Courtesy of HI-CHEW

HI-CHEW Cocktails Are Your Sweet Tooth’s Dream Come True


If you were a discerning child who looked beyond the standard issue Nerds and Skittles and discovered the joys of Japan’s beloved soft candy, HI-CHEW, congratulations. You are a candy eater of superb taste. While HI-CHEW has been around for over a century, it’s still not as popular in America as Starburst—you can only get seven out of the 113 flavors(!!) in the U.S. But it certainly deserves to be.

Because unlike the many hyper-sugary candies you’ll come across, HI-CHEW candies are chewy blocks that incorporate actual fruit flavor into each bite. The cherry flavor, for example, actually tastes like cherry—not cough syrup.

Courtesy of HI-CHEW

Sadly, society deems it unacceptable for adults to chow down on a pile of sweet, sweet HI-CHEW candies. But it is 100 percent socially acceptable to go to a bar and drink the sugary equivalent. Realizing this, HI-CHEW is bridging the gap between the bar and the candy store, enlisting bartender Allison Kave, co-founder of Butter & Scotch, to create HI-CHEW-infused cocktails.

“I approached working with HI-CHEW candies just as I would any other ingredient,” Kave says, which is to say, she tried every single one: strawberry, grape, green apple, mango, banana, cherry and kiwi. “They use real fruit juices and purées in all their candies, which really shine through.”

Courtesy of HI-CHEW

The next step? Figuring out which flavor profiles worked best with which spirits. “For example, I found that HI-CHEW’s mango flavor has tropical notes that are enhanced when infused with reposado tequila,” she says. “The smooth and natural taste of the mango really complements tequila of this age and quality, and creates something new and interesting.”

Rather than attempt to muddle the candy into a cocktail or boil it down into a syrup, Kave opted to infuse the HI-CHEW directly into spirits. The trick was achieving the perfect ratio, which is typically one piece of candy per ounce of liquor.

Courtesy of HI-CHEW

“All you need to do is cut the HI-CHEW piece into smaller pieces and let the infusion take place until the candy is fully dissolved,” she says. “The soft, chewy texture makes HI-CHEW ideal for infusing, as it really melds with the spirits it’s paired with.”

Kave created six Hi-Chew-infused cocktails in total. The Banana Chocolate Delight, a hot chocolate spiked with dark rum infused with Banana Hi-Chew, is definitely a solid choice for anyone looking to warm up. Fans of the Old Fashioned will love the Fizzies Fashioned, a nostalgic throwback with a twist (Cherry HI-CHEW-infused whiskey). Then there's the Grapefruit Sours Sparkler, made with sparkling wine in combination with sour Grapefruit HI-CHEW. The Kiwi Dreamsicle blends Kiwi HI-CHEW with herbaceous gin, the Mysterious Mezcal is a smoky, coconutty libation made with HI-CHEW Mystery Flavor. And finally, there’s the Mango Chile-rita, made with Mango HI-CHEW-infused tequila.

Courtesy of HI-CHEW

Here, Kave’s recipe for the spicy Mango Chile-rita. Make it at home and never be ashamed of your sweet tooth again.

Matthew Kelly / Supercall

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