Candy corn may be considered Halloween’s cruelest trick, hiding at the bottom of a treat-filled bag, but throwing a handful of that candy corn into 10 ounces of vodka makes everything worse. I had to hold onto my mad scientist’s hat and my stomach after attempting to enjoy candy corn, the way many people enjoy fruits and vegetables: If eating fruits/vegetables/candy corn is boring or distasteful, try fruits/vegetables/candy corn incorporated into vodka. Or not.
According to Bettycrocker.com, the cooler, younger, drunken sister of the Betty Crocker Cookbook, the candy corn cocktail begins with candy corn infused vodka. When I first looked at the recipe, I kind of missed the measurement for the candy corn. Apparently I needed a cup of it, but I just saw “candy corn” and “vodka” and used my “best judgment,” which is often questionable, especially when I’m around vodka.
In any case, here are my mad scientist’s lab notes for what happened when I dropped a handful of candy corn into just over 10 ounces of vodka, sealed it in a jar, and let it sit for about 4 hours.
Hour one: The candy corn is just sitting there in the vodka. I wonder if it will turn the vodka a different color or if I’ll have to add food dye later on. Should it be orange? Yes, I think it should be orange. What’s the formula again? Red and yellow. Yes I think those two colors make orange.
Hour two: Things are getting weird. I can see white, filmy, wispy ghost-like things peeling away from the candy corn. I think it’s the wax coating separating from the candy. I will definitely need to strain this mixture well. Also, the entire thing is turning orange. No need for food dye.
Hour three: I’m tempted to just stop the experiment. More ingredients seem to be peeling away from the candy corn and floating around in the jar. I’m not sure I’ll be able to strain some of this out.
Hour four: The candy is actually starting to dissolve and it’s not pretty. I’m wondering if this is what my stomach looks like when I eat candy corn. I’m wondering if the American Medical Association recommends candy corn. . . . . . .
Bettycrocker.com suggests that I could leave the candy corn in the vodka for over four hours. Four hours is the minimum, but I start straining the vodka and dumping it into jars just at the four-hour mark. I do this about four times and then reseal the vodka in a jar.
Later in the evening, I follow the rest of the recipe—at least I think I’m following it. In order to make two drinks, I use one cup of the candy corn infused vodka and ½ cup of pineapple juice. I pour the mixture into a shaker and add ice. Then, I shake the mixture really well and strain it into two glasses.
The result is . . . beautifully horrific. The concoction is a bewitching and delightful orange, but the taste, well, to quote my husband, “It tastes like hand sanitizer.” I guess I’ve been serving hand sanitizer a lot lately because we know exactly what that flavor is. In any case, we spit the cocktail into the sink, pour the mixture down the drain, and cleanse our palates with the pineapple juice. And, I should have known better. According to a highly reliable study I’ve just discovered through the power of my own imagination, four out of five mad scientists conclude that candy corn is best when it’s eaten alone and not dissolved in vodka. In the footnotes of the study, published in The Mad Scientists’ Cooperative Extension Bartenders’ Association all five experts agree that they could possibly repeat the experiment with tequila. So, it looks like I have plans for next weekend.
Your Turn: Do you have a favorite Halloween drink?