Recipe: Jelly Bean Vodka.

Vodka and Beans? You know what that means…

I’ll be honest, the last time I experimented with Jelly Belly Beans in the kitchen – baking them into a batch of cookies – things didn’t turn out so well. And that’s an understatement.

Still, I was determined not to let them get the better of me. No more heating them up mind you: instead, I would cool things down.

It was time to make some Jelly Bean Vodka.

The ingredients were minimal: one bottle of cheap (yet inoffensive) Vodka, and a box of Jelly Belly Beans. The possibilities, on the other hand, were endless. We could flavour our tipple with Buttered Popcorn, Cinnamon, Green Tea, Mandarin, Strawberry Jam – even Birthday Cake – not to mention any of the other multitudinous flavours.

Deciding turned out to be half the fun. Together, the Man and I spent some time debating just how to taint our precious booze. In the end, we  opted to make two small (and very different) batches.

For the Hog, a mix of Dark Chocolate and Plum.

For the Man, a medley of Green Apple, Lemon/Lime and Kiwi.

Pud-Hogs always eat their greens

The actual making took minimal effort. Just chucking some beans in a measure of Vodka, and giving the whole thing a jolly good shake.

The transformation was speedy. Within minutes, the beans were bleeding colour, turning the Vodka chocolate brown – or, in the case of the fruity one, neon green.

Behold!

After a couple of hours – with a vigorous shake every now and again – the beans began to deteriorate, turning pulpy and white.

After a day, we decided to sample the Chocolate and Plum, straining the mottled gunk using a sieve. Not that it worked – pickled Bean flakes still found their way into our glasses.

Looks like somebody’s bean sick. BLEURGH

In the absence of anything else, we next tried pouring the Vodka through a sheet of kitchen roll. Almost nothing came out the other side – and fearing a drink with added paper, we gave up the challenge and drank our new drink as it was.

First impressions were that it was still extremely vodka-y. This ought not to have surprised me, I know, but I was expecting some sort of alcopop – something sweet and flavoursome.

I wanted to taste the Dark Chocolate and Plum, but the whole thing was rather drowned out and quite bitter with booze. Even a scoop of ice cream (my attempt at a grown-up milkshake) was not nearly enough to sweeten the deal.

Hmm. Hardly the most appetising of all my ideas…

In the absence of decent filters, the bean bits floated around like pond scum – another off-putting result. Worse still, for the first time ever, it struck me that I actually didn’t like Vodka that much.

Oops.

Fearing our green concoction would taste no better, we decided to give it more time to brew.

And so the experiment continued. Given a few days longer, the porridge-like bean bits dissolved entirely, leaving nowt but a layer of white sediment.

We took it out and shook it every day, but the sediment got no smaller. Time for a decent investment: a packet of coffee filters, to ensure our next effort went down more smoothly. With that in the bag, and a few more days of deliberation, we were finally ready to try it all again.

I have to say, the colour alone was pretty impressive – as if the Incredible Hulk had drained his sweat into my glass.

Filtered Incredible Hulk sweat, mind

Taste-wise, the extended brewing time had worked a treat. This time the Vodka was sweet and fruity and – to my surprise – at last extremely drinkable, even to a Pud-Hog who would rather have a Gin.

Now there’s a thought…

Perhaps that’ll be my next experiment: Gin infused with Jelly Beans, flavoured by something like Melon or Juicy Pear.

Mmm.

In the meantime, here’s a recipe for you.

Give it a go and get crazy with flavours. After all, responsible drinking doesn’t have to mean responsible drinks…

Jelly Belly Bean Vodka (makes 5fl oz, or enough for 2 double-sized shots – upscale for larger quantities)

*May* contain colours and preservatives…

Ingredients:

  • Approximately 20 jelly beans (in whatever flavours you fancy)
  • 5fl oz of half-decent Vodka

You will also need a paper coffee filter

Method:

  1. Pour the Vodka into a clean plastic bottle, add the beans and shake vigorously for a minute or so
  2. Shake vigorously every now and then until the beans have begun to dissolve, then leave in a warm (yet shaded spot) to speed up the fermentation
  3. For optimum colour and flavour, leave to brew for at least five days, shaking at least once every day
  4. When ready to drink, pour through the filter straight into a jug, chill, then decant into glasses with some ice

Your filtered Vodka can be stored in the freezer, for extra added coolness.

Happy Grogging!

P-H x

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8 responses

    • Believe it, VB – you ain’t dreaming!

      The flavour is fairly good as it happens, though you might feel the need to add extra sugar to make it taste more like real Jelly Bean.

      Leave it long enough, though, and it smells and tastes pretty strong. Not strong enough to disguise the fact that it’s Vodka, but strong enough to carry the Jelly Bean taste.

      If you’ve got some spare Vodka then give it a go. The more Beans you care to spare, the stronger it will be.

      Happy Hogging!

      P-H x

  1. I do this with skittles so often that my friends actually REQUEST it. What I do is 4 waterbottles, a handle of vodka, and a bag of skittles (i usually dont’ use the grape skittles cuz ew). Make sure you separate flavors too. You have to leave them to set for at least 2 days, then you can strain them the way it was described. SO good.

    • Nice work, Cat! That sounds pretty gosh-darn delicious…

      I’m starting to think I should just chop up a Cheesecake and throw it in a bottle of creamy liqueur. It HAS to be a good idea, right? Right?!

      Happy Hogging!

      P-H x

  2. Why put it in the fridge? That will make it take longer. When I do skittle vodka, I actually put it somewhere warmer to speed up the dissolving.

    • OF COURSE! That makes perfect sense. Think I might’ve been under the influence slightly.
      Allow me to amend my recipe…

      Thank you – and happy hogging!

      P-H x

  3. Try using coffee filters for straining. It works better than cheese cloth or paper towels. Double or triple them up. And they have a lot less gunk and a lot better flavor if you let it sit for a few weeks before straining. I know someone else mentioned a couple of days, but really, be patient and wait a few weeks.

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