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?

Beth Voigt

Beth is a graphic designer in Chicago, a superhero in her own mind, and absolutely nothing on TV. She wrangles fonts professionally, pummels code amateurishly, and has been known to shove fire in her face for fun. Fond of volunteering, late-night bursts of productivity, and making snacks, she dislikes grocery shopping and sticky public transit and is only on her second smartphone. Her opinion is that you should try everything twice; if you don't like it, you were probably doing it wrong the first time around. If external links are your thing, here are links to Twitter and Instagram, and you can support her ongoing weirdness by buying her a coffee or six.

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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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