Starburst Vodka Tutorial

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Starburst Vodka tutorial

Based on our earlier fun with Skittles Vodka, we decided now was a good time to find out what happens when you infuse vodka with Starburst candies. These are soft, taffy-like candies and they are known in some countries as Opal Fruits.

For this project, you’ll need:

  • Decent but not pricey vodka. I got a 1.75 liter bottle of Svedka and only used about half of it to make 5 batches. But if you’re making more batches, or bigger batches, you might use the whole bottle.
  • Five 8.5 ounce flasks or bottles (you can buy the ones I used from Amazon). To do this on the cheap, repurpose glass bottles that have screw on lids – beverage containers, salad dressing bottles, etc.
  • Starbursts. Again, I bought a really big bag and had a ton of candy left over, but the ratio is 2.5-3 Starbursts to each ounce of vodka.
  • Empty plastic water bottles. You’ll need one for each batch you plan to make.
  • A funnel.
  • A measuring cup
  • Coffee filters
  • A sieve

As with other infusions we’ve done, you’ll want to have a workspace for things to sit for about twenty-four hours, and you should cover it with newspaper or something because as the sugar breaks down, this can get a little messy.

Related: Jolly Rancher Vodka Tutorial

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Step 1: counting, measuring and separating

As I said above, you need about 2.5-3 Starbursts per ounce of vodka. You’ll also want to use an ounce or so less vodka than you want for the finished product, because the Starbursts are going to fill up the bottle a little bit, too.

I wanted to make 5 batches at 8 ounces each, so for each batch I infused 7 ounces of vodka with 18 candies. That yielded an (approximate) 8 ounce batch in each flavor.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Step 2: put the Starbursts into the water bottles

Take the amount of Starbursts you need for each batch and put them into one of your empty water bottles.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Starburst Vodka tutorial

This is my orange batch, with the candies in the bottle. Want to make a mixed flavor batch? Just put Starbursts of different colors in the same bottle. I did a simple strawberry lemon batch, with 9 strawberry candies and 9 lemon ones. But you can mix all four colors, or use more of one flavor than another – whatever you want. The vodka doesn’t alter the flavor of the candies at all, so it’s going to taste the same as if you ate two (or more) Starbursts together.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Step 3: Adding the vodka

Once you’ve got your candies for each batch into their water bottles, it’s time to pour the vodka over them. Pour the right amount of vodka into a measuring cup (7 ounces if you’re making the same size batches I was), put a funnel in the water bottle and pour the vodka into the bottle.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Now you have the beginnings of an infusion:Starburst Vodka tutorial

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Step 4: Shake it up!

Give each batch a good shake to get the process started. Shaking helps the vodka get all over the candy and start to break it down faster.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Now your infusion will look something like this, as the vodka takes on the color from the candies and the whole infusion becomes a little more frothy.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

I recommend shaking several times, or as often as possible. I had these batches infusing in my dining area, so every time I walked past them, I would give each infusion a good ten seconds or so of shaking. I started my batches one afternoon: by evening, the Starbursts were getting much smaller, and a white froth was forming on top.

Related: Marshmallow Vodka Infusion

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Step 5: Straining

I started my batches one afternoon. The next morning, the Starbursts were completely broken down and the infusions were ready to be strained.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Why strain? Because that white froth on top doesn’t taste great, and it’s going to keep separating from the rest of the drink and looking strange. It’s the waxes or whatever additives they use in the candy, not the yummy tasting bits. But there’s good news: this one is much easier to strain than Skittles Vodka!

Put a single coffee filter in a sieve and put the sieve over your measuring cup. Pour one of your infusions into it and let it run through the filter.

Starburst Vodka tutorial

Once it’s done running through, it’ll look like nothing but frothy stuff in the filter:

Starburst Vodka tutorial

That’s it! I did not find filtering it through a second coffee filter got out anymore gunk – there will always be a trace of the frothy stuff left behind, but not enough to affect the flavor or look nasty.

Step 6: Pouring into the flasks

Now it’s time to pour your infusions into their glass storage containers. I used flasks, but as I mentioned above, any glass container that closes up well will do. Just put the funnel into the mouth of your bottle (if necessary) and pour from the measuring cup into the bottle.

Starburst Vodka infusions

From left to right: strawberry, cherry, strawberry-lemon, lemon and orange

Step 7: Chill

Chilling is optional, but I believe vodka always tastes better chilled, and even more when it’s been infused. Just put them in the freezer for a couple of hours (it also looks beautiful when you get them out):

Starburst Vodka infusions

Drinking them

As I mentioned above, they taste exactly like the candy, just with a little bit of that vodka kick. You can definitely drink them straight up – in fact, they’re a little more mellow than the Skittles, so this is a good way to go.

