Infusing vodka with Skittles is a very popular trend right now. There are a couple of different ways to do it. My way involves separating all the Skittles into their separate flavors and making five different bottles of Skittles vodka.
Over the years since I originally published this, I’ve found better ways to do some of it. Most importantly, I found a better way to strain it, and I’ve tested it with rum. In fact, the green one in this batch is rum. More on that at the end.
Time to complete: 24 hours at most. That’s about 30 minutes of prep; 15 minutes altogether for the occasional shaking; a good 14 hours to just let it do its thing; and a good hour or two for straining. Need something quicker and easier? Jolly Ranchers Vodka doesn’t need any straining or shaking, and infuses in about half the time.
For this project, you’ll need:
- One 1.75 liter bottle of vodka (I used Stoli – you don’t need the most expensive vodka, but do avoid the cheap ones)
- Five 8.5 ounce flasks or bottles (you can buy them from Amazon or Container Store. For a Halloween party, serve these neon-colored concoctions in test tube shooter glasses.)
- One 1 pound bag of Skittles
- Five empty plastic water bottles
- A funnel
- Bowls for separating the Skittles into flavors
- A measuring cup
- Cheesecloth and coffee filters
You’ll also probably want to cover your workspace with newspaper or freezer paper – this infusion can get messy. If you’re making a different sized batch, here’s the formula you need to know: I used 70 Skittles to 7 ounces of vodka, which yields about 7-8 ounces of infused vodka. If you want to make 1.5 times that, or 3 times that, just multiply your amounts.
Step 1: Separate Skittles into Flavors
Start by simply separating the Skittles into flavors. You want 70 of each.
Step 2: Put Skittles in bottles
Now put your Skittles into 5 bottles. I used some old water bottles I had on hand, but you can use any container with a secure lid – plastic or glass. Mason jars work great because whatever bottles you use, they’re going to end up with a lot of gunk to be washed out, and Mason jars are easy to wash out.
Step 3: Add the vodka
Now add the 7 ounces (or whatever measurement you’re using) of vodka to each bottle. When this is done, all five bottles will have a pile of Skittles soaking in the vodka.
Step 4: Shake ’em, shake ’em, shake ’em
Now your infusion bottles all have Skittles in the bottom. Give each bottle a good shake – the more, the better. The candy coating will start to rub off and color the vodka, but the white insides of the Skittles still have a lot of dissolving to do. After shaking them, set them aside for a few hours. I think shaking them every few hours, up to maybe 4 times altogether, helps them dissolve faster – especially if you’re making a bigger batch. My Skittles all dissolved overnight, but some people have had it take longer, so be sure to do this a full day in advance of when you want to serve them.
See the white stuff at the bottom? That’s what I was talking about. Once they’re all dissolved, you’ll notice a lot of white muck floating at the top. We’ll take care of this in Step 6.
Step 5: Strain
Since I first did this one, I’ve found that the quickest and most thorough way to strain these is through: 2 layers of cheese cloth inside a coffee filter. I’ve tried a lot of combinations, and this is the one that worked for me. It strained out everything in one pass, and didn’t take too long.
If you want suggestions on how to arrange that stuff, here’s what I did.
Looks like something from a mad scientist lab, huh? I clipped the coffee filters and cheesecloth (you can’t see the filters for the cheesecloth) onto a funnel with clips, and then stuck that contraption over a measuring cup. The thing about using a funnel is that it directs the flow of the stuff toward the bottom, which makes it go a little quicker.
Then I poured one of the infusions into my strainer setup. I had to pour about a quarter of my infusion in, then wait for some of it to soak through, then pour another quarter in, until I was done. If the strainer clogs with white gunk, you can use a spoon to scrape the white gunk out of the way.
By the way, if you’re wondering whether it’s going to slowly, this is about the stream you should expect if it’s filtering everything out like it should:
In the end, you’ll have about 8 ounces of Skittle infused vodka. Then I dumped the funnel and coffee filters into one of the bowls I’d used earlier for counting out Skittles, to catch drips as I carried it over to the sink. I washed everything out for re-using.
Then I took the liquid from the measuring cup and poured it into a flask. Repeat this process for each flavor.
Step 6: Chill and Serve
Now you’ve got 5 flasks or bottles of Skittles infused vodka:
Stick them in the freezer for several hours – overnight is fabulous… and they’re ready to serve:
Now, these are pretty strong on their own – nearly pure vodka. They are also very sweet. You can drink them straight, served up in a chilled martini glass, or you can use them in a cocktail:
- Mix them with ginger ale, 7-up or Sprite to taste
- Mix them with cola to taste (diet cola cuts the sweetness a little)
- Serve them on the rocks to water it down a little
- Some people mix them with fruit juice. I didn’t try this, because to me the Skittles were plenty of sweetness for my taste buds.
- Everyone’s taste varies – there are so many directions you can take this drink in, you really should try anything that sounds good to you!
Frequently asked questions:
- How long will this keep? I’m not a scientist, but I can tell you I’ve kept these for about a month with no problem. Strangely, the purple color can fade to pink, but that was the only “issue”. Everything tasted just like it always does and no one got ill. To be on the safe side, I recommend making these no more than 2 weeks ahead.
- Can you do it with rum? Absolutely! The green one in this batch is rum – it takes the same amount of time, strains the same way, etc. But the rum will add its own flavor. If you’ve ever had rum balls or butter rum candy, that’s the flavor it adds, and it’s delicious. I actually prefer the rum, but it depends on your preference. Both ways are terrific.
- Can you strain it with [insert alternative here]? You can strain it with many methods, but the one I gave you above is what I’ve found to be both the quickest without letting through gunk and needing a second pass.
Originally Published January 19, 2009