This week, I was transported back to my childhood as I painted these Loveheart shots. These were definitely one of my favourite sweets, not least because of their little love notes. Gaggles of girls would gather to squabble over, who got which message and which boy they might give it to. I was rarely brave enough to hand mine over and also, quite greedy, so it was never a path to true love for me, but I am still very fond of the sweets. Having painted the shot glasses, it seemed the logical conclusion, to show you how to make Loveheart Vodka. It is a little time consuming, but fairly simple and tastes just like the sweets. Don't be fooled by the innocuous flavour though - this vodka packs a full on punch and should be drunk with caution.
Firstly, you will need a bottle of vodka (it needn't cost the earth to be honest) and a packet of these...
Next, take a microwaveable bowl and put some Loveheart sweets in it. I used 14 to make 3 x 1oz shots of flavoured vodka, but you can scale up the volumes to your own preference. Just remember to use roughly 4-5 sweets per 40ml of vodka.
Now, pour on just enough boiling water to cover the sweets. As you will see, they start to fizz a little.
Put the bowl in to the microwave and heat on full power for about two minutes. what you are trying to do, is reduce the sweets to a syrup, so they will blend with the vodka. Remove the bowl carefully as it will get very hot. Stir the mixture, but do not touch it - this stuff is like molten lava and will seriously burn you.
Now, pour room temperature vodka on to the mixture and stir. Generally, what will happen, is that the sweet syrup will become rock solid, like hard candy, but don't worry - this is fine. Leave the mixture to dissolve in the vodka. For a small amount like this, it should only take 30 mins and you can hurry it along by stirring it every now and then.
Don't panic! It does look vile, but we are going to pass it through a filter to get rid of all the scum. If, like me, you are making a small amount, you can just pour it through some sturdy kitchen roll (the type that claims to be like a cloth), but please don't use ordinairy kitchen roll as it won't be strong enough. Alternatively, a coffee filter paper would be ideal, or perhaps a muslin cloth.
When you have filtered the vodka, pour it into the shots, sitting them on a tray or plate that will fit in your freezer and pop them in for at least an hour. The alcohol prevents the drink freezing over - it just gets nicely chilled.
Remove from freezer and drink!