Necco Mint Julep Candy Chews

Necco Mint Julep Candy Chews

Although it turned out to be reasonably tasty, this candy struck me as ill-conceived in two ways:

1.    Hey, kids!  Have some candy named after booze!  It's fun!  Try a candy cigarette afterward, to complete the experience!

2.    What do mint juleps taste like?  Do people drink them for the taste?  I thought people only drank mint juleps for the booze.  Otherwise, we'd just be drinking mint tea. 

I can't really help with point #1.  Although it does occur to me that "pina colada" is a common candy flavor, and that's an alcoholic beverage too.  (I mean, just barely, but still.)  It makes me imagine a world of booze candy.  Manhattan Skittles.  Sidecar Chews.  Rum and Coke Slurpee.  Seabreeze Gum.  You get the picture.

As for the second point… I don't know.  I guess so.  I was reminded of the Mint Mojito flavor of Orbit gum I tried a few years ago.  It tasted minty, with a vague "something else" flavor which I guess, if pressed, I might have reluctantly identified as rum.  I mean, I'm honestly not too sure what light rum tastes like, despite having drunk plenty of it in my day.

I have had mint juleps, and the same rule applies.  They are a really refreshing, incredibly alcoholic way to while away a hot summer afternoon.  I can totally understand why it's the alcoholic drink of the South, because in summer before air conditioning, what else was there to do but drink a really cold, refreshing, iced drink and get totally smashed?

To put it in contemporary terms, a mint julep is a mojito made with bourbon instead of rum.  You muddle sugar and mint together in the bottom of the glass, add bourbon and a ton of ice, and soda water to top off. 

As you might expect, spearmint is the dominant flavor in Mint Julep Candy Chews.  And sweetness.  So in that sense, it is indeed very faithful to the original.  Is there a bourbon flavor lurking down there somewhere?  I don't know.  I do taste something else, but I can't really put my finger on it.  If you gave this to me without telling me what it was, I would just say "it's a mint chew."  The bourbon flavor is subtle at best, is what I'm saying.

Call the concerned parents!

I don't have kids, and I'm hardly what you would call conservative.  Even so, I'm hesitant on the concept of a candy marketed and flavored like a mixed drink.  I mean, have you ever had a mint julep?  Unlike the pina colada, beloved of frat girls and vacationing secretaries everywhere, the mint julep is not a drink that messes around. 

Texture wise, Mint Julep Candy Chews are virtually identical to a Mamba or Starburst.  Each candy is about the size of two Starbursts stacked together.  It is a surprisingly delicate and edible candy, given its source - NECCO, most famous for the Necco Wafer.  (Maybe this shouldn't be so surprising after all, given the strong emotions that Necco Wafers inspire.)