Relive the ‘90s With These Nostalgic Candy Cocktails


The ‘90s were a glorious time for all things fructose and sucrose. Parents packed sugary treats into school lunches with reckless abandon. The lunchroom snack-swapping market was in full swing. The FDA didn’t care about red dye #5, and candy came in every shade of the radioactive rainbow. Sugar highs were a standard part of American childhood, and TV advertisers knew how to make their snacks look x-tremely cool to 12-year-olds. It was, in short, the bomb.

While that golden era is long gone, nostalgic grownups looking to relive those sugary memories can do so at cocktail hour with these bright and boozy drinks, made with three of our favorite ‘90s staples: Gushers, Pop Rocks and Dunkaroos.

Long before funfetti-everything took over Pinterest, Dunkaroos was giving kids direct access to the addictive rainbow frosting in the form of sugary snack packs. Sadly, the soulless execs at General Mills discontinued this ‘90s lunchbox staple in the U.S. in 2012. So we revived the dippable dessert as an extra-thick vanilla milkshake, served with cookies for dunking and spiked with rum for grownup enjoyment. While Dunkaroos can still be smuggled in from Canada, feel free to use any funfetti frosting for the garnish. The result will still be an undeniably delicious after-work indulgence.

The Essentials

White rum
ice cream
rainbow sprinkles
Setting aside the terrifying commercials in which children's heads turned into fruit, Gushers were the ultimate prize on the ‘90s lunch room trading floor. With their bright colors, intense flavors and explosive nature, the hexagonal, goo-filled confections were the snack of choice among discerning fruit candy lovers. Inspired by these iconic candies from our childhoods, we adapted the original strawberry flavor into a sophisticated red sour cocktail, served in a coupe and garnished with a skewer of Gushers—a la Martini olives. We may be all grown up, but we still like a sweet candy treat every now and then.  

The Essentials

Strawberry oleo saccharum
Strawberry gushers
Pop Rocks introduced us to the fun of fizz long before our first sip of prosecco and entranced us with its crackles and pops years before we loosed our first Champagne cork. This brilliant, bright blue homage to our favorite candy nuggets is a sparkling take on a Blue Hawaii, made bubbly by prosecco and rimmed with Tropical Punch Pop Rocks. Every sip is an explosive, tropical experience.

The Essentials

Blue Curaçao
Tropical Punch Pop Rocks

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