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A&E >  Beer/Drinks

Dorothy Dean presents: The cotton candy cocktail is magical to make, and to drink

UPDATED: Tue., April 24, 2018, 11:15 p.m.

By Audrey Alfaro For The Spokesman-Review

From lavender and charcoal to liquid nitrogen and saline solution, bartenders seem to incorporate just about anything into craft cocktails these days.

There’s fire and dry ice, muddling, squeezes, pinches, twists, and garnishes like caviar, burgers and even toes! (Yes, that’s a real thing. A mummified toe is served in the Sourtoe Cocktail at the Sourdough Saloon in Dawson City, Yukon. Don’t break your toe in a rush to try it.)

So it’s no surprise that the spun carnival favorite, cotton candy, has made its way into a glass.

This cotton candy cocktail is magical to make, as the cotton candy does a disappearing act right before your eyes. Plus, it’s tasty, too.

Vodka, rosé and sparkling wine are stirred, not shaken, in cocktail shaker. And as soon as you pour this chilled mix over the cotton candy, it dissolves and vanishes, sweetening the cocktail and releasing a fanned strawberry. If your candy floss is pink, it’ll turn the drink a hot-pink almost-red color. You can change the color of the cotton candy to match the theme of your party. The color doesn’t affect the taste; it’s just for the presentation.

This cotton candy cocktail is great for bridal or baby showers, weddings or brunch. For kids’ parties, just use lemon-lime soda, ginger ale or sparkling water in place of the booze.

And prepare to watch their little jaws drop.

Cotton Candy Cocktail

Adapted from

1 lemon or lime wedge

Pink sanding sugar

2 strawberries

Cotton candy, two handfuls, preferably pink

1/3 cup vodka

2/3 cup rosé wine

2/3 cup sparkling wine

Sprinkle some sanding sugar on a plate. Rub the rims of two martini glasses with a lemon or lime wedge to moisten. Dip moistened rims into sanding sugar until evenly coated. Set aside.

To fan cut strawberries, cut four to five thin slices lengthwise through the strawberry, leaving slices attached just below the stem end. Slightly fan the slices apart and set aside.

Separate the cotton candy into two handfuls. Spread open each one and place fanned strawberry inside, then lightly seal back up in the shape of a ball. Place them into prepared martini glasses. (Be sure your hands and martini glasses are completely dry when touching the cotton candy. Any moisture will melt it.)

In a cocktail shaker half filled with ice, pour in the vodka and both wines. Using a long-handled spoon, gently stir to chill and mix the alcohol. (Do not shake drink with lid on, as this will release carbonation and lid will pop off.) Put on shaker lid and strain over cotton candy. Watch as it dissolves and strawberry floats to top.

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