Caramelized and complex, these boozy lollies are great on their own or as an unexpected garnish for bourbon-based cocktails.
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3/4 cup white sugar
1/4 cup bourbon
2 tbsp corn syrup
2 tbsp water
1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals (available at natural food stores)
pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, and mix over low heat until sugar is dissolved. Raise heat to medium and boil, stirring only once or twice, until temperature reads 300 to 310 F on a candy thermometer (10 to 15 minutes). Remove mixture from heat and stir once or twice, allowing bubbles to subside.
Using a teaspoon, drop hot syrup in 1 1/2-inch disks, about 6 at a time, on a sheet of parchment paper laid flat on a countertop or baking tray. Place a lollipop stick in the centre of each disk and twist it so it is covered by candy on all sides. Allow to cool and harden completely and enjoy promptly or store in a dry, airtight container. (If lollipops become sticky, they can be dried on a parchment-paper-lined baking sheet in an oven that has been heated to 200 F, then shut off. Cool completely before trying to move them.)