Liquor Lollipop Bouquets {Creative Hostess Gift Idea}

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homemade liquor lollipops recipe

I was trying to come up with some unique & different hostess gift ideas for the holidays recently, and remembered a cool Liquor Lollipops recipe from my copy of Sweet Confections (which is a fabulous cookbook, btw). Then it hit me… instead of giving the 2 most popular hostess gifts – flowers or a bottle of wine/liquor – it would be a fun twist to sort of combine the 2 ideas and create “bouquets” of liquor lollipops!


You can use any type of hard liquor you like (I used spiced rum for these but tequila, bourbon, etc will work too) – and the liquor flavor is very subtle, so the finished lollipops are definitely more sweet than anything else, which mean they’ll still please the palates of most anyone that deserves a sweet “thanks!”.


Now, I’m no candy making guru myself – nor did I have lollipop molds on hand – so my versions didn’t turn out perfectly round, but I ended up liking that because it kind of emphasizes the homemade quality and shows the recipient that you made some extra effort for them… so in other words they must REALLY be special. ;) Also – these lollipops were WAY faster and easier than I expected them to be, but they harden up F.A.S.T. – so my best advice is to be prepared to work quickly!

I arranged a few of the finished pops in mini vintage bottles and filled them with rice so that the pops would “blossom” out a little higher and stay put. They’re also embellished with tags from our Give Thanks Printable Party Collection, but of course this idea will work for any sort of holiday or occasion. Scroll down for the step-by-step tutorial and recipe.



{recipe via Sweet Confections}


– 1/4 cup plus 1 teaspoon hard liquor, such as bourbon, tequila, or rum
– 2 tablespoons cold water
– 3/4 cup sugar
– 3 tablespoons Karo® Corn Syrup
– 1/8 teaspoon kosher salt
– 1/4 teaspoon food coloring of your choice (optional)


Prep: If you don’t have lollipop molds, place a silicone mat on a baking sheet to get it ready for the candy.

1. Mix together 1/4 cup of the liquor, and the water, sugar, corn syrup, and salt in a 1- or 2-quart saucepan until all of the sugar is wet. If sugar crystals cling to the sides of the pan, dissolve them away with a wet pastry brush.

2. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally and gently with a heatproof spatula until all of the sugar is dissolved. Then boil to 300°F (149°C) without stirring.

liquor lollipop tutorial - steps 1 & 2

3. Remove from the heat, and, working quickly, mix in the remaining 1 teaspoon liquor and food coloring, if using.

liquor lollipop tutorial - step 3

4-5. Still working with haste, drop the syrup into either lollipop molds or onto a silicone mat.

liquor lollipop tutorial

If using lollipop molds, quickly drop the syrup from the tip of a large spoon into the cavities of the lollipop molds. Place a lollipop stick in the center of each disk, and twist it 180 degrees so that it’s fully covered in syrup. Let cool completely.

If using a silicone mat, quickly drop the syrup onto the silicone mat so that it forms 2-inch disks and immediately after plopping the syrup on the sheets place a lollipop stick in the center of each disk and twist it 180 degrees so that it’s fully covered in syrup. Let cool completely.

Peel the lollipops from the molds or silicone and store in an airtight container, preferably at least overnight to allow the flavors to develop, until ready to indulge.

liquor lollipops - finished pops



Recipe via Sweet Confections
Tutorial & Photos by HWTM

Alternative Text
POSTED BY:jenn s.JENNIFER SBRANTI is the Founder and Creative Director of Hostess with the Mostess®, a hip and modern party planning resource.

143 responses to “Liquor Lollipop Bouquets {Creative Hostess Gift Idea}”

  1. Paula Martin says:

    What a fun idea. I will be sure to try it.

  2. katiecarver says:

    This is genius! I have been looking for a nice, affordable, “adult” host gift! Thank you so much for sharing!

    <3 fellow blogger

  3. […] Y estos, bueno, me parecen un regalo ideal: ¡piruletas de licor! ¿Quién dijo que las piruletas sólo son para los pequeños? Tienes la receta en Hostess With the Mostess. […]

  4. jenn s. says:

    Quick note – I just emptied our WordPress spam folder since it had over 500 messages in there and realized after pushing the “empty all” button that there was a long non-spam message in there related to this post. I was unable to stop the deletion process after it was initiated – my apologies to the person that wrote the comment! We usually don’t read everything in the spam folder since it fills up so quickly daily and takes a long time to click through all the pages. If you want to repost the comment I’ll keep a lookout for the it for the next few days. Thanks :)

  5. Tonya says:

    Just thinking…. what about increasing the amount of alcohol (say by double) and letting it reduce by half to concentrate the flavors.. then add to the sugar and water mixture. You’d have a stronger flavour. I’ll try it and let you know how they turn out.

