tastes weak, I can always bolster it with more candy.

The process was straightforward enough: steeping the candies in vodka-filled plastic water bottles, shaking them every once in a while. The candies dissolved in about a day, so the next step was straining the liquid to remove what is my new favorite word — ming, or the white gunk that doesn’t dissolve. My incredibly high-tech method of straining involved a wire mesh strainer and a paper towel folded over onto itself into fourths, as seen at right, but some people also reported great success using coffee filters instead. It requires you to pour a bit more slowly, to give the filter time to work, and you end up with a cloud of ming — ming! — as seen at left. Of course, since paper towels are made to absorb liquid, not strain it, I also ended up gathering each paper towel and squeezing to express as much vodka as I could. (The tie-dye kaleidoscope of squeezings was sort of pretty in its own right.)  Then I funneled my new beverage into its own lovely jar. Between each flavor, I rinsed the strainer, the catch-all glass below it, and the funnel, just to prevent any flavor transfer.

I had originally thought about making these as gifts, but I’ve realized that their charm only lies in the package deal. You need all five flavors for the concept to really make an impact; one flavor on its own is sort of “meh.” Cross off that idea.

And while my Wonka-esque experiment stews, I’m back to the drawing board for other flavored vodkas. But doesn’t it seem like we’re reaching maximum saturation of these things? Today at Total Wine I saw a bottle of chipotle vodka. Not appealing at all. Maybe we should start dialing it back. Or maybe I could start working infusion magic on gin instead.

WHAT SAM WORE: 5-19-12
The shirt: Midlength-sleeve waffle-weave T-shirt, from Uniqlo, New York.
The shorts: Cargos, from my most recent trip to Uniqlo.
The shoes: Sneakers by Puma, my Christmas gift from Big Booty Judy.
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