Introduction: Shoot the Rainbow: Skittles Vodka

Picture of Shoot the Rainbow: Skittles Vodka

Vodka = Yum, Skittles = Yum, Vodka + Skittles = Yum?!

Step 1: Ingredients

Picture of Ingredients

There are just two ingredients in this Instructable: vodka and Skittles.

You need to end up with 180g of each flavor of Skittle. Since Skittles are approximately 1g each, you can accomplish this with 180 skittles. We used two 450g bags for our experiment -- other bag sizes are perfectly acceptable.

(Of course, if you want to experiment with making the vodka to be more flavorful, you could definitely try more skittles than this.  This was what we found as a good flavor level, without using too many bags of Skittles.)

Can you use other candy with this same method?  We think it's very likely that this will work well for most fruity candy generally available (like hard candies or chewy fruit candies).  We're not sure how gummy candies would work with this -- but it's definitely worth experimentation.

The vodka quality is actually pretty important. We found that using middle-quality vodka created an end-result that tasted a lot like medicine (particularly the cherry flavor). I would suggest trying a better-or-best-quality vodka instead.  Several commenters have pointed out that you can try running middle-quality-vodka through a water filter pitcher (such as a Brita) to clean up the flavor a bit -- we haven't tested this but it's worth a try.

We used one 750mL bottle for each flavor of skittle -- five in all.  Larger or smaller bottles will result in more or less flavorful vodka for the amount of Skittles given above.

Step 2: To Start

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Remove the labels from each bottle by soaking them in warm water. This makes it easier to see the dissolving process.

Sort the skittles into different bowls based on color. We weighed ours with a scale to make sure we had approximately the same amount for each bottle (180 grams).

Remove and reserve a small amount of vodka from each bottle -- around 1/8th of the bottle.

Drop the skittles by color into each bottle.

Top off the bottles with the reserved vodka. (Enjoy whatever won't fit back in at your leisure.)

Give each bottle a good shake to get the dissolving process started.  You should see the liquid begin to color relatively quickly.

Step 3: Waiting Period

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It may take several days for the Skittles to fully dissolve in your vodka.  Ours dissolved within one 24-hour period, but your results may vary from that.  Every now and then throughout the dissolving period, give the bottles a shake to move things around.

Over time the vodka will begin to take on the color of the Skittles, while the Skittle bodies will turn white and start to break apart. 

If you look at a package of Skittles, you'll notice that besides sugar and flavoring there's also a number of ingredients that give the candy its texture and chewiness.   As your Skittles dissolve more and more, you'll get a thicker and thicker layer of white "scum" on the top of the liquid. This scum layer is pretty horrible and generally not tasty, so it needs to be filtered out before the drinking can commence.

Step 4: Filtration

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Once all the skittles have mostly dissolved in each bottle, it's time to filter out all the extra leftover ingredients that we don't want in our finished product.

The original method that we used for this was to run the liquid through a filter made of several layers of paper towels pushed down into a strainer.  As several commenters pointed out, it is likely that coffee filter might be a better solution than the paper towels.  We haven't tried this ourselves, but it sounds quite reasonable and we see no reason why you shouldn't try it.

It will take some time to get all the liquid through the filter -- be patient.   The stuff left in the filter will be pretty gross.  We couldn't think of a good use for it, so we chucked it in the garbage.

Step 5: End Result

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You should end up with five bottles of relatively clear liquid. The purple will probably stay pretty opaque. The red, orange, and yellow will be pretty see-through. Green will most likely be in-between the two extremes.

There were some commenters who noticed problems with long-term storage of the purple variety -- they reported that over a period of days the purple color broke into a red with some blue mixed in.  We didn't store our finished product for more than a day, so we can't speak to their experience, however, we don't think it's all that strange a result.  The purple bottle was much cloudier than the others and we're sure they had to mix red and blue dyes to get that color to happen in the first place.  You may want to drink this bottle quickly, rather than storing it long-term.  (We liked the purple flavor a lot, so we didn't have any left after our tasting.)

So, how does it taste? We found that we liked the green flavor best of the lot -- it was probably the closest to the original skittle flavor and it mixed well with the vodka.  Purple was a definite runner-up in the flavor contest.  We didn't have any of these two bottles left after our tasting party.

Red tasted like cough syrup, which is pretty reasonable since it's a cherry + alcohol mix.  Not our favorite, but if you like cough syrup taste, this is your winner.

Orange and yellow were definitely pleasant, without the cough syrup taste of the red.


HunterJ5 (author)2016-01-25

Does it have to be with Vodka? Will it still work with a non alcoholic beverage?

psamp (author)2013-03-12

we dont get these skittles in india ... what is another subsitute ?

eklutts (author)psamp2016-01-23

Jolly Ranchers might work?

applesticker (author)psamp2013-03-12

I'm not sure what might work best, but anything that's a fruit flavored gummy or waxy or even hard candy would probably work fine. Something like Starburst or Jolly Rancher should work fine -- you'll just have different stuff to filter out.

