We Put These Grown-Up Boozy Gummy Combos To The Test

We're not sure exactly when or why, but somehow, Jell-O shots and the Fourth of July are inextricably linked. Maybe it's because vibrant blue and red Jell-O work so well with the color scheme, or maybe its just a fun way to mix things up when you're hanging around at a BBQ. But, even with a pre-made mix, Jell-O shots take some careful prep work. Which led us to think: this July 4, what if we went with boozy gummies instead?

In college, we (ahem) experimented with vodka gummies (and the pun-friendly rummy bears), and, just like spiked fruit punch served from a trash can and shoes dedicated to showers, it was something we left far behind us. But with the advent of classier alcohol-inspired candies like the rosé bears and tequila gummies from Sugarfina, we wondered if it was possible to elevate the concept in the same way that Jell-O shots have managed to go gourmet.

So, naturally, we bought a lot of gummies, raided our liquor cabinets, and got to mixing, with the hope of creating a fun Fourth drink that also happens to be a lot easier to make than Jell-O shots. Ahead, see what we discovered — and which fancy combos you, too, can use to impress your friends.

Note: We had the most success when we let the gummies sit overnight in the fridge, rather than at room temperature for a few hours. We also don't include quantities in the recipe since it really depends on how much you want: place the desired number of gummies in a bowl and cover, with a little extra (for gummy expansion) at the top.

The Gummy: Tequila Worms
The Ingredients: Gummy Worms + Tequila

Tequila worms, like alcohol-soaked gummies, are the stuff of college legends. The worm can do everything from make you hallucinate to bring you good luck. As it turns out, the worms are placed in mezcal, not tequila, and are really just a marketing ploy that dates to the 1940s. Nevertheless, we wanted to pay homage to the tradition with a worm you wouldn't mind eating.

Soaked overnight, the gummy worms plumped up nicely and packed quite a punch, especially when you consider they are bigger than their bear cousins. It basically was like doing a tequila shot with a hint of sweetness.

The Verdict: Serve these with a little dish of salt and a lime wedge so your guests can dip the worm in salt and chase with a squeeze of lime, just like a traditional (way less fun) tequila shot.
The Gummy: Drunken Fish
The Ingredients: Swedish Fish + Vodka

We tried soaking these overnight and at room temperature for four hours, but the fish didn't really dissolve or grow. At first, they looked completely unchanged, if not just a tad lighter. Then we bit in. The consistency could best be described as "craggy." While the fish looked fairly solid, as soon as our tongues touched it, the outer layer started flaking off in tiny little pieces. In other words: gross.

The Verdict: Sadly, as much as we love Swedish Fish (and the name we thought up for this boozy gummy) these just don't work, on any level. Looking at the ingredients, we hypothesized that's because gummy worms and bears have some form of gelatin, whereas Swedish Fish have corn syrup and starch to give it a gummy consistency. Next time, we'll send gummy sharks, which do typically contain gelatin, on the booze cruise.
The Gummy: Whiskey Sour Straws
The Ingredients: Sour Punch Straws and Bourbon

Sadly for puns, Sour Straws are another gummy-like candy with no gelatin. We tried soaking overnight them overnight and at room temperature, but the straws completely fell apart. On the other hand, however, these were very, very boozy. Even though they didn't soak up the bourbon, the straws had the most surface area since the insides were hollow. So, when consumed, a fair amount of bourbon came along for the ride.

The Verdict: You might be better off sipping whiskey through a sour straw if you want to approximate this experience.
The Gummy: Rum & Cokes
The Ingredients: Rum and Cola gummies

For a gummy cocktail that actually tasted like a cocktail (and not just a cute name), we soaked Cola gummies with rum to make a classic rum and Coke, or Cuba Libre drink. Just like gummy worms and bears, the gummy colas plumped up nicely in the fridge over night. The slightly vanilla-y, cola tang of the gummies actually helped mellow the rum flavor and these were delicious — maybe dangerously so.

The Verdict: Serve these with caution because they go down easy! You are also left with a tasty cola-infused rum, which we think would be great with vanilla ice cream for a boozy float.
The Gummy: Peach Ring Bellinis
The Ingredients: Peach rings and Prosecco

Taking a final bit of inspiration from rosé gummies, we tried to see if we could have similar success with another kind of wine. The only problem? Rosé gummies are made with actual rosé wine in the mix — we were just soaking them in wine. Would they behave the same way?

After a good soak, the rings had a slimy consistency, but weren't especially boozy. We did track down recipes elsewhere on the internet for bubbly-soaked gummies, which also lead us to hypothesize that the sugar coating on the peach rings may have negatively affected how the rings soaked up the bubbly.

The Verdict: While these did taste peachy with a splash of Prosecco, our creation ultimately didn't leave us with the boozy experience we were hoping for. If you want to do a bubbly-soaked gummy, we recommend going with one with no coating (like gummy bears), and then inviting us over so we can try them, too.