Celebrate Halloween with a Candy Corn Martini or shot

Brian Rung

    About this time of year our local supermarkets remind us that Halloween is coming. Yes, this advance notice seems to come earlier with each passing year. I'm willing to overlook the untimely Halloween displays in mid-September (summer) if those displays include the heart and soul of Halloween. Of course I'm talking about candy corn.
    Ah, yes, candy corn. It's not Halloween without it, and as we will find out this week it's not just for the kids. Reintroduce candy corn to your guests this year with the official cocktail of Halloween, The Candy Corn Martini.
    Candy corn hit the market in the early 1900s under its original name, “Chicken Feed.” The idea was to appeal to consumers in a largely rural society by producing candies that mimic the appearance of corn kernels that were used to feed the birds on the farm.
    Over time society became less rural but the fall season remains associated with harvest time and the candy kernels are as popular as ever. Most of 35 million pounds of candy corn produced this year will be consumed on Halloween, one day after National Candy Corn Day on Oct. 30.
    The Candy Corn Martini is a “fun” Martini that even Martini purists will enjoy.  The drink itself is basically liquid candy topped with whipped cream. If you are bar hopping this Halloween you will likely encounter the Candy Corn Martini, offered either as a cocktail or as a shot. Both the shot and the cocktail use the same ingredients, the only difference being the portion size and the ratio of vodka to pineapple juice.
    Before we get started on the Candy Corn Martini, we will need to make our own candy corn infused vodka. Yes, there is a DIY element to this drink, but it's an easy step and one that is totally worth it in the end.
    Whenever you hear that “infused” vodka is used in a cocktail, it simply means that something (usually something sweet) has been dissolved in a bowl of vodka. That's it. No fancy kitchen gadgets or time on the stove. Simply drop the candy in the vodka and wait.  
    Candy corn is mostly sugar and will only need aboutf our hours to dissolve into the vodka, but I prefer to let the candy and vodka rest in a covered container overnight. Once the candy has fully infused into the vodka you will have a bright orange, sticky-sweet liqueur that is almost syrup-like in consistency.
    It's also worth noting that I am generally not a fan of flavored spirits, but I find that vanilla vodka works best in this cocktail. Regular vodka will work, but I like the hint of vanilla to go with the pineapple and whipped cream.
    As far as flavored vodkas go, Absolut rules the roost. They were first out of the gate with Absolut Citron in the 1980s and have continued to turn out quality flavored vodka since.
    To make candy corn infused vodka, combine in small bowl or covered dish:
    1/4 cup (21 pieces) of candy corn.
    3 oz Absolut Vanilla vodka .
    Cover dish and let stand four hours (overnight is best).
    Now that you have a fresh batch of candy corn infused vodka, you must decide if you are going to serve your candy corn infused treat as a shot or as a cocktail. Shots are best for a large gathering. Be sure to make enough candy corn infused vodka if you are expecting a crowd.
The Candy Corn Martini
    The Candy Corn Martini is built in a shaker, served in a cocktail (Martini) glass.
    Fill shaker with ice.
    Add 2 oz candy corn infused vodka.
    Add 1 oz pineapple juice.
    Shake and strain into cocktail glass.
    Top with whipped cream, garnish with candy corn.
The Candy Corn shot
    The Candy Corn shot is also built in a shaker, served in a shot glass.
    Fill shaker with ice.
    Add 3/4 oz candy corn infused vodka.
    Add 1/4 oz pineapple juice.
    Shake and strain into shot glass.
    Garnish with dab of whipped cream.
    Spoiler alert: The most popular Halloween costume of 2017 is Pennywise, the clown from Stephen King's It. Also among the most popular costumes for 2017 are Wonder Woman, Belle from Beauty and the Beast, and the kids from Stranger Things.
    Happy Halloween, everyone.
    Until next week, enjoy responsibly.