One Christmas (years prior to drinking age), my Aunt Priscilla set out an assortment of Jelly Belly jelly beans at her house along with a recipe chart of jelly bean flavor equations. My young and curious sweet tooth struggled to be polite while resisting the urge to empty the tray and taste test every listed combination. I remember wishing that I could invent my own someday as I attempted to simulate a banana split experience in my mouth with jelly beans.
This year over the 4th, my niece and nephew introduced me to Jelly Belly syrup flavors. In between water fights with their neighbors, they mixed Blue Raspberry Jelly Belly and Root Beer Jelly Belly flavored sno cones in the backyard. I also enjoyed a sno cone that afternoon, except I toasted to American adulthood and topped off my shaved ice with bourbon. Beam over bean, I said in my head. After all, I am a fall-weather gal, and it was upwards of 110-degrees out there.
It seems like those little gourmet gelatinous beans come in just about every flavor but bourbon, and now at least a dozen candy syrups are available at most stores in town. So I thought, why not put together a Jelly Belly Champagne cocktail? A jelly bean alone seems to fit the amorphous cocktail description of “a mixture of substances.” Let me be clear about one thing though, this bubbly bean beverage must be classified as a kitschy candy cocktail. I would never think of disgracing Madame Clicquot by polluting her perfectly golden dry bubbles with shaved ice, not to mention jelly bean flavored corn syrup. This concoction is for the cheap stuff!
Place jelly beans in the bottom of your cone or glass, cover them with shaved ice, pour about two tablespoons of Jelly Belly flavored syrup over the ice, and top off with champagne. The drink also works w/o alcohol (use sparkling cider or Perrier with the syrup and ice). Pink colored Tutti Fruitti with champagne tastes like bubbly bubble gum; Grape or Root Beer are fun to mix with brown liquor.
What else? Jelly Bellies and their syrups are gluten free, and jelly beans turn into gummy beans as they effervesce. Dare I suggest that drinking a jelly bean cocktail can simulate childhood while being an adult… just be responsible and don’t take yourself too seriously.