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Kitchen Lab: In the Face With Bears


Jello shots. Whether you think they’re silly and fun or just incredibly juvenile (and therefore silly and fun), they’re kind of a PITA to make. Eleventeen tiny little cups to fill. A tray-full of sticky liquid spilling all over your fridge every time you open the door or move the milk. Discovering they weren’t as jello-ed as you thought… after dumping them all in a bag to transport. Let’s make this easy, shall we?

Gummy bears.

Add vodka.

Soak for at least 24 hours.


I literally saw a mention of this in passing on Facebook, and thought I should give it a try. I mean, who can’t soak things in vodka? I figured that even if this little experiment failed miserably, I’d at least have gummy bear infused vodka that I could sell for big bucks at the swanky-yet-foofy martini bars.

For the first trial, I went small. I’d bought a whole ton of gummy bears, hedging my bets that this little trial would be as awesome as I hoped. The deciding factor for my initial sample size was the simple lack of room in my fridge for a huge vat of bear soup. So I put a handful of gummy bears in a little Pyrex bowl, added just enough vodka to cover ’em, and wrapped the whole mess in plastic wrap to avoid alcohol abuse.

top and side views of gummy bears after 3 days and 1 week of being soaked in vodka
Thirsty bears!

While my understanding of the instructions was to soak the bears for “at least 24 hours,” I had far better results after a few days. Even after that long, they still had a rather chewy middle. But dang, were those things potent! I only ate a few (for an indeterminate value of “few”), and I had to stick the rest back in the fridge before I couldn’t make it there without falling down. The ones I forgot in the fridge for a week or so were well-nigh perfect, with a consistent jelly texture throughout. They swelled up nearly double, but had a tendency to glue themselves together (much like a typical drunkard finds all his bestest friends on the nearest barstools).

Size comparison of a row of four gummy bears, before and after soaking in vodka
The Grinch’s.. heart… grew THREE SIZES that day!

For round two, I was going to take them to our fantastic Skeptical Salon to share, so I made bunches.

It feels rather odd to be pouring vodka over a cereal bowl full of gummy bears.

white bowl full of gummy bears
This is what it feels like to wake up in the morning feeling like Ke$ha.

They’re going for the big group taste test tonight, so if you hear about a record number of klutzy injuries at Skeptic Tower, you’ll know why.

For these rounds of testing, I used whipped cream vodka, but I think I’ll go fruity next time. Probably watermelon, that most delicious and summery of fruits. Picnic, anyone?

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  1. They were great! It went quickly from “um, why are there gummy bears?” to the sudden disappearance of about half the bowl.

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