Cooking With Gin – Gin Popcorn

popcorn in a green bowl on a white table

Gin n’ Lime Popcorn

Gin Popcorn – a delicious, easy introduction to fancy popcorn. This is a great snack for casual parties, beach days, movie nights and more. It’s sweet and salty, and the hints of juniper and spice make this a really special, elevated snack that’s a snap to make!

Safety Note: I’d consider this to be a snack with (very) low-levels of alcohol in it: the recipe is aimed to expose gin to high temperatures for as little time as possible to preserve the flavors. Also, wear long sleeves, or an apron/smock, and something to cover your legs and feet. Burning sugar is excruciating if you get some on your skin. Protect your skin and you won’t have to worry about weird sugar burns.



3/4 cup of white sugar

6 cups plain, unflavored popcorn, popped – Air pop or make microwave popcorn that does not have any added flavoring and/or salt.

1 Tablespoon butter, unsalted

3 Tablespoons water

4 Tablespoons preferred gin (Pick a gin with nice, strong botanicals and avoid navy strength gins – I like Solveig Gin or Bluecoat Gin)

1 wedge of lime

Salt to taste


Cooking Materials

One baking sheet

Piece of baking parchment paper or silicon mat (or canola oil in a pinch)

Heavy bottom, deep pot

Wooden spoon or rubber spatula


Large bowl



Preheat the oven to 275F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or mat. If you don’t have parchment paper or mat, oil that baby up pretty well.

Pop the corn and set it aside in a large bowl.

Put butter, sugar, and water in the pan and cook it on medium high. Stir well and stir often. When the sugar starts to bubble, turn the heat down to medium and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently.

Take the pan off the heat (another burner is fine, as long as it’s cold), and very slowly add the gin. This will cause the sugar to bubble and splatter – watch out! This is why you ought to be using a deep pan.

Stir the sugar into the popcorn. Coat the corn very well – take the time to really stir it up and coat each kernel.

Spread the popcorn out on the baking sheet evenly. Squeeze the lime wedge over the popcorn. Taste it! Carefully grab a kernel, and making sure it’s cool enough to eat, try it out. Like the pure sweetness? Don’t add salt. Prefer a little more depth? Sprinkle a little salt over the pan. You can also add a bit of salt in at the end.

Now, here begins the choose your own adventure part of the recipe. Do you like the popcorn as it is now? It’s a little sticky, and will remain so, but it’s perfectly edible. This popcorn will have the strongest gin flavor. If you decide that feh, you’re not baking this, let the popcorn dry for a few minutes in the air. Don’t forget to turn off your oven.

If you’re more into a more crispy kernel, toss the popcorn into the oven on the pan and let it bake about 35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Check on it somewhat frequently, and feel free to take it out when it looks good to you. When it’s done, throw a bit more salt on it if you want, and volia!


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