There is only one day in the year when I eat jellybeans, and that is on Easter. And when it is Easter, I eat jellybeans for breakfast. If you’re young, and you’re allowed to hunt for your Easter basket first thing in the morning, I think it’s practically impossible that you will not eat jellybeans for breakfast. And then if you go to church for a Midwestern church basement Easter breakfast and there are jelly beans all over the table, you will eat more jelly beans for breakfast while you wait for the egg bake to be served. And if this habit has been firmly established by the time you are seven, it will probably last a lifetime, or, you know, at least into your thirties.
This year, through some complex logic and higher reasoning, I decided I would further legitimate my jelly-beans-for-Easter-breakfast tradition by combining it with the tradition of brunch mimosas, which is itself legitimated by it being a holiday and a celebration. I’ve been assured the Easter Bunny approves.
Because jelly beans are basically sugar plus another form of sugar plus food coloring (yeah, I know—but, it’s just once a year!), they start to dissolve if you put them in vodka, quickly flavoring and coloring it. Making a jelly bean liqueur is as easy as choosing which color or flavor (in jelly beans, I rather think the color is the flavor, i.e. the flavor purple, the flavor yellow, etc.) you want to use and adding a few tablespoons of them to a cup of vodka.
When testing out my idea, I chose to use orange-flavored jelly beans because I was riffing on mimosas, but I think for Easter I’m going to infuse a separate jar of vodka with each color of jelly bean and then let people choose which they want to use as the base for their cocktail. Rainbows of cocktails! Again, the Easter Bunny approves.
Let the jelly beans sit in the jar of vodka for a couple hours, shaking it occasionally, then strain the remnants of the beans out (or you could let them fully dissolve, depending on how much sweetness you want). Add an ounce of your jelly bean liqueur to a Champagne glass, along with a small squeeze of lemon juice, and top it with Champagne. Voilà: jelly bean mimosas!
Tradition is upheld, and if not improved, at least made bubbly.
Jelly Bean Mimosas
Makes enough for about 6 cocktails
- 1 cup vodka
- 2 to 3 tablespoons jelly beans of a single flavor of your choice
- 1 lemon
- Dry Champagne or other sparkling wine like cava or prosecco