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May 01, 2007

The Something Random Guide to: Making Vodka Jellies

Follow-up to The Something Random Guide to: Making A Vodka Infusion. from Something Random

I figure it's about time i did a follow-up, especially with post-exam-celebration season looming!

Vodka Jellies

In the interest of thorough scientific practice I’m expanding my collection of alcohol related recipes by adding the immortal creation that is “Something Random’s Perfect Jelly Shot”. This recipe is still largely unknown among my friends, one reason for this being that those who encounter the fabled shots do tend to experience a certain amount of amnesia the following morning. But regardless of the memory-loss everyone agrees that they taste amazing; even if they still can’t understand how they managed to fall asleep on the floor curled up around a small potted plant and with their hand taped to a spatula.

As always read through completely before you start and make sure there is plenty of kitchen roll to hand just in case. It may not be the definitive recipe but it 's fast and simple and hasn't let me down yet.

Ingredients:

8 packets of jelly (where each packet is to make 1 pint)
1 x 70cl bottle of vodka (again cheap wodka is fine, you won’t notice)
2 x 225g bags haribo tangfastics
1 clean empty bottle with lid
Water
About 40 shot glasses (the usual size for jellies is 6.5cl = 2.3 fl.oz.)

Method:

    1. Open the tangfastics and separate out the cherries. Put these to one side and feed the others to your minions/housemates/dog. At this stage in the proceedings there are usually a lot of minions loitering around – they sense the haribo.
    2. Cut up the cherries, separating the green and red parts. Again, feed the green leftovers to your minions. Further cut up the red bits and put them in a bowl on one side.
    3. Now turn to the vodka. Pour about a third of it into the other bottle to be stored temporarily.
    4. Transfer the chopped up cherries into the original vodka bottle. This is easiest done slowly and by hand because the pieces are so sticky. Any attempts to use a funnel will just result in a mess as it will get blocked and you’ll have to free it with a chopstick.
    5. Run a sink/bucket full of hot water and place this bottle in it. Ensure the lid is on tightly enough to prevent any leakage.
    6. At intervals invert the bottle and shake gently to facilitate the dissolving of the cherries. Vodka is a solvent so this shouldn’t take too long. If at this point the cherries are still not dissolving try putting a bit of the excess vodka back in the bottle.
    7. Once completely dissolved remove from the water and place to one side to cool
    8. Next make the jelly. There are various methods of doing this, using a microwave or a large pan on a low heat. Either are valid but it’s important to use as little water as feasibly possible. This will help to speed up the cooling down when you come to add the rest of the water.
    9. When the jelly is all liquid take it off the heat and add cold water (and ice cubes if you have them) to cool it down. By now the mixture should have a volume of no more than 2 pints. If there are more than two pints of jelly at this point there is a risk that the jelly will not set.
    10. Add the cherry vodka and the spare stored vodka then top up the volume to a total of 4 pints. The best way of doing this is by measuring the mixture&vodka out a pint at a time with a measuring jug (or pint-sized container eg a glass milk bottle) then topping up at the end with the appropriate amount of water.
    11. Set out the glasses in a grid on a baking tray and fill them with about 50 ml each. This should allow for about 35-40 jellies and will also make each of them as strong as a standard 25ml shot of vodka. Let people know this because its hard to judge the strength of the shots from taste alone the sweetness makes it very misleading!
    12. Put the trays of jellies on a level surface in the fridge to set, then take them out and enjoy!

    Points to remember:

    • Most jellies contain pork extract, however there are varieties available that dont. This is something to bear in mind if you are catering for vegetarians.
    • I have also seen sugarfree brands and jelly powders in sachets. These should work fine but unless youve done a test run first consider making them a little in advance in case something goes wrong.
    • If worst comes to worst and the jellies refuse to set it is possible to cheat by chilling them in the freezer until they solidify some more. Be careful, too much time in the freezer and they are liable to freeze round the edges. This ruins the texture of the jelly.
    • If youve really messed up and its staying liquid, it is possible to stage a last ditch attempt at rescue by pouring the jellies back together again and adding a couple more packets of jelly before returning them to their individual glasses. However this is something that would be better off avoided as not only does it make an awful mess of both the glasses and your kitchen but it also wastes a lot of the mix.

