Wednesday, October 10, 2012

One For The Troops

Tonight's cocktail is a Candy Corn 75 (like a French 75, but with candy corn), but the hard-core candy corn lovers among us would probably just prefer a shot of straight candy corn-infused vodka, right out of the freezer.

Yes, that is a skull-shaped shot glass. How many times a year can you actually use it?

First, you need candy corn infused vodka.
  • 1/2 cup candy corn
  • 1 1/2 cup vodka
Mix in a jar, let sit at room temp for at least 3 hours, strain. Then, to make the cocktail:
  • 1.5 oz candy corn infused vodka
  • 1 oz lemon juice
  • 4 oz sparkling wine (I used prosecco because I had it)
Put vodka and lemon juice with ice in a shaker, shake, strain into champagne flute. Top with sparkling wine, stir, enjoy. The cocktail has a nice sourness from the lemon, and the bubbles from the prosecco cut through the syrupy texture, so it tastes sweet and festive, but not too heavy. The predominant taste is not actually candy corn. I'd totally serve it at a Halloween party.

Not everyone likes candy corn, and I've never been a fan myself. However. I would not have it be said that there is any edible substance I wouldn't try to mix with alcohol and try to drink. Also, candy corn is iconic of Halloween, and I wanted to post a plug for Treats 4 Our Troops (T4OT), a nonprofit organization started by my friend Yael Roggen to send care packages to deployed service members. The whole thing started because of Halloween candy. So my experimentation with alcohol is all about helping America, y'all.

T4OT's annual push focuses on Halloween candy, because we all end up with way more trick-or-treating candy than our kids would be medically advised to eat. Sure I'll steal some Twix bars and Special Darks from my children's stashes (don't judge), but a lot of it ends up being hidden and forgotten, then thrown out when discovered on a closet shelf a few years months later. So, Yael set up a collection site at her house where everyone could bring their surplus candy right after Halloween, and then she and other volunteers would box up the candy with cards and magazines to be sent to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Picture courtesy of T4OT
Yael's effort has taken off, and now people all over the country are participating. In addition to sending care packages to deployed troops, T4OT also takes goody bags to wounded warriors at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center at at Ft. Belvoir Community Hospital throughout the year.

What I like about T4OT is that it's an example of an ordinary person identifying one simple thing she could do to make someone else's life a little better, and doing it efficiently and well. For an 18 year-old deployed overseas, away from his or her family for the first time in a dangerous place, getting a tangible reassurance that people back home care about you and appreciate your service helps greatly with morale. Plus, who doesn't like candy? It's a small thing, but when your days are long and difficult, it matters to know that someone wants to make sure you have something sweet.

Picture courtesy of T4OT
Here's the awesome thing: YOU can help, and it's easy. T4OT will provide you APO/FPO addresses and package inserts, and then you can pack and send your boxes from your location! This is an simple, fun, and inexpensive service project for your child's scout troop, 4-H club, school class, religious organization, or community group. The guidelines and instructions are all posted on the T4OT Facebook page, and you can do as much or as little as you like. Even very young children can help, though of course you have to prepared for them to steal some of the candy.

Anyway, I hope you'll consider sending some boxes, or organizing a packing event. You can contact T4OT directly through their Facebook page and learn more about how to help.

Happy October!

Picture courtesy of T4OT


  1. Thanks for this great info, Kathleen! For those of your readers who are staggering among piles of books, check out This group sends paperback books to troops deployed overseas, which hopefully helps to combat the boredom inherent in waiting for sh*&^t to hit the fan.

  2. I am pretty sure I want this to be my first post-pregnancy drink with this baby! And thank you for sharing T4OT- what a cool idea from your friend!

    1. It's such an honor! When are you due?

  3. Newest follower here! I found you through the Friday blog hop! Cute blog, I can’t wait to read more!


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