On a windy, cold day in June (yes, June and yes, I am WAAAYYYY behind), while I was busy channeling thoughts of warm hot toddies, roaring fires, and soul warming whiskey, I stumbled across an amazing little company called Bombshell Sweets. Normally I don’t get too excited about candy unless it involves dark chocolate and nuts, but that is only because I had never encountered THIS kind of candy…Gourmet Cotton Candy. That’s right – pastel fluffs of spun sugar intensely flavored with everything from champagne to carmel apple, spicy cherry to chai spice!
I met Bombshell Sweets owners, Jeff and Brandy, at the Taste of North Idaho event in Hayden. (This was a great event despite the weather and a wonderful way to try different and delicious food in our area.) And, as I said, I’m not a big candy fan, I don’t like cotton candy and normally would not have given their booth a second glance except for that Champagne flavor that caught my eye… and then the Margarita Madness…and the Cherry Bomb. Plus, they were giving out samples AND told me the Champagne had Pop Rocks in it (ahhhh! There’s a fun childhood memory!). And in typical me fashion, I thought what the hell? and tried it. It was amazing! It is so flavorful and juicy delicious. I was blown away at the intensity of the flavor. My mind went where it very nearly always goes – straight to cocktails – and I began thinking up fun ways to use this delicious cotton candy with our spirits. Time to get some friends together and experiment.
I rounded up some mixers that I thought would compliment the flavors I brought home which were Carmel Apple, Cherry Lime-Ade, What-A-Melon, Melon Ball, Cha Cha Chai, Champagne, and Margarita Madness. I invited some friends with awe inspiring imaginations and kick-ass mixology skills (or, more accurately, people that will drink almost anything) and we got down to the business of mixing, critiquing and drinking! The end result is a menu of cocktails that are just as fun as they are delicious!
Poppin Champagne Punch
1 oz Pineapple juice
1 oz Pend Oreille River Light Rum
Champagne flavored Cotton Candy
Mix Rum and juice, pour into a glass and top with champagne. Add a fluff of cotton candy to the top of the glass or skewer for garnish. It’s also fun to add the juice and rum to a glass, stuff the remainder of the glass with cotton candy, being careful not to let it touch the juice, and then pour the champagne over the top. It fizzes and melts in a deliciously satisfying spectacle.
The Golden Cha Cha
1 ½ oz Pend Oreille River Gold Rum
4-6 oz of Ginger Ale
Cha Cha Chai flavored Cotton Candy
Combine the rum and ginger ale over ice, add a generous fluff of cotton candy. The Chai spices in the candy make this taste like spiced rum.
Golden Apple Rum
1 oz Pend Oreille River Gold Rum
½ oz simple syrup
Apple Caramel Cotton Candy
Mix all but the cotton candy, which you can stuff into the glass or skewer and add as a garnish.
Sparkling Melon Ball
Splash of Barley Vodka
Melon Ball Cotton Candy
Pour Barley Vodka into a champagne flute, top with champagne and garnish with a skewered pineapple and fluff of cotton candy.
Add vodka to a glass, stuff with cotton candy, pour champagne over for dramatic effect.
1 ½ oz blue curacao
1 oz vodka
Squeeze of lime
What-a-melon Cotton Candy
Mix blue curacao with vodka, top with a squeeze of lime. Garnish glass with cotton candy. When you drink this, take a sip and chase it with a piece of cotton candy. Explosion of flavor! This was the overall favorite for the evening.
Jeff and Brandy are fairly new to the confectionary business. Neither have backgrounds in the food industry, but they knew when they were onto something good. They started crafting their delicious sugary goodness early this year and have been experimenting with flavors ever since. Sometimes the flavors come from suggestions, sometimes from replicating another flavor, and sometimes the name comes first with a flavor to match later. Although you can’t purchase their cotton candy at retailers (yet), you can find Bombshell sweets at many vendor events in the area. Check out their Facebook page to find out where they will be popping up and see what new flavors they have in the works (pumpkin pie and s’mores anyone?).
There are so many awesome combinations of spirits and cotton candy. The flavors of the candy are intense and lend themselves very nicely to the spirit’s flavors. I wouldn’t suggest making these ahead if you are pouring for a crowd. The dramatic effect of the cotton candy melting into the drink with the spirits poured over, is half the fun and a cool way to dazzle your guests. It’s also fun to dip the rim in corn syrup and then cotton candy. It makes for a sweet, hairy, fluffy cocktail glass. Have fun with these combinations and let me know what you try!
Do you know a local company that crafts something amazing that compliments our spirits? Drop me a line and let me know! We are always looking for great ideas and partnerships in our community. Just fill out the form below or email me directly at Jessie@MillTownDistillery.com. We’d love to hear from you!