If you like your cocktails sweet, why not go all the way—as in, stuffing them chock-full of candy? Yes, candy. Made with ingredients like lollipops, cotton candy and rock candy, these drinks combine the grown-up and the juvenile in a totally irresistible way.
Where: Kuu Restaurant, Houston
What: Silver tequila, watermelon wasabi puree, agave.
How: "Watermelon is everyone's favorite summertime fruit and wasabi is a Japanese staple. The two fit together naturally, even in name—hence the 'Wa-Wa-tini', says restaurant manager Emily Heddleston. As for the garnish? It's house-made lime rock candy. Photo by Kimberly Park.
Lollipop Passion Goblet
Where: Sugar Factory, Miami
What: Citrus vodka, coconut, melon liqueur, sour mix, pineapple juice and splash of Sprite.
How: This colossal 60-oz drink is served in a cloud of dry ice with an extra-sweet garnish of two unicorn lollipops and a candy necklace. Photo courtesy of Sugar Factory.
Cotton Candy Martini
Where: Barton G., Los Angeles
What: Citrus vodka, orange-flavored liqueur, ruby red grapefruit juice, orange juice.
How: This confectionery-style drink, served tableside, includes a large puff of bubble gum cotton candy that’s dissolved with a cloud of smoke by the potent mix of spirits and juices poured on top. “The Cotton Candy Martini reminds us of the kid in us, and celebrates those sweet childhood memories,” explains owner and founder Barton G. Weiss. Photo courtesy of Barton G.
Where: Dylan’s Candy Bar, New York City
What: Black currant liqueur, raspberry vodka, muddled raspberries, Prosecco.
How: Basically a liquid dessert, this cocktail is full of lush fruity flavors, and the candy emporium tops things off with gummy raspberries and a rock candy swizzle. Photo courtesy of yung_wasabi/Instagram.
Milky Way Martini
Where: Lulu's Chocolate Bar, Savannah
What: Irish whiskey and cream liqueur, butterscotch liqueur, chocolate liqueur, vanilla vodka, house-made chocolate sauce.
How: This confectionary spot turns into a bar after 10 pm, and that's when you can try this candy cocktail inspired by a Milky Way chocolate bar. Its decadent layers of flavors mimic the childhood treat, and you'll want to lick that glass when you're done. Photo courtesy of Lulu's Chocolate Bar.
Where: Spoke & Steele, Indianapolis
What: Vodka, raspberry liqueur, simple syrup, cranberry juice, citric acid, bitters.
How: “The drink was inspired by a bit of a throwback candy, the Warhead sour treats that blew up the scene in the 90’s,” says beverage director Tyler Burns. Photo courtesy of Spoke & Steele.
Raspberry Warhead recipe:
1 oz. vodka
1 oz. raspberry liqueur
1 ½ oz. simple syrup
½ oz. cranberry juice
2 dashes Reception bitters
1 ½ oz Citric acid solution (Tyler suggests ordering it online but you can make your own; see below)
Shake and strain all ingredients into a coupe glass. Garnish with Jolly Rancher candy.
*To make citric acid solution: Dissolve 4 teaspoons citric acid with 24 oz. water, and store the mix in the refrigerator overnight.
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