When you soak gummy bears in vodka, they absorb the alcohol and turn into yummy fruity Vodka Gummy Bears. Since we first published this guide, we’ve found a much quicker, simpler way to make this delicious treat.
How to make Vodka Gummy Bears
So you’ve tried all the cocktails in 15 Candy Drinks that Taste Like Childhood Treats and now you want to make something even more spectacular. Something where the alcohol and the candy are all in one.
The old method for making Vodka Gummy Bears took days. You had to pour vodka into a bowl of bears, cover the bowl and put it in the refrigerator for days – up to a week.
This new method takes less than a day, and the gummy bears get much bigger. It’s so easy, and the bears come out a little more firm and less slimy, too.
This time, we decided to test the method on gummy bears, gummy worms and gummy cola bottles. Because, why not? The more the merrier, right?
Time to complete: 20-24 hours. Your prep time is just 10-15 minutes to put the gummies in bowls. The rest of that time is just letting them soak while you go do something fun.
I can vouch for 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.
Albanese brand also seems to work well in most vodkas. And you can buy all sorts of specialty flavored gummy bears from Albanese:
- Pineapple Gummy Bears
- Cinnamon Gummy Bears
- Pink Grapefruit Gummy Bears
- Strawberry Banana Gummy Bears
You don’t need an expensive vodka – something mid-range is fine because you’ll barely taste it anyway. There’s no reason to waste top shelf vodka on this project.
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.
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 in the lower right corner has rummy cola gummies, which ended up being so good that they got 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 do not need to cover or refrigerate them.
I know, I know – in the earlier version of this tutorial, I said you did. I told you to cover them well and leave them in the fridge for at least five days. But it actually works much faster if you just let them sit out 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 them soak 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. First, the gummy bears – dry, at 4 hours in vodka, and at 20 hours in vodka.
And now the worms – again, dry, 4 hours and 20 hours. See how much bigger they get after 20 hours?
How to Serve 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. Toothpicks can also work.
Here are the gummy bears, ready to serve:
And the gummy worms:
And here they all are together, served on a table.
There will be a little bit of “juice” left over at the bottom of the bowl you soaked them in. This can easily be soaked up with a marshmallow or a piece of cake.
I keep getting some questions about these gummy vodka concoctions, so here goes.
How do they taste?
These taste just like the candies, except with a little of that vodka burn. The vodka really doesn’t do anything to alter the flavor.
What’s the alcohol content?
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.
Again, that’s not exact. And different brands will probably vary. But I think it’s safe to say these don’t hold some shocking amount of alcohol per gummy.
Still… did you ever eat 21 gummy bears at a sitting? It’s not that hard to do. So keep that in mind as you enjoy.
Some readers have reported their bears turning to mush. We’re not sure why this happens. I originally thought it might have to do with the brands of bears and vodka used, but some people have had trouble despite using the exact brands I used here.
If we ever find a solution that always works, I’ll add it here. In the meantime, if you do get mushy bears, 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.”
This is a great way to turn a bar fail into something delicious that seems like it was on purpose.
Will the alcohol evaporate if you use this method, leaving the bears weak on alcohol? Short answer: no, not really.
Longer answer: 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.