October 29, 2021
Candy and cocktails have at least one thing in common: they make us happy. It’s no wonder that bartenders have devised ways to combine them, or at least to make drinks that taste just like them.
When we say “just like candy,” we mean it literally. From tart, cherry Jolly-rancher shots to Smarties mixed drinks to vodka infused with caramel chews or Skittles cocktails, drink-lovers have devised ways to combine the ingredients of our bars into palate-pleasing combinations that recreate the joy of our favorite hard candies.
It was only a matter of time before someone tried to take all of the magic of sweet tart candies (trademarked as SweeTarts) and transfer this essence to a nostalgic adult beverage. The candies themselves are sweet and sour, like margaritas, whiskey sours, and many of the cocktails we know and love. They’re even a gluten-free snack. After all, we already have everything we need on our bars to recreate these flavors — whether fruity liqueurs, sweet and sour mix (practically made for this project), and infused hard liquor.
While we’re sure the initial experiments to create these sweet tart drinks were quite fun — if not a bit too fun — the research was conducted and the results are in: yes, you can make a cocktail that tastes just like sweet tarts. Below, we’ll show you how to make a sweet tart drink in several ways.
You can dress up a classic martini with sour flavors, shake up an elegant cocktail reminiscent of candy, or pour a round of bright, tasty shots. May the flavors of the sour candies of your childhood live on in sweet tarts alcoholic drinks!
1. Sweet Tart Martini
This bright blue drink recreates the sugary flavors of your youth in a very adult drink. To make, combine 1 ½ ounces of vodka, three-quarters ounce of blue curaçao, three-quarters ounce of amaretto, and three-quarters ounce of freshly squeezed lime juice in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. After shaking well, strain the mix into a martini glass and garnish with a twist of citrus peel. Take a sip and feel your childhood memories coming back to you. Who else remembers the sweet tarts rope bites?
2. Sweet Tart Shot
If you want a sugar rush that’s as boozy as it is sweet, shake up the following sweet tart shot recipe. Combine 1 ounce of raspberry liqueur (like Chambord), 1 ounce of Southern Comfort, and 1 ounce of sour mix in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice, then strain into a shot glass. All that’s left is to tip the drink back and enjoy a perfectly balanced shot: one part sweet, one part sour, one part strong.
If you like this drink, you may want to consider serving it at your Halloween parties as part of a candy-themed cocktail pairing. All you have to do is put out sweet tarts as a chaser and have your guests rate how close the flavors in your shot replicate the original. We’re sure they’ll get more generous with their ratings as the night goes on.
A variation: If you’re into sipping, pour this drink into a rocks glass full of ice. Garnish with strawberries or raspberries and leave some berries floating in the drink.
3. Sweet Tart Cocktail
This cocktail is an elevated take on the sweet and sour flavors of candy, with notes of raspberry, lemon, and lime. It might not taste exactly like sweet tarts, but it is bothsweet and tart, not to mention sophisticated and made with quality bar ingredients. Shake 2 ounces of vodka, three-quarters ounce of raspberry liqueur (like Gifford Framboise de Ronce), three-quarters ounce of amaretto, and 1 ounce of fresh lime juice with plenty of ice. Strain into an ice-filled highball or sling glass and top off with lemonade or lemon-lime soda like Sprite. Garnish with raspberries or a lime wheel and enjoy.
4. Apple Sweet Tart
Perhaps more tart than sweet, this cocktail takes cues from the lip-puckering, green-apple variety of the original candy. If your mouth is already watering, then it’s time to fix a drink. Combine 1 ½ ounces of vodka, 1 ½ ounces of sour apple schnapps, ¾ ounce of freshly squeezed lemon juice, and ¾ ounce of simple syrup in a cocktail shaker with plenty of ice. Once shaken, strain into a martini glass and garnish with a slice of fresh Granny Smith apple. If you want to balance out the tartness of the drink with more sweetness, you can rim the glass with sugar before pouring in the contents of the cocktail shaker.
5. Sweet tart infused vodka
Instead of eating candy, drink it. To infuse vodka with the sourness of sweet tarts, place roughly 20 candies in a bottle of this liquor and let the sugars dissolve over a few days. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pour out a bit of vodka to make room for the candy. We also recommend separating out just one color of the sweet tarts so that the resulting infusion has a clear hue. Mixing too many colors will make it brown. After the sugars have dissolved, run the vodka through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth to remove any residue. Serve chilled as colorful shots, or mix it with some soda for a fun sweet tart vodka mixed drink.
Perhaps you typed in “sweet” and “tart” as keywords, looking for a drink recipe more in line with, let’s say, a mojito. Perhaps you were intrigued by sweet tart cocktails, but ultimately you’ve decided they’re not for you. We get it!
Check out our other posts and become your best bartender by learning how to use wine, spirits, liqueurs, and mixers to make every cocktail under the sun. To the rest of you, enjoy your sweet tart martini or shot. Don’t let anyone else tell you that candy and cocktails don’t mix.
Stock your bar with everything you need to make sweet and sour drinks that your guests will love. While you’re at it, order some sweet tarts, too. Gopuff will fulfill your order in minutes, so sit back, relax, and prepare to enjoy a candy-flavored cocktail.