Inarguably one of the best hard candies in the world, Jolly Ranchers hold a sweet nostalgic spot in our memories back to carefree childhood days.
Whether it was Halloween or just a trip to Grandma’s, these timeless little treats always made an appearance and were, and still are, enjoyed by kids and adults alike.
They come in a variety of remarkable flavors, all of which are absolutely delicious and a great source of sweet and tangy yumminess. However, since all flavors are not created equally, some classic ones stand out from the rest.
What are the best Jolly Rancher flavors? Some of the best and most sought-after Jolly Rancher flavors include cherry, blue raspberry, watermelon, green apple, and strawberry. There is a Jolly Rancher flavor for every palate. This brand includes a wide variety of flavors ranging from sour to sweet to fruity.
Read on for our top picks of the 15 best Jolly Rancher flavors and find out what makes them so special.
Jolly Rancher Hard Candy
Made from a mixture of sugar, corn syrup, and natural and artificial flavors, Jolly Ranchers were first introduced in the year 1949 and are popular not just in the USA but the world over.
What started as just a hard candy is now also sold in different variants such as fruit chews, lollipops, gummies, jelly beans, and gelatin desserts.
Their popularity has increased over time, especially due to their expansion in different markets and the introduction of many new flavors.
Range Of Flavors
Jolly Ranchers boast a long line of delicious flavors and they keep introducing new ones.
The original flavors are watermelon, apple, and Fire Stix. Shortly after, they released cherry, grape, sour apple, lemon, peach, and orange.
They are usually sold in assorted bags but are also available as all-flavor bags for some select flavors.
In addition, there are also the sour, smoothie, tropical, and cinnamon varieties for a refreshing change from the usual hard candy flavors.
The company also offers an all-red bag that includes all-time favorite flavors such as cherry, watermelon, strawberry, and fruit punch.
How To Properly Eat Jolly Ranchers
Jolly Ranchers are hard candies and must be enjoyed like one. There is no right way to eat candy, but if you want to enjoy its optimal flavors and textures, sucking is the way to go.
You may be tempted to bite the candy after a few minutes but beware of candy glass. If you bite into it right away, it will shatter, much like glass, and you won’t be able to enjoy it much.
You have to be patient and suck it down to the thinnest sliver and slowly bite down to bend it, break it, and eat it.
Sucking on hard candy for too long may develop sharp edges, which may not be such a big deal for adults but may need attention when it comes to small children.
The 15 Best Jolly Rancher Flavors
After much research and revisiting simpler times (yes, we tried each flavor again), here are the top Jolly Rancher flavors loved by us and everyone:
|1.||Cherry||Perfect balance of sweet and sour|
|2.||Blue Raspberry||Sweet, tangy, and fun|
|3.||Watermelon||Neutral and safe|
|4.||Strawberry||Sweet and fruity|
|5.||Green Apple||Subtle sourness|
|6.||Orange||Pleasant, pungent, and sweet|
|7.||Cinnamon Fire||Hot cinnamon flavor|
|8.||Lemon||Citrus-y sour followed by subtle sweetness|
|9.||Fruit Punch||Fun and nostalgic|
|10.||Pineapple||Sweet and tangy|
|11.||Grape||Slightly cough syrupy|
|12.||Peach||Peachy and sweet|
|13.||Tropical Flavors||Exciting range of tropical flavors|
|14.||Smoothie Flavors||Creamy and sweet|
|15.||Sour Flavors||Fruity with a sour twist|
These flavors come as individual ones in a single-flavored or assorted bag, and a few packed together as one, such as the smoothie and sour flavors.
The fact that cherry made it to the top of this list shouldn’t come as a surprise at all.
We know you all fish for the deep red ones in the Jolly Ranchers bag to get your hands on them before someone else does.
With the perfect balance of sweet and sour, cherry is a well-loved flavor, whether it is a hard candy or a juicy lollipop, and Jolly Ranchers does it best!
2. Blue Raspberry
Blue raspberry is an excellent flavor with just the right amount of sweet and sour.
It is a close runner-up for the top position and is often in a head-to-head competition with cherry.
Some might say that it tastes too artificial but there’s something comforting about this delicious flavor. A huge credit for its popularity goes to its fun color that is sure to turn your tongue blue.
Watermelon is a neutral and safe flavor, and there’s hardly anyone out there who doesn’t like it.
Although the Jolly Ranchers watermelon hard candy tastes nothing like the actual fruit, its sweet aftertaste and cute reddish-pink color cause the least controversy and simply make you crave for more!
When to comes to fresh fruit, strawberries are one of the most popular choices.
But when it comes to hard candy, it is mostly underappreciated and comes second to cherries, if you talk about berries specifically.
Despite their wavering fan base, strawberry Jolly Ranchers are quite delicious and are mostly unforgettable due to their sweet fruity flavor and subtle red color.
5. Green Apple
Green apple is kind of an unorthodox flavor, but a crowd-pleaser nonetheless.
It is the perfect combination of a little sour, sweet, and tart, and is similar to actually biting into a Granny Smith apple.
The green apple Jolly Ranchers come in a fun light green color and, although they are less common than other mainstream flavors such as cherry and watermelon, they are still a favorite among hard candy lovers.
Pleasant, pungent, and sweet; orange is a classic flavor that tastes great regardless of the form it is in.
While it isn’t the same as a freshly squeezed glass of orange juice, it is akin to orange soda or orange juice with loads of sugar.
With a bright orange color, orange Jolly Ranchers may be hard to get a hold of these days.
However, if you do stumble upon them or randomly pull one out of the bag, you won’t be disappointed.
7. Cinnamon Fire
Although some people may not prefer the spiciness of