LAR6 (author)2015-09-18

Gotta try this

PaulE12 (author)2015-08-09

nomesy81 (author)2014-12-09

can do this with gummy bears, redskins (an australian candy), wonder if you could use butterscotch?? nom nom nom

Rhinomods (author)2008-05-29

This white stuff, is actually gelatin. ( Also known as cow bone) So vegans skittles are not a way out for you...

Grey_Wolfe (author)Rhinomods2008-06-04

It's not exactly cow bone, it is derived from collagen, which can be found in bones, cartlidge, tendons, ligament, and skin. Most gelatin now-a-days is produced form pig skin. Just throwing out that bit of info. You're right though, it's not a very vegan friendly by-product.

vandal1138 (author)Grey_Wolfe2009-08-23

Here's a thought. Everyone knows that a cow is tasty treat. Now, if you get one of those fancy grass fed cows from the Midwest, they are supposed to be super tasty, right? Now, with the same logic, that would make vegans super tasty compared to us meat eatin folks.... Moral of the story? IF YOU'RE GONNA GET STRANDED ON CANNABIL ISLAND, MAKE SURE YOU BRING A VEGAN!

chriskarr (author)vandal11382009-10-19

Actually, just so you know, the most tasty cows in the world are Kobe' beef cows from Asia. They are grain-fed and also allowed to drink beer, as well as being hand-massaged by human workers, daily. They are the only cows in the world that actually play with each other when they're in the field, rather than grazing. Kobe' beef is vegan-beef, and holy-$hit is it amazing.

prickly vegan (author)chriskarr2012-04-09

yes, so if we are deserted on an island together, please remember to bring the beer and be ready to massage.

chriskarr (author)prickly vegan2014-02-16

Best comment/reply I've ever received. :)

RainbowDust05 (author)Rhinomods2008-06-08

obviously vegans know skittles aren't something they should eat.. even some vegetarians don't eat skittles and mentos and starburts because of the gelatin it contains.. i think they are people who are pretty aware of what they eat even if its candy.. they know gelatin is in it . as well as pills that come in capsules.. they have gelatin

andgreyskies (author)Rhinomods2008-05-29

I made Skittles vodka recently, with UK skittles which don't contain gelatine. The nasty white stuff is carnauba wax, used to give Skittles their shine.

mskaret (author)2011-12-06

What if you can't get skittles?
I live in Norway, so the only way I can get them is tax free...
(I know this may sound caveman-ish but) skittles are just sugar-sweets right?

Anyone know of some other candy I can use?

applesticker (author)mskaret2013-03-12

I'm not sure what candy you have in Norway that would work best, but you could probably try anything that's fruit flavored - gummy or waxy or even hard candy would probably work fine. If you have anything like Jolly Ranchers or Starbursts I bet those would work.

teknojo (author)2012-06-23

Filtering is a b*****!

Intend to try this next time:

Initial mixing will be done in an glass icetea jug. The kind with a spigot at the base. This will allow draining while leaving the "scum" at the top.

Secondary filter will be coffee filters or paper towels in a strainer.

Last filter will be cheese clothe.

This concoction tastes awesome!

sherrycayheyhey (author)teknojo2012-07-17

That's a good idea. I made some of this before (not from this Instructable) and I figured I'd skip filtering since I didn't have any coffee filters. Long story short, filtering is a necessary evil.

The last step says the red tasted like cough syrup and that is something I also found to be true, I'd definitely skip the red if it didn't add to the eye appeal of rainbow vodka.

St Jimmy (author)2012-05-07

A single link explains this:

hernanai (author)2008-06-16

I need an opinion... Would you choose Grey Goose or Smirnoff to make this? I got both but I don't want to use it all...

trinciapollo (author)hernanai2009-02-25

nice colors, just check out before what you gonna drink:
Ingredients and properties

In the United States, a bag of Skittles candy contains: sugar, corn syrup, hydrogenated palm kernel oil, apple juice from concentrate, less than 2% - Dextrin, Gelatin, natural and artificial flavours, Citric Acid, food starch-modified, coloring (includes Yellow 6 lake, Red 40 lake, Yellow 5 lake, Blue 2 lake, Blue 1 lake, Yellow 5, Red 40, Yellow 6, Blue 1), Ascorbic Acid(Vitamin C).

In Europe, a bag of Skittles candies contains:salt, glucose syrup, fruit juices (5.1%), hydrogenated vegetable fat, citric acid & trisodium citrate, dextrin, maltodextrin, flavorings & colorings (E100, E120, E132, E160e, E171), glazing agent shellac, vegetable oil, ascorbic acid and emulsifier (E475).

The American formula, which includes Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, has resulted in a skittle with an indefinite shelf life but possess a crunch and texture many people find less appealing. Fat content is also significantly higher.

A recent statistical analysis measured the mass of one Skittle to be 1066 ± 8 mg (N = 10, ± s.e.m.), or 0.0376 ± 0.0003 U.S. ounces.

