Jolly Rancher is a brand of primarily fruit-flavored candy manufactured by Hershey Foods Corporation of Hershey, Pennsylvania. The company was founded in 1949 in Golden, Colorado by Bill and Dorothy Harmsen. The name "Jolly Rancher" was chosen to evoke western imagery with a friendly, hospitable bent. Originally, the company sold chocolate, ice cream, and hard candy, but began to focus exclusively on the hard candy when they noticed it selling particularly well. In 1966, the Harmsens sold their company to Beatrice Foods, but retained a role in the regular operation of the business. In 1983, Beatrice was purchased by Leaf, which sold its North American operations to Hershey in 1996.

While Jolly Rancher has introduced other kinds of candy in recent years, for many people their name is synonymous with the rectangular hard candies that made them famous. The original assortment of flavors that is marketed to this day consists of grape, cherry, lemon, watermelon, and sour apple. They also sell two other assortments: "Tropical Blends", comprising strawberry-banana, raspberry-pineapple, banana-pineapple, mandarin-tangerine, and lemon lime; and "Passion fruits", consisting of fruit punch, strawberry, raspberry, peach, and orange. An intense cinnamon flavor called Fire is also available, though a reputable reviewer has been known to proclaim "Fire bad!!!"

In addition to hard candy, Jolly Rancher also produces jellies, jelly beans, fruit chews (like Starburst), gummies, lollipops, and fruit chew lollipops.

The Jolly Rancher Website.
Hershey Foods Corporation - JOLLY RANCHER.

Jolly Ranchers, being fairly strong flavoured candy is ideal for making some of the tastiest shooters this side of South Africa.

You will need:
one half bottle of Vodka (350ml)
12 Jolly Ranchers of your favorite flavour

The Vodka does not have to be top quality, Smirnoff Red Lable works fine, I imagine Stolichnya or Vladivar will be fine too. The Jolly Ranchers should all be the same flavour, fruit cocktails have been tried but they are not as good as the real thing. You can vary the number of Jolly Ranchers to suit your own particular tastes but this noder has found 12 to be the magic number. My personal favorite flavours for this drink are Apple and Watermelon but it does work with any of them.

Unwrap all the Jolly Ranchers
Place all Jolly Ranchers in Vodka
Wait 4-5 hours for all Jolly Ranchers to dissolve completely
Place funny coloured vodka in the freezer until it is really cold

Serving Suggestions:
Pour into shot glasses

This can probably be mixed with lemonade for a long refreshing drink, but to be honest, it tastes so good straight that I never felt the need to try it. This stuff will get you very drunk very quickly - the perfect thing for your New Year party.

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