    Prices:Jelly

    Two rounds of this recipe will use:

    2x70cl cheap vodka £13.00
    4bags haribo £4
    16 packets jelly £3.50
    80
    glasses (100 incP&P) £10.00

    Which should come to about £30.50 in total.

    Or £0.38 per jelly which, I think youll agree, is pretty good going for party fodder - especially considering they're the equivalent of a shot each.

    Ive not yet had the opportunity to work out the calories or weight watchers points per jelly shot but will do so at the next available opportunity.

    Mx 



    July 02, 2005

    Never ever ever say

    "Go on, have a drink while we're out"

    to a student. You may well regret it later. *sigh* when will my parents learn…

    So, what do you get when you mix a dash each of:

    • apricot schnapps
    • vodka
    • Galliano
    • triple-sec curacao
    • martini rosso
      then add ~3 times the volume of the resulting mixture in cranberry and raspberry juice. Add a handfull of heart shaped icecubes, stir, et voila!

    Yum.

    The answer is, I have no idea what is is but it is tasty and also nameless. So what is it to be? A "girl's night in"? A "happy valentine"? – because of the hearts. A "pink mule" - in reference to not only the hefty kick but also a gorgeous pair of shoes.

    Any suggestions? Go on… I need a laugh. And as an added bonus, if you win I'll give a long-winded speech about how funny/amazing/clever/humanoid you are whenever I drink one. You see if I don't. I always keep my promises, especially if they are alcohol related.


    June 16, 2005

    Making a homemade liqueur:

    … Limoncello.

    Limoncello is a lemon liqueur produced in the south of Italy, mainly in the region around the Gulf of Naples and the coast of Amalfi, but also in Sicily. This version is made from lemon rinds, alcohol, milk, and sugar. The resulting drink has a smooth creamy texture not unlike that of Baileys but with a fresh zesty taste. Perfect for sipping on a summer evening over ice. Because of all the sugar it may be too sickly in large amounts for some tastes but lovely in small quantities.

    Crema Di Limoncello
    Ingredients:

    • 2 litres neat spirit (94%)
    • 20 lemons
    • 4 cartons long life milk
    • 4 kilos sugar

    However, be warned that this produces a hell of a lot of it - 10 litres approx, so unless you are hosting a HUGE party I would suggest halving it, 5 litres is still more than enough. We used:

    • 1 litre smirnoff blue label vodka (45%)
    • 12 lemons (2 bags of 6)
    • 2 cartons of long life (whole) milk
    • 2 kilos of castor sugar

    Instructions :

    Wash your lemons and then carefilly remove the skin, making sure that none of the actual lemon nor much of the actual pith remains attached. None of the actual lemon is used to make this drink; use them sliced in drinks maybe or make a nice cake or have a competition to see who can eat one in the fastest time. I don't really care, just keep them away from the limoncello.

    Now chop up the skin reasonably finely and put it in a airtight container (preferably this should be earthenware but we used tupperware). It is important at this stage that the container is not metal; I don't know why but it just is. Cover with all of the alcohol and seal.

    This mixture must then be left for 12 days and stirred once a day. We left ours for 14 days and shook the container twice a day (without removing the lid to minimise evaporation).

    At the end of the 12 days the vodka should be yellowish in colour and, oddly enough, taste of lemons. A few shots of this half finished mixture were sacrificed in the name of science and quality assessment. Several times. Until we felt it had passed whatever test we had decided to throw at it.

    So, now find the hugest mother of a pot you have. Chances are it still won't be big enough but nevermind for now. Pour in one carton of milk and the 2 kilos od sugar. Stir while heating gently. Add as much of the second carton of milk as you can to help the sugar disolve faster. Don't heat too much because the next step is waiting for the sugary milk solution to cool.


    Once cool mix with the lemon peel and vodka in a huge bowl. At this point several more shots were offered up in the name of science and quality-testing-control-whatever. Yum.

