What did the grape say when it was stepped on?

Nothing. It just let out a little w(h)ine.

It’s April Fools Day! And what better way to celebrate than with something distinctively grown up? Like with wine? Like with wine that isn’t wine? Like with wine that is in fact solid?  April Fools Day evokes thoughts of silly pranks and being young and fun and silly. Not that that goes away with age, but sometimes it’s hard to keep a sense of whimsy while being surrounded with bills and general difficulties and jobs and other things that sometimes bring us down.

I know I’m thankful that I can keep a certain silliness, since I’m a children’s librarian after all, and you can never be too serious when you work with kids. I know there are always exceptions, I’m not speaking in absolutes.

Anyway. What better way to celebrate a silly holiday than by creating nostalgic (and delicious) treat. I know that as a kid I loved all things gummy–gummy bears, gummy worms, gummy fruit snacks…all of it. In fact, I still love it. They are one of my go-to movie theater snacks. There’s just something about them that make me giddy.

It’s probably the sugar.

Anyway. I thought it was about time to update my obsession in a way that was more sophisticated than the collegiate jell-o shot. While the jell-o shot has it’s place, that place is usually a fun party, not the every day. I mean, maybe it is for you–I don’t know. No judgement.

I had half a bottle of left over red wine and I didn’t want it to go to waste. It was one of those bottles that wasn’t exactly great, so I didn’t really want another glass of it, but I didn’t want to toss it, or let it sit on my counter turning to vinegar.

Enter Wine Gummies.

Sweetened little pops of delicious red wine, sweetened with maple syrup and brought to the consistency of those gummy treats that I loved growing up, but with a subtle alcoholic kick. It’s drinks and dessert all in one.

While I cut some of these into fun shapes, I also filled up wine glasses and let them set. Talk about trickery! “Oh, my love, you’ve had a long day? There’s a glass of beautiful red wine waiting on the table for you…” Only NOPE, it’s a gummy! (Very handy if you’re clumsy. No more spills!)

wine8HA. Hopefully that evokes a smile. And if not, then you still get the consolation prize of dessert before dinner. wine2These are best consumed the day you make them, or the day after. I have found they don’t last long, when they are stored.  (They also don’t last long when they’re put out…nom nom nom.) If you are going to store them for a couple days, make sure to do so in a sealed container in the refrigerator.wine2

Wine Gummies

Ingredients
1 cup wine
2 Tbsp gelatin (2 packets)
2 -4 Tbsp maple syrup wine7Note: The amount of maple syrup you use will depend on (1) how dry your wine is and (2) how sweet you want your gummies. You’ll have to taste it as you go and add more as needed.
If you double or triple the recipe, just remember that the needs to be 2 Tbsp of gelatin for every cup of wine.

Method

  1. In a saucepan, warm the wine on medium-low heat. Don’t let it boil, but get it up to just before simmering. Steam should be rising from it.
  2. Add the gelatin one Tbsp at a time, and stir very well before adding more. I stirred the gelatin/wine with a whisk. If it gets frothy, that’s ok.  You can scoop it off.
  3. After the gelatin has completely dissolved, add the other ingredients. Taste the mixture after adding each one—you’ll have to use your taste buds as a gauge for how much sweetener to add.  Keep in mind that the more sweetener you add, the less you’ll taste the flavor of the wine. It all depends on your personal taste preference. Sometimes you want it sweet. Sometimes you want it to have a bit of a bite. And sometimes you want it somewhere in between. Taste test and go by the how you feel.
  4. Pour the liquid into cups for a single serve effect, or if you’re going to cut into shapes, pour the mixture into a baking dish. This is a good time to remove the froth, if you want to. wine6
  5. Once the mixture has set, cut into shapes and remove from the glass dish. wine5
  6. Serve the shapes, or individual glasses.wine3wine1
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