  6. Birty says:

    Hey, I love this idea. Just a quick question though. Are they really alcoholic? Cooking alcohol, boiling it in particular takes away the intoxicating effect, making it nonalcoholic. So have you gotten even a little buzz from these?

    • Shanda says:

      I was wondering the same thing

    • Casey says:

      made theese, and let me tell you as soon as you cook the alcohol it dissapates, I have 15 suckers, and nothing else to drink. I got nothing, not even a buzz… so i say its a cute idea..

  7. these look pretty good.

  8. Whitney says:

    I’m wondering if flavor could be added too? Like lime with tequila, or cranberry with vodka? In concentrated amounts, maybe instead of the water? What do you think?

    • alyssa says:

      We’d love to see you adapt the recipe! Let us know what flavors you ended up going with and how it turned out :)

  9. Alicia says:

    This was simple and easy!!! I used vanilla vodka, and it was a lightly flavored vanilla lollipop!! Going to try again tomorrow with some Pear Absolut and then maybe some Peach Schnapps. Thanks for the great idea!!!

  10. michellejames says:

    @ Tonya have you tried your adapted version of the pops?

  11. Kristi Garlets says:

    Just made 2 batches…one with rum and one with tequila and they both turned out great! I added a little extra of each to intensify the flavor and it paid off! Oh…if you don't have a silicone mat I learned aluminum foil works great too :)

  12. katieee says:

    Good idea, but does cooking them make them nonalcoholic? Or do they still have alcohol in them?

  13. Becca Cole says:

    doesn't the alcohol evaporate?

  14. Diane O'Meara says:

    Can you wrap them?

    • Yes, I make hard candy suckers with my mom every year. We have found it's cheaper and easier to use the small clear plastic jewelry bags that re-seal, just cut the re-seal part off, slide the sucker in, twist the bag just under the sucker, use floral tape and wrap around the base of sucker to get a nice seal to keep the sucker fresh :) …. hope that helps :)

    • Sharon Hahn says:

      Craft stores sell many sizes of candy wrappers so you don’t have to cut off the ziplocs and it will be cheaper for you.

  15. Sean Hanson says:

    I make my own flavored Schnapps with Everclear which requires boiling and, trust me, it's still very alcoholic.

  16. Jeanette says:

    Do you think that this can be done like a mixed cocktail lollipop for example a sex on the beach lolli with adding the other ingredients from the drink?

    • Ariana says:

      I think it could be done. For instance, maybe use peach snaps for the liquor, cranberry juice for the water and add orange extract.

  17. Sunny says:

    Sean, I want the recipe, too!!

  18. Marcy Burner says:

    Would after shock be good? Or would the cinnamon be too much for a sucker?

  19. Jenny says:

    No one seems to be answering the question: does the alcohol evaporate by cooking it? Shouldn’t you add it at the end? I’ve always been told that cooking alcohol will take away the intoxicating effects…

  20. Angel says:

    You can concentrate the flavor by reducing the alcohol down by half. If the recipe calls for 1/4 c. alcohol, then boil 1/2 c of alcohol (by itself) until it is reduced by half. Cool down to room temp and then proceed with the recipe as written.

    You are not going to get intoxicated from a lollipop. They will, however, have a stronger flavor, of the alcohol chosen.

  21. Arlo Haarsma says:

    alcohol boiling temp is 150 F. There is no alcohol in these pops after cooking them at 300 or after adding booze later on. All you get is the grotesque flavor of booze without the benefit of a buzz…nty. This has to be worse than decaffeinated coffee.

  22. I have to try this i can use this for my business

  23. Wow… I was reading and wondering if anyone else would catch that there wouldn't be any alcohol left in after boiling.

  24. carlydibona says:

    Can I please have the recipe as well if you are still providing it? Thank you!

  25. Liv says:

    Could this be done with champagne do you think? I would love to create champagne pops that fizz as well that would be amazing! Love to know ideas??!!

    • Alexander Harper says:

      If you wish to make champasnge lollipops use the doubled and reduced amount method….for the “fizz”/pop go buy neutral poprocks and when pouring prinkle them into the mold/spot you are pouring.

  26. Sara says:

    I made these today and put in a 1/2 cup of liquor and the flavor was awesome! After taking the mixture off the heat, I also let it sit for about 2-3 minutes so it hardened. This allows you to make a better shape of a lollipop and it won’t be as runny.

  27. Kari says:

    Could i please get your recipe too? You rock!

