Candy Corn (October 31, 2021)

The Candy Corn cocktail is garnished with candy corns to look like a crown.

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Like the Killer Clown, I made this Halloween cocktail last year for a party, and was asked to reprise it.

Desired Improvements

I wanted to improve on last year, though. My first area to focus on was trying to create a better separation between the orange and yellow layers, so that it looked more like an actual piece of candy corn. To do this, I figured I needed to either change something about what I chose to float on top of each other; adapt the colors; or level up my pouring technique.

The other thing I wanted to improve was the garnish. I pride myself on my garnishes usually, but last year the candy corn was surprisingly difficult to wrangle. I ended up using one candy per cocktail last year as a result, and it looked a little sparse to me.

This year, I wanted to be ready.

Layers

I’m not sure about this, but I suspect there might be a trick to the weight of each liquid and how they interact. Perhaps I should have run some tests, but I ended up taking an easy way out. I hoped that if I created more difference between the colors of the layers, that it could provide enough contrast. I selected a liquid that was a much deeper yellow than what I used last year.

Like last year, the orange layer was Tequila infused with actual candy corn candy. (I note online that most people would use vodka for something like this; I’m sure that would be lovely too. Maybe even rum?) I put a small pitcher on the windowsill and let time do its work. Interestingly, this year the infusion took longer because I used a different brand of candy corn. Because we’d heard a lot about shipping delays and shortages, I grabbed the first bag of candy corn that I saw, in case I couldn’t find any more.

Like last year, I used cream for the white layer. It not only says “candy corn,” but it’s easy to float. It’s also rich and delicious, and a great complement to the sweetness of the drink overall.

Detour

I later found the preferred kind of candy corn and purchased it. We did a blind taste test at home, and it turns out I really do prefer the original. I’m not an affiliate or anything, but it begins with a B and is from Chicago. We ended up eating the preferred candy, and infusing the other. The secondary candy took several days to dissolve into the tequila, as opposed to only five hours last year with the preferred brand. Somehow, I don’t think I’d like to ask too many questions about it, but I’ll leave this right here for your information.

Verdict

I didn’t spend much time on the physics of the layers, but maybe I should have! With the exception of the cream layer, they didn’t turn out like I’d hoped. Although some cocktails displayed a slight difference between the orange and yellow layers, they generally looked like an orange drink with a white float on top. So that was a little disappointing, and something that I might look into for next year. How beautiful would that three-layer cocktail be?

For the garnish, I was ready with a knife and some patience. I gently carved a groove at the bottom of the candy so I could place them on the rim. A happy accident was that they looked like crowns. They looked stunning and fun, if I do say so myself, folks!

The flavor was delicious: sort of like a creamsicle.

Non-alcoholic adaptation

I also created a non-alcoholic version of the drink. Instead of infusing candy corn in alcohol, you can achieve the same color and flavor by treating this like a simple syrup. If you heat a quantity of candy corn in water until the candy dissolves, you can get the same visual effect and a similar taste. It’s also much faster!

Ingredients

  • Tequila

  • Candy corn

  • Mango Lemonade

  • Cream

  • Candy Corn to garnish

Enjoyed on October 31, 2021

Directions

  • Start a couple of days early with your infusion of candy and alcohol, since I noticed a big difference in the breakdown of different brands of candy corn. Steep tequila and candy corn in a carafe or jar and cover. You may want to agitate from time to time. For quantity: I was making for a party so used quite a bit: probably 16 oz. tequila and a whole bag of candy corn. Plan for about 2 oz. of the mixture per each cocktail. You can adjust the proportion too, depending on how sweet or strong you prefer. You’ll know when it’s done because the candy will completely dissolve.
  • Cut grooves in the candy corn garnishes first, since it’s a bit time-consuming. Have them ready to go.
  • Pour the orange layer first; go about one-third of the way up the glass.
  • Position a teaspoon above the orange layer, and turn it over so the rounded back of the spoon is facing up. Gently and slowly pour the Mango Lemonade over the spoon for the yellow layer. (I hope to have a hack for next year so that these layers are more defined.) Leave a little extra room than you think you’ll need for the final layer.
  • Using the same spoon technique, pour the cream. This one should float easily.
  • Garnish with as many candy corns as you like around the rim and Happy Halloween!

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