    Filter the mixture with a fine wire mesh sieve and bottle in clean bottles (preferably glass). To acquire enough bottles we suggest that you make full use of the 12 previous days of waiting. Screw-top wine bottles are particularly handy, as is the original bottle of the alcohol used. Keep all of this in the fridge; it is possible to keep it in the freezer too but expect it to look really slushy and lumpy when you get it out.

    Serve with cool glasses. Could be served with ice cubes or poured on ice cream. The finished product should look a lot like this:

    Delicious… Now all you need is the warm sunny weather to enjoy it in.

    M xxx


    May 12, 2005

    The Something Random Guide to: Making A Vodka Infusion.

    In this case a delicious Skittles Vodka

    No doubt this can be attempted with other types of sweets but we find that the skittle-like variety work very well. Chocolate is a big no-no unless you want to drink something that looks not unlike sewage.

    There are some that would claim that Tom and I make dirt.
    These people are heathens and have never tried the delights that they are so quick to dismiss. When dealing with skittle vodka it is paramount to ignore these philestines who do not appreciate the fruits of your labour. And it's only because they never got to try any, the crybabies!

    Ingredients

    This makes quite a bit and is a decent amount for a houseparty.

    • 5 bottles Tesco's Pavlov Vodka (70cl £6.42)
      Oh dear God. This stuff lies on the boundary of low grade vodka/high grade solvent - and probably on the wrong side. I cannot emphasise enough how much this should not be ingested sans modification. However, when you've finished with it it will be lovely. Admittedly better vodka would probably taste a bit lovelier at the end but this stuff is pleasant enough. Go for the more expensive stuff if you decide it's not good enough at the end. We find that this works just fine.

    • 5 packets Fruits Skittles (180g £0.97)
      These are the big bags not the little ones. Make sure you get the fruits ones with 5 flavours rather than any other varieties

    • measuring jug

    • 1 empty bottle

    • Filter papers for coffee (at least 10 filters £?)

    • funnel

    Method

    1. First soak the bottles in hot water to remove the label, this will come off quite easily.
    2. Open the vodka bottles and pour off between 150–200ml of each one into the empty bottle using the measuring jug.
    3. Open the skittles and sort them into their respective colours.
    4. Put all of the red skittles into one bottle, repeat for the other colours into the other bottles. Having removed some of the vodka earlier, there should be ample room for the sweets. Sometimes there are lots more reds. Put spares to one side to eat later as spoils of war. You should have something that looks like this:
    5. Enjoy 5 days of shaking the bottles at regular intervals to ensure that the sweets dissolve. This can be made easier towards the end by standing the bottles in a sink-full of hot water. By this point the vodka will be looking cloudy and will have a thick layer of what we professionals like to call mingtm. This is simply the hydrogenated vegetable fat rising to the surface as the skittles dissolve, as the fat is insoluble in vodka.
    6. At the end of the 5 days (or thereabouts) it's time to set up the awesome filtration device to remove the mingtm. It's advisable to cover the worktop with newspaper and yourself with an apron as this stuff stains like you would not believe.
    7. Pour all the contents of one bottle into an empty container and thoroughly rinse until it is totally free of mingtm.
    8. Place one filter paper inside another and then in the funnel, and the funnel into the mouth of the (now clean) bottle.
    9. Slowly pour the contents back in via the funnel. Keeping an eye on the filtrate to make sure that the filters havn't let anything through. If they have then repeat the process because mingtm tastes as bad as it sounds.
    10. Repeat procedure for the other 4 flavours
    11. Voila finished!

    For an extra classy look print off a label for each bottle and tape them on. You can use the spare vodka to top up the bottles until they're full. Or use it to make some lovely vodka jelly.
    Nice.

    Enjoy! (My personal favourites are the yellow and red mmmmmmm).
    Hopefully the rest of the photos will be added as and when I can be bothered.

    Mx

    EDIT: we've recently found that a single piece of kitchen towel lining a sieve works a hell of a lot better than a filter in a funnel.


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