PKM (author)trinciapollo2009-05-28

Wait... american skittles have cherry and apple flavour? Heresy! UK Skittles are orange, lemon, lime, strawberry and blackcurrant. I never got the american love of cherry and apple confectionery, blackcurrant FTW. Tell me you at least have lime, lime and blackcurrant are the two best flavours to go with alcohol (ok maybe tied with cranberry). No wonder they come out tasting like medicine... find some blackcurrant sweets, once you go blackcurrant you never go back :P

kooyma (author)PKM2012-05-07

Blackcurrant sounds lovely! I do thnk you are missing out without grape, however...
I'm a bit old-school; in the last few years the US palate has been trained to accept "green apple" (yaaaargh) IN PLACE OF LIME! can you imagine?!? Sad, sad state of affairs.
Also, blue has been added into the widely accepted "color/flavor rainbow" as "blue raspberry" (or razzberry.) In protest I've decided to boycott blue food altogether as it seems too, too laboratory made. -I realise that the majority of our food is now lab engineered and tested and I'll be the last one to give up sugar-based nutrition but eating (or drinking) things that are the color of windex ....baaaaarf!

HAL 9000 (author)hernanai2008-06-29

read again the part where he says to use "better-or-best-quality vodka," then go get some.

mixtlupus (author)2009-09-30

In Europe, skittles no longer contain Gelatin but do contain the colouring E120, (cochineal) and the shellac which are both derived from Insects...

Details can be found here:

mixtlupus (author)mixtlupus2009-09-30

Reference: Me being Vegan for 21 Years ;)

prickly vegan (author)mixtlupus2012-04-09

Skittles in Europe no longer have gelatine? Really? I've been wasting all this time then!! Bummer on the cochineal though. That seems to be added a lot in things here in Germany.

Then again, this is a moot discussion as Skittles can be replaced with just about any artificially, strongly flavoured candy. I imagine hard candies would trump hard candies, given that they completely break down and don't contain gelling agents....

sorry, I meant hard candies would be better than chewy candies. Why use candy that has gelling agents, wax, shellac, etc.? Seems like extra work and an inferior product (then again, we are talking about artificially flavoured vodka). Jolly Ranchers, lemon drops, etc., should give a better result, with the same lovely, artificial colour (or just add your own food colouring).

Wolf Seril (author)mixtlupus2011-02-04

...Friendster still exists?

hvansick (author)2012-03-22

Has anyone else had the problem of the purple vodka turning red? We did this and put them in mason jars to store until drinking, but the once vibrant purple is now a slightly blue-tinged red, almost identical to the red flavor. They are hard enough to tell apart that we had to label them. This is after 5 days of storage in a dimly-lit pantry.

applesticker (author)hvansick2012-03-23

I didn't have this happen during my process, but I served the bottles at a party soon after I finished them, so they didn't have a long time to sit.

I'm not sure why this happened -- my only guess is that the blue part of the dye broke down faster than the red.

drl3 (author)2012-01-10

Skittles Vodka- Puke the Rainbow

trucklaw (author)2010-12-03

WARNING: Do not do this using grain alcohol (190 Proof) It does not work. The skittles will not dissolve in it. It will just gain the color of the skittle.

Betsy827 (author)trucklaw2011-11-19

This is also true with the jolly ranchers!

dusneed (author)2008-12-24

You if you had a Brita style filter, you could have pre-filtered the vodka. It might have changed the end result with cheaper vodka.

huff666 (author)dusneed2011-07-25

myth busted

m0nk3yb01 (author)huff6662011-11-13

The myth that a Brita filter will bring bottom shelf vodka up to top shelf vodka was busted, but even the vodka-tasting expert said that cheap vodka tasted better the more it was filtered. Ergo, it could improve the resulting skittle-y taste.

BrokenArsenal (author)dusneed2009-05-04

that does not work at all ive tried and it tastes exactly the same. doesnt make it a higher quality vodka

dusneed (author)BrokenArsenal2009-05-06

I have the GK3 from and it does take the bite out of that mid-range 14 dollar a liter vodka...

Yerboogieman (author)dusneed2009-02-17

That water is the 2nd best water i've ever tasted. Besides that, jones shop water fountain....

BenH (author)Yerboogieman2009-02-20

I don't know, I've had some pretty tasty waters....

Yerboogieman (author)BenH2009-02-21

Yes but you've never been in Jones' shop, you will say "omg, this is the best."

paperninja (author)Yerboogieman2009-02-23

well i have had Jones soda before its great, but i get it very rarely, like once a year or less.

Pie Ninja (author)paperninja2009-05-02

All water is the same, please, watch.

BenH (author)Pie Ninja2009-05-03

I was being sarcastic.

Pie Ninja (author)BenH2009-05-03

The comment was directed at the other guy. You should watch the vid anyway, it's pretty funny.

Pie Ninja (author)Pie Ninja2009-05-03

Also nice pic, Evil Dead FTW!

hafsteinn (author)2011-07-01

This is so delicious! Would work very well especially in the summer time :)

I would consider making this if I wouldn't have to spend 205USD on 5 x 700ml bottles of Smirnoff Vodka and about 50USD for ca 1kg of Skittles!

newb (author)2011-06-30

is it just me or does alot of liquor end up tasting like medicine when it's "flavored" like md2020 tastes so much like cough syrup

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