  28. Liquor Lollipops – 216/365 | Serendipity 365 says:

    […] and I made liquor lollipops (well, without the stick, so really just hard candy) today.  We used this recipe and it was easy to follow.  They turned out […]

  29. Brittany says:

    How do we let them cool? By air or refrigerator? Thank you!

  30. Britni says:

    I made this and they weren’t very alcoholic :( added more than a teaspoon at the end to the second batch and they didnt harden properly. Any suggestions to make them more strong?

  31. Andi Miller says:

    No way these have any alcohol left. By the time they reach the right stage for suckers, all the alcohol has burned off. Hence why you weren’t tasting any alcohol.

  32. Leigh-Anne says:

    Yhis sounds like a great idea for a Saint pat’s party.. i plan on trying this out and making them into ” gold coins” to go with the theme… Thanks for sharing this one!! =)

  33. amelia says:

    The alcohol cooks out.

  34. Heather Wright says:

    Can I get the recipe too please!

  35. Angie says:

    I would like the recipe as well.

  36. Kayla says:

    How long will these last? I’m going to make these for my wedding as favors but not sure when I should make them.

  37. Southern bartender says:

    Use higher concentrated liquors such as ever clear, but I’ve learned that the new flavored moonshine (apple pie, strawberry, and cinnamon) have a higher proof than ever clear, and you will have tasty pops and they WILL DEFINATELY GET YOU A BUZZ. :-)

  38. Beatriz says:

    Let me know how it turned out the mixed cocktail !
    I’m getting married soon so I wanna do these as little favors..

  39. […] part out, I did decided to make these Grey Goose Lollipops for everyone.  I found the recipe on Hostess With the Mostess, an amazing blog and name, and I loved how fast, simple, yet awesome this idea […]

  40. [Food/Beverage]-Fantastic-Fun Drinks for Spring Time | My Urban Access (.com) Magazine | Atlanta City Guide & MORE says:

    […] […]

  41. Tiffany shum says:

    Sean Hanson if I could have ur recipe to that would great thank u

  42. Darlene Rentz says:

    Sean H. please send me your recipe please, thanks

  43. Rayna says:

    I used a flavored vodka and they are really sticky! Does any one have any suggestions?

  44. Michele says:

    I’ve done a fair amount of cocktail flavored candies in my time, both gummy candy and hard candy. Usually what I will do is to not boil any of the alcohol, but add all of it in at the end with any coloring. From my general experience: 20th Century makes a great gummy candy, Sazarac makes a really nice hard candy (but not quite as good a gummy), and any of the ginger cocktails work really nicely (gin gin mule, mamie taylor, dark and stormy). The flavors are there, but subtle, and you will not get drunk off of the candy. Also, if you don’t have candy molds, keep an eye out for silicon ice cube trays. Most are too big for hard candy (although pretty good for gummy candy), but if you find any that make small cubes, they can work quite nicely for shaped candies.

  45. I have seen the same question over and over: doesn’t the alcohol cook out?!? The answer is no, it doesn’t. In order to cook out the alcohol you would have to be cooking it for some 3 hours. However, it should be noted that they are to have the flavor of the liquor not to get you drunk. so, no you may not be able to taste the alcohol. Suggestion: add the alcohol closer to the end ..or use something that is a bit stronger in content.

  46. Tracy Meriwether says:

    Has anyone tried making apple martini lollipop

  47. Tracy Meriwether says:

    I would like to make a alcohol lollipops

  48. Heidi Michelle Reynolds says:

    Recipe please! :)

  49. Daisy says:

    There will be no alcohol ratio if poured at boiling point. You cant even add the liquor until after it cools and by then, the candy has hardened. I’ve tasted these and they taste like pure melted sugar hardened on a stick. There has to be a better way to get the buzz of alcohol in them. Anyone know????

  50. Nope! After cooking something for 2 1/5 hours there is still 5% of alcohol left, if boiling for 15 minutes about 40% of the alcohol would be left. Alcohol "burning off" is a common cooking myth.

  51. Not true, common cooking myth I placed the specifics in Becca's comment above.

  52. Alcohol doesn't actually burn off like most people think, it's a common myth.

  53. Arlo Haarsma says:

    This is not a cooking myth…it is a chemistry fact. Alcohol boils off at 150 F.

  54. Toni says:

    Definitely going to try this with skittles infused vodka. Should be hrrat for a hot Christmas day. I just have to make sure I keep them away from the kids.

