When you soak gummy bears in vodka, they absorb the alcohol and turn into a yummy fruity treat with a kick. Since I first published this, I’ve found a much quicker, simpler way to make vodka gummy bears. It takes less than a day instead of the five or more days I recommended before, and the gummy bears get much bigger.
How to make Vodka Gummy Bears
Check out the whole process in a ~1 minute video:
Time to complete: 20-24 hours. That’s 10-15 minutes to put the gummies in bowls, and the rest is just letting them soak.
I recommend the Haribo brand (linked above) because I’ve never had them turn gooey or stay small. They’ve worked well with Svedka, Smirnoff and Absolut. You don’t need an expensive vodka – something mid-range is fine because you’ll barely taste it at all anyway. Note: a couple of commenters have reported trouble with “cheap” brands of vodka. I can tell you for sure that Svedka and Smirnoff work, and you can usually get the big 1.75l bottles for around $20.
You can buy any gummy you can imagine for this project on Amazon:
Step 1: Put your gummies in bowls
I kept out a dry gummy of each type so I could compare their size to the ones that were soaking. Note: the bowl on the right has rummy cola gummies, which ended up being so good that I gave them their own post.
Step 2: Pour the vodka
Next, pour enough vodka into each bowl to cover the gummies well.
Step 3: Wait patiently
At this point, you’re done until the vodka has all been soaked up. You can cover the bowls to keep the fruity smell from filling up the room, but you don’t need to cover or refrigerate them. In the earlier version of this tutorial, I said you did, but I was wrong. It actually works much faster if you just let them sit in a bowl.
After about four hours, I fished out a gummy of each type, and put them beside the dry one. They were noticeably bigger, especially the worm, but I thought they could get bigger still. I ended up letting it go overnight. The next morning when I got up, about 20 hours had passed since the beginning of the experiment, and I fished out another gummy for comparison. You can see the difference for yourself:
Serving Drunken Gummy Bears
Once these are done, they get slippery and a little bit slimy. To serve, I recommend you spoon them out onto a flat dish or surface. As you do so, you’ll find some of them have gotten stuck together. Just wedge your spoon gently in between them and they’ll pop apart. Offer guests spoons or appetizer forks to stab them.
There will be a little bit of “juice” left over at the bottom of the bowl you soaked them in.
These taste just like the candies, except with a little of that vodka burn.
There’s been a lot of speculation about how much (or little) vodka is in Vodka Gummy Bears, so I weighed them dry and post-soaking. This won’t be exact, but it should be somewhat useful. Dry, the bears weigh 2 grams and the worms weigh 5 grams. Soaked, the bears gained 2 grams of alcohol and the worms took on 3 grams. Other gummies you use may vary. In ounces, this means that each bear contains about 0.071 ounces of vodka and each worm contains 0.106 ounces. So to equal a standard drink (1 1/2 ounces), you need about 21 bears or about 14 worms.
Some readers have reported their bears turning to mush. We’re not sure why. I had thought it might have to do with the brands of bears and vodka used, but some people have had trouble using the exact brands I used here. But if you do get mush, reader Mandy Lee has a great solution: “Shake well if this has happened, strain gummies out (screen coffee filter works very well). Pour liquid into bowl or jello shot cups, chill. I made very strong jello shots that way.”
Will the alcohol evaporate if you use this method, leaving the bears weak on alcohol? No. The amount of evaporation that takes place over less than 24 hours is negligible. And by that time, the alcohol has soaked into the bears where it’s trapped until you eat them.