I’ve made quite a few infused spirits for various holidays, including a clove-spiced vodka for Christmas and a Peep-infused Vodka for Easter. These spirits are fun to make and always make a gift or addition to a holiday celebration. For Valentine’s Day, I decided to use conversation hearts to make up a batch of Conversation Heart Rum! The rum is easy to make because the sugary candies dissolve easily in the alcohol, leaving you with a colorful and surprisingly tasty, flavorful infusion that you can use to make some cocktails for your Valentine!
You will need two ingredients for this recipe: white rum and conversation hearts. In the past I’ve used vodka for infusions, but I opted to use rum because it has a nice natural sweetness that works well with the added sugar from the candies. A relatively inexpensive white rum is a good base – I recommend Bacardi, in this particular case – because the white spirit will let you see the color clearly. Once you have your rum, you need to start in on the candy. I recommend dumping out a big bag of conversation hearts and sorting them by color. It takes a few minutes, but it will allow you to see what colors – and, by extension, what flavors – you have to work with. The bag that I sorted for this batch only had a handful of pink conversation hearts, which are my top pick for a Valentine’s day spirit infusion because of their color. I opted to use a mixture of pink and orange hearts for a strawberry-orange infusion. If you use multiple colors, be sure that the colors and flavors are compatible!
Once the rum and conversation hearts are combined, all you have to do is wait for the candies to dissolve. This process will start almost immediately and it only takes an hour or two for them to dissolve completely. Give the container a few shakes every so often to encourage the candies to break down. Allow the rum to sit overnight so that any sediment (undissolved sugar) can sink to the bottom and you’ll be left with a clear, colorful spirit that is ready to use. Surprisingly, the rum tastes delicious. The flavor of the candies actually comes through better in the rum than it does on the candies themselves and, while each sip will definitely remind you of conversation hearts, I think that it actually tastes better than a handful of the dry candies.
Start in on your infusion now, and I’ll have some recipes showcasing this spirit soon!
Conversation Heart Rum
1 1/2 cups white rum
1/2 cup conversation heart candies (same color)
Combine rum and conversation hearts in a mason jar or other airtight container (glass is best). Shake and allow mixture to stand until candies have mostly dissolved. Shaking every so often will help the sugar to dissolve in the rum. The process should take about 1 hour.
If some sugar residue remains at the bottom of the jar, the rum can be strained through a coffee filter to remove it.
Store in an airtight container until ready to use.