Sour Candy Makes The Perfect Garnish For Your Fruity Summer Drink

Here at Tasting Table, we're all about creative cocktail garnishes. A knockout garnish should artfully dance between the realms of aesthetic, textural, and flavorful appeal. More specifically, what we mean is, when you're looking to give your go-to cocktail repertoire a playful makeover, look no further than sour candies — specifically sour gummy candies.

There are three ways to incorporate sour candies into your cocktails: Sprinkle 'em into the drink as-is, skewer a trio of them with a cocktail toothpick and balance it across the top of the glass, or notch the candy with a paring knife and perch it on the rim. The first method is a better fit for smaller candies (Sour Patch Kids, etc.), while the latter works well for physically larger candies (Haribo Peach Rings, etc.). Or, for particularly ambitious home mixologists, there is a third sour-candy cocktail infusion method. To do it, soak your sour gummies in your cocktail's base spirit overnight (ex. tequila for a margarita). Pour in just enough liquor to fully submerge the candies in an airtight-lidded container. These booze-soaked beauties will pack a burst of sweet-sour-spirited flavor as they bob in your bevy. 

To finish off your sour candy cocktail, don't forget to hit the rim with sugar or salt. Or, for the most fun presentation of all, up your rim game with colorful sugar (more on that here). You could even rim that glass in Wonka Fun Dip sour candy powder.

Use sweet-sour treats to elevate sweet-sour sippers

To get your boozy brainstorm rolling, pretty much any of the sour-mix forward, neon-hued drinks from the '80s cocktail era will make a natural fit for a sour candy pairing. Skewer Haribo Sour Goldbears across the sweet-sour, spirit-forward Alabama Slammer with Southern Comfort, sloe gin, amaretto, and orange. Sour gummy worms would be perfect perched on the rim of a Sex on the Beach with vodka, peach schnapps, orange, and cranberry. Or, skewer some Haribo Sour Fizzy Colas across a dimensional Singapore Sling with gin, herbal Benedictine, citrusy Grand Marnier, cherry liqueur, Angostura bitters, lime, and pineapple. It doesn't just have to be Ladies from the '80s, either. You could use a Sour Patch Kids skewer to upgrade a margarita on the rocks, pop a few Sour Punch Straws into a magenta Cosmopolitan, or notch a Life Savers Sour gummy ring and position it on the rim of an Amaretto Sour.

Frozen cocktails have enough structural body to support candies simply placed on top of the drink without immediately sinking to the bottom. You could use Nerds Gummy Clusters as a loose garnish on top of a vivid, frozen Blue Hawaiian with rum, coconut, pineapple, cherries, and blue curaçao. Sour Skittles would be great sprinkled on top of a frozen strawberry or peach daiquiri. With reverence, a triangularly arranged trio of the most extreme sour candy of all time – Warheads – would work to counterbalance this sweet-smoky, pink-hued Frozen Watermelon Mezcal Margarita.