Related: Rum Caviar tutorial

The lemon was my least favorite, but then it was always my least favorite Starburst flavor – it reminds me of furniture polish. The strawberry-lemon was very good, on the other hand. Strawberry was probably my favorite – but again, it was always my favorite candy flavor. I think you’re probably going to like the infusions exactly as much as you like the candies you made them with. The vodka really doesn’t change anything about the flavor.

You can also:

  • Mix these with soda water or even mineral water
  • Mix these with soda – clear pop or dark cola, if theStarburst flavor sounds like it would be good with the soda flavor, it’ll probably work. So, cherry Starburst vodka and coke? Orange Starburst vodka with lemon-lime soda? You get the idea.
  • Take drink recipes that call for cherry liqueur, strawberry schnapps, etc., and replace that ingredient with the same-flavored Starburst infusion.

Cheers!

Comments

  1. is it possible to use gin instead om vodka?

  2. For the orange starburst can I use Vanilla Vodka to get a Creamsicle taste?

  3. I just finished my batch. I found that it worked better using just a filter in the funnel when pouring into the flasks, without the sieve. It went much faster than when we tried it with the sieve, with equal results (virtually no cloudiness funneled into the flask). It’s chilling now, so I can’t wait to try it!

  4. How long are these good for? Do they need to be refrigerated, or is that a matter of preference? I was thinking of making these as gifts, but it depends on storage and shelf life. Thanks!

    • Refrigeration is not necessary. In theory, they should keep as ping as Starbursts, which is quite a few months. I’d say at least a few weeks should be safe?

  5. Hello Bachelorette gifts?!

  6. Have you had any problem with the plastic bottles breaking down from the alcohol?

  7. Love this! I found a giant bag of only the “red” flavors of Starburst and I am in heaven. I made the mistake of bringing the first batch to work (I’m a bartender) to let my regulars taste test them and about 10 seconds after the first round of empty shot glasses hit the bar, had about 20 demands to put this on the menu or at least serve it on our party nights. Most of them still don’t believe they can make it themselves without some major work :)

  8. How long will I have to leave it in the freezer so it can look like a frozen drink ?

  9. Currently in the middle of filtering a giant batch of strawberry rum–taking a long time, but I snagged a taste and I can already tell it’s going to be so worth it! Tastes like a strawberry daquari with no added ingredients needed, and such a fun color for Valentine’s day this weekend. I’m betting any of the tropical flavors would be delicious infused in rum–that might be my next project!

  10. Hi, I ‘m in South Africa. Don’t have starburst candy here. is there an alternative that could be used?

    • Trudi, I did some searching online but I’m not finding anything. They are soft, waxy candies that you can squish almost like clay, so if you can find any candy that’s like that, it should work.

    • Hey, someone just told me Opal Fruits are like Starburst. We don’t have them here, but if you do, see it they sound like how I described Starbursts in my earlier reply. :)

      • “Opal Fruits ” was the original name for Starburst, they are one and the same.

        • Thanks, Rick! I’m going to add this into the post because I know other people in areas where Starbursts aren’t sold are going to wonder.

  11. Where can I get flasks like that. I’m trying to do this for my birthday

  12. In the picture where there is vodka being poured into the bottles with the starbursts, the bottle has an H and an anchor, but I do not think that is a Svedka bottle. What is the story there??

    Also, fantastic flavor for the vodka…personally, I mixed the Cherry and Orange …tasty!! Thanks!

  13. Britanny says:

    This question is in regards to the Starburst, Skittles, and Jolly Rancher vodkas. Have you ever tried, or would you recommend, using a clear tasteless rum instead of vodka? A lot of the people I know have bad reactions to drinking vodka. I’m testing the skittles now so if no one has the answer then I can post my experience with that later, but I don’t know how it would change the chemical reaction in the drink. What Proof/percentage of alcohol is the vodka you use? And also, have you tried or would you recommend a flavored vodka (I’m thinking whipped cream or vanilla) with some of these? Thanks!

    • Several commenters and Pinterest users have done this with rum and say it’s great. I use 80 proof vodka. I haven’t done this with flavored vodka, but I think it would either just add a touch of the vodka (or rum) flavor, or else the flavor would be overwhelmed. Either way, not a bad thing!

  14. Laura Gordon says:

    This is a fantastic tutorial. Easy to understand. Photos are beautiful. Thanks for making this so simple. Cheers…

  15. Melissa S. Gaylor says:

    Could you infuse a whole bottle? How many would that take? I have a house full of people who would be drinking this, so I need to make as massive a batch as possible.

    • The ratio is about 2.5 candies to each ounce of vodka. A standard 750mil bottle is about 25 ounces, so try 64 candies to a bottle. Remember, you can always add a little more candy or vodka to get the ratio to just your taste.

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