  55. Are you still sending out your recipe for ever clear and schnapps? If so I would love a copy. Thx

  56. Amanda says:

    Hi, just made a delicious batch with vodka and peppermint extract for Xmas gifts. Now I’m stuck with hardened sugar utensils, any tips of cleaning. Boiling water isn’t doing it.

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Amanda – Try just soaking them in warm soapy water for a while – the candy should eventually dissolve! That worked for us – good luck! :)

  57. […] -Make these suckers:  No, but I still want to! […]

  58. Cassandra Braasch Canfield says:

    A study conducted by the US Department of Agriculture’s Nutrient Data Laboratory calculated the percentage of alcohol remaining in a dish based on various cooking methods. The results are as follows:

    Preparation Method and Percent of Alcohol Retained

    alcohol added to boiling liquid & removed from heat: 85%
    alcohol flamed: 75%
    no heat, stored overnight: 70%
    baked, 25 minutes, alcohol not stirred into mixture: 45%

    baked/simmered, alcohol stirred into mixture:
    15 minutes – 40%
    30 minutes – 35%
    1 hour – 25%
    1.5 hours – 20%
    2 hours – 10%
    2.5 hours – 5%

  59. Audrey says:

    This recipe is wonderful! We linked it in our italian Blog!

  60. GoddessTracy Buonavolonta says:

    Tanya O'Hair Hladek can you please send me your recipe either on facebook or email.

  61. […] that mint dish to your grandmother’s pantry.  Your guests will love these liquor lollipops!  Arranged around the room or featured as the table centerpiece, this adult version of every […]

  62. Sean Hanson can i have the recipe pls.. thanks

  63. Tammy says:

    Could you use absinthe with this recipe?

  64. Janet Fazio says:

    What a fun idea for a holiday hostess gift – if I don’t eat them all myself!

  65. Nehemiah J. Domingue says:

    i would like this recipe as well

  66. […] Bakes also has a liquor lollipop recipe on their […]

  67. Oh I am so making these.

  68. Fernanda Wahab says:

    question, so what? it's not like you will develope alcoholism after a treat like this. Only if you're in rehab or have to drive after eating, I see no problem.

  69. Fernanda Wahab says:

    Also, remember these liquors aren't 100% alcoholic. They have an average of what? 45% of alcohol? Excuse me but what is the 40% of 45%? It's like 18% more or less

  70. Liquor Lollipops | SKULL SISTERS says:

    […] It’s FRIDAY! That means we’re posting a DIY gift idea! This week we bring you Liquor Lollipops by Hostess With The Mostess. […]

  71. Michelle Warr says:

    I'd like the recipe as well if youre still sharing it. please and thank you!

  72. Has anyone tried honey whiskey? Making these for a friend and he is rather fond of it.

  73. […] Liquor Lollipops – Yes, that’s right. For the over-21 crowd that could use a little help surviving the craziness of the season. […]

  74. Adult Only and Kid Friendly Holiday ideas! | Where it Blooms says:

    […] Click to view full recipe […]

  75. Zarha Cswaykus says:

    I make vodka infused with the jolly rancher flavors and I used these to make the pops it turned out with a great flavor and the candy adds color to your suckers

  76. 30 Brilliant Recipe Ideas For Unforgettable Parties | Official Web News says:

    […] 12. Liquor Lollipop Bouquet […]

  77. Melissa says:

    Sean I would love your recipe PLEASE! THANK YOU

  78. Nicole Simmone says:

    how long do they take to harden?

  79. Wedding Gift Baskets Ideas Homemade | says:

    […] source: […]

  80. Teresa Young says:

    this might sound a bit bad but I sell alcohol infused candy to the local alcoholics so they don't go to work with the shakes it works and I make $$$

  81. alcoholic lollipops - shut the front door girls..someone please make these for our bachelorette party!!! - ZuziFeed says:

    […] Via: […]

  82. Do you think this would work with fireball?

  83. 5 Corners Bed and Breakfast - Home says:

    […] originally posted by Hostess with the Mostess (she shows great step-by-step […]

  84. Sarah Gann says:

    I am making these for a party. How long do they last in little baggies so I know how soon before the party I can make them. Thanks!

    • jenn s. says:

      Hi Sarah – We didn’t really test this out since we enjoyed them right away… but none of the ingredients used are things that typically “spoil”, so I don’t think you’ll need to worry about them going bad. I’d recommend doing a quick online search for more info though. Here’s on of the articles I found. :)

  85. I did this but I used Strawberry Jello to flavor it and OMG it is so damn good!

  86. Kate Collins says:

    Made these last night. Easy to make but I almost burnt it on the stove and it got kind of caramel-brown . they still taste good, I used root beer float vodka.

  87. Yep, it's pretty sad!!