Remember those hard Jolly Rancher candies you used to fight over when you were a kid? You're going to love them even more as an adult because it's time to enjoy the Jolly Rancher as a cocktail. It is a great way to dress up the popular Cape Cod (aka Vodka Cranberry).
The Jolly Rancher is, quite simply, a mix of apple vodka, peach schnapps, and cranberry. It all combines for a refreshing, tall drink that can easily take you back twenty years.
This fruity recipe is incredibly easy to make. With just three ingredients, the frugal drinker can easily mix up the Jolly Rancher on the cheap. It's also versatile enough to be served as a relaxing everyday drink, a fruity punch, or a tasty party shot.
- Pour the vodka and schnapps into a highball glass filled with ice.
- Top with cranberry juice.
- Garnish with an orange wedge.
More Ways to Serve the Jolly Rancher
As mentioned, the Jolly Rancher can be served any number of ways. The fruit mix is adaptable and can be quickly modified to fit any occasion.
- To make the highball version a little more refreshing, top the Jolly Rancher with ginger ale.
- If you want to get 'fancy' with your Jolly Rancher, shake the ingredients and serve it 'up' in a cocktail glass.
- This recipe is the perfect candidate for a party punch. Simply keep the ingredients in proportion and scale the recipe up. Again, a little ginger ale or club soda will add a nice sparkle to the punch.
- Create a Jolly Rancher shot. For this, pour 1-ounce of each ingredient, shake the drink with ice, then strain it into three separate shot glasses or two larger shots.
- The Jolly Rancher is the perfect candidate for a fun Jell-O Shot, too. All you need to do is pick up a package of cranberry gelatin and skip the juice.
Choosing an Apple Vodka
You have quite a few choices when it comes to the apple vodka. There are plenty of apple-flavored vodkas available on the market and you can always make your own. The apple vodka infusion is one of easiest and a great project for beginners.
If you prefer to buy your vodka, any liquor store should have at least a few options. They range from inexpensive to top-shelf and can be crystal clear or a brilliant green. Of course, a green-colored vodka will alter the look of the drink, but that's perfectly fine. After all, the Jolly Rancher is all about the taste.
Among the apple vodkas available, four stand out from the crowd.
- UV Green - This is the greenest of all green apple vodkas you will find. A bottle doesn't cost much at all and the color is a fun addition to any bar. If you like UV Blue, you'll love this one.
- Smirnoff Green Apple - Many liquor stores stock a nice selection of Smirnoff's flavored vodkas and it's one of our favorite budget-friendly brands. Their green apple vodka is as clear as any unflavored vodka and it tastes pretty good for the price.
- Effen Green Apple - If you're looking for a top-shelf vodka, Effen Green Apple is one of the best options. It has a super clean taste and the apple flavor is true to the source.
- Van Gogh Dutch Appel - It may not be flavored with green apples, but it does have a great apple flavor. This is another premium option if you cannot find Effen at the store.
How Strong is the Jolly Rancher?
Most flavored vodkas are bottled at 35% ABV, so we'll use that to estimate the strength of the Jolly Rancher. When mixed with Peachtree (24% ABV), the drink would weigh in around 9% ABV (18 proof). It's a very mild cocktail and perfect for happy hour.