This afternoon I finally removed the gummy bears from the refrigerator to see how they looked, and more importantly, how they tasted.
Here’s the line-up, in the same order as the before picture. You can see the changes (I’ve put both the before and after images in line so you can compare easily. Lots of expansion on the bears, not so much on the wine gums.
I really don’t like the look of the wine gums. They’ve gone pale and pastel, and make me think of waterlogged dead things. Not to be recommended.
The large gummy bears, next in line, fared better.
The fruit juice gummy bears, next two containers, both absorbed a lot of alcohol. But look how shiny and clear the ones at the end are: these are the ones soaking in rum.
I took them out of the alcohol and put them all on a plate to check that it wasn’t just the fact they were continuing to soak in the alcohol that made the visual difference: the gummies are arranged clockwise from top left, which means the rum-soaked bears are in the lower left.
Somehow, they’re more reflective and more refractive than the vodka ones. So visually, the rum-soaked gummy bears are definitely the winners.
Next: how do they taste? The wine gums have a really awful texture. They’re slimy on the outside, and still overly chewy on the inside. The taste isn’t that great either. I give them a big Fail. I’m not quite sure how I’ll dispose of them… do they go in the compost, or flush?
The large gummi bears are sweet. The taste of alcohol does come through after a couple of chews. The texture has improved, and it’s more like some jello that’s a bit hard-set instead of overcooked squid. Meh. It works, but doesn’t thrill me.
The fruit juice gummi bears soaked in vodka first hit you with a fruity flavour (honestly, I couldn’t tell you what kind of fruit flavour it is, just that it’s fruity) and then, like with the large gummi bears, the alcohol hits. It’s a pretty intense taste of vodka.
The fruit juice gummi bears soaked in rum (ah! so pretty! They look like gems) also first hit me with the fruity taste, but I think I can distinguish between some of the flavours: the dark red ones are more berry-ish, the clear ones are almost lemonade. (I was only eating half of each, so I don’t think I had a significant amount to drink). The transition to rum flavour was better than the transition to vodka, I think.
So the winners are fruit juice gummi bears in Bacardi rum.
The last question to resolve is: how to serve them?
On a ceramic spoon?
Voodoo doll gummi bears impaled with cocktail picks?
Hmm. Gummi bears on toothpicks didn’t work so well. Less than 5 minutes after this shot, all the picks had canted over to one side or the other, and beheaded all the bears!
Sandra had another suggestion when we were having a beer at Stratenger’s last night: freeze them.
Unfortunately, because all the rum ones had been beheaded, I had to conduct the experiment with vodka ones. I took a few of the leftover ones and put them on a piece of parchment paper in the freezer for an hour. I then tried mounting them on cocktail picks like lollipops. It works with the vodka ones, which are a bit firmer than the rum ones. And it’s kind of like gellied antifreeze! They’re cold, but not frozen.
Go ahead! do your own experiments and tell me what the results are!
I repeated the experiment using some vegan gummi bears (also from the Bulk Barn). They’re made using tapioca starch instead of gelatin, and all the coloring is vegetable-based. They absorbed the rum more slowly… they were still quite tough after 3 days, so I let them continue to soak until the next Leslieville Patio Club meeting, which was 9 days. Stuck toothpicks in them (worked better than with the fruit-juice gummis) and took them to the Patio Club for sampling. Responses indicate that they work!