One of my favourite websites for clearing my head when I‘m deeply involved in my work and need a few minutes af mindless activity to clear my brain is the Mail Online. The “news” in that rag are perfect for shifting the brain‘s gears into “idle” to give you a rest from anything that needs a lot of concentration. Yesterday I came across this: How to make a perfect vodka cocktail – in your dishwasher!
The woman who wrote the piece claims that this is a „fast-growing internet craze“. Basically, you are supposed to take a bottle of cheap vodka, pour out about a third of the contents and replace them with candy. (I’m sure she had a lot of fun doing the testing – imagine getting paid to do this). She tested 10 different kinds, including gummi bears, Jelly Babies, Skittles, liquorice, Werther‘s Originals and After Eight mints. Her conclusion is that „Dishwasher vodka is quick and fun to make and, in most cases, the result is well worth the small effort.”
To me, this sounds like complicating a simple matter.
When I was younger, this is what we would do, which is not only cheaper, but also builds up anticipation: You take a bottle of vodka, empty out some of it (make a bunch of vodkatinis, for example) and put in crushed hard candies. Then you close the bottle and proceed to shake the bottle several times a day. In as little as 24 hours – longer if you don’t crush the candies – you have the desired result: a bottle of liquid, alcoholic candy. This is what gave rise to such notorious hangover-generators as Hot‘n‘Sweet schnapps, Tópas and some commercial infused vodkas. Not only is this method cheaper than the dishwasher, it also doesn’t reek of a “look at how clever I am” complex.
If, however, your aim is to look clever, put the bottle on something that can roll it continuously to gradually dissolve the candy, so that people can look at it and admire your cleverness. This rock tumbler, for example, has two rollers and can take a booze bottle. By the way, this method and the one described right above do not work with chocolate – you need heat to melt those.
Alternatively, if you’re in a huge, big hurry, pour about a cup of vodka into a blender, add hard or soft candies and blend until the candies are melted, then strain and mix with more vodka if the flavour is too intense. This takes less time than the dishwasher method and wastes less electricity.
With chocolate candies, gently heat the vodka up to about 40 °C (be very, very careful if you use the microwave to do this), add chocolates and stir to melt. Optionally, strain before drinking.
If it‘s an After Eight-infused drink you‘re after, it‘s easier to simply pour a shot of Royal Mint-Chocolate over ice and enjoy. Not only does it taste just like you‘d imagine a cocktail made from After Eights would, it also looks considerably prettier. (You’ll have to take my word for it – I have sadly run out of this delectable liqueur and it isn’t available in the booze shops here so I’ll have to wait until the next time I go abroad to buy another bottle).