Remember the jolly rancher candies that you just couldn’t get enough of as kids? No matter how many times your parents would ask you not to, you couldn’t resist them. Well, if you liked jolly rancher candies as a kid, you’ll learn to love them even more as an adult!

We introduce you to the legendary drink: Jolly rancher shot. The jolly rancher drink is a unique way of spiking the classic Cape cod or vodka cranberry. It is a concoction of only three ingredients and is an easy-to-mix cheap cocktail! 

The recipe is fruity and versatile enough for you to turn them into elegant martinis, tutti-fruity punch, or a delightful shot. And, the best part? The Jolly Rancher shot tastes like your childhood! You can use the actual candy to make flavor-infused vodka. 

A fruity mixture of cranberry juice, apple vodka, and peach schnapps, here is all you need to know about the jolly rancher shot. 

What is Jolly Rancher?

The jolly rancher is a popular brand of hard candy that originated in America. It comes in the forms of gummies, fruit chews, lollipops, gum, sodas, jello shots, etc. 

What is cape cod? 

We mentioned that the jolly rancher shot is similar to the timeless Cape Cod drink. But, what is cape cod? 

The cape cod or Cape codder is one of the simplest cocktail recipes. It is just vodka mixed with cranberry juice. A classic drink, there isn’t much to it except that it’s incredibly delicious and easy to make. The cape cod makes a perfect choice for happy hour or anytime you need a quick refreshment. 

There are a number of cape cod recipe variations for you to try, including the purple haze, cosmopolitan, crantini, woo woo, and the jolly rancher! 

Steps to make the jolly rancher drink 

Follow these steps to make the most terrific jolly rancher shot you’ll ever taste in your life!

Ingredients you will need: 

  1. One ounce of green apple vodka
  2. Equal parts peach schnapps
  3. Four ounces of cranberry juice 
  4. Ice cubes
  5. Orange wedges (for garnishing purposes)

Instructions to make the jolly rancher drink:

  1. Gather all the ingredients
  2. Pour the vodka and the peach schnapps into a highball glass filled with ice. 
  3. Top the drink with fresh cranberry juice and stir well. If you are using a shaker, you can shake all the ingredients together along with crushed ice. 
  4. Garnish the drink with orange wedges.

Voila, the perfect jolly rancher shot is ready! 

Recipe Variations for the jolly rancher drink

The Jolly rancher shot follows a very simple recipe that has enough room for tweaks and little variations here and there. Here are some of the most popular recipe variations for the classic jolly rancher drink.

  1. If you want to make the highball jolly rancher drink more refreshing and energizing, you can top the drink with ginger ale or any club soda. 
  1. You can make your jolly rancher shot into a stylish martini by shaking the ingredients using a shaker and serving it in a well-garnished cocktail glass.
  1. By using cranberry gelatin, you can transform the jolly rancher shot into a jello shot!

Also read: Adios Motherfucker and 5 other deadly cocktails 

Other ways to drink the jolly rancher shot

Here are some cool ways to drink the good old jolly rancher shot!

1. Jello shot

Vodka jello shots are more popular than you think! The jolly rancher jello shot is a fun party snack for adults! Just replace the cranberry juice with cranberry gelatin and you’ll be good to go. If you want, you can tweak the flavors a little. 

2. Jolly Rancher Martini

If you want to make an upscale version of this otherwise cheap drink, you can make a jolly rancher martini. Mix all the ingredients in a shaker, serve it in a cocktail glass, and garnish it well with orange wedges.

3. Jolly Rancher Party Punch

Another fun way to drink the jolly rancher shot is by transforming it into a party shot. For this, you just have to prepare the drink in a larger quantity and top it with fresh club soda or 7up. 

How to make a jolly rancher shot with the actual candy? 

If you want the authentic taste and flavour of the jolly rancher candy, you can incorporate it into the drink. Here’s how:

Hard candies like jolly rancher usually make great vodka-infused drinks as the candy dissolves very fast in the alcohol. If you are not the biggest fan of vodka, you can try this with Blanco tequila or white rum. 

If you want to add a little fun to your party drinks, use different color jolly rancher candies to make different colored cocktails. 


  1. Use about 12-15 candies for every cup of vodka, tequila, or rum. You can divide them by colors or make multiple infusions of colors at one time. 
  1. Fill a jar with vodka or your preferred alcohol (tequila or rum) and drop unwrapped jolly rancher candies into them. Now, seal the jar and let it sit for a good 36 to 48 hours. If you want to speed up the process of the candies dissolving, give the jar a good shake once in a while. You can also use a mixing rod. 
  1. If you want to make your jolly rancher drink sweeter, you can add sugar or grenadine syrup.
  1. After the candy completely dissolves in the jar, pour it into a cocktail or shot glasses, top it with soda and serve.

Note: Unlike other similar candy infusions like skittles, there is no need to strain or filter the jolly rancher shot.

The jolly rancher candy’s sugar adds extra sweetness to the vodka. Thus, in most cases, there is no need of adding any additional sweetener like grenadine syrup or sugar syrup. However, if you are a sweet-drink person and enjoy over the top sweet drinks, then you can always go for the extra sweet syrup. 

The Jolly Rancher shot will be an amazing drink choice for all the house parties you host this year. Go the extra mile and surprise your guests with this amazing jolly rancher drink recipe! 

Also read: 6 Orange Juice Cocktails To Beat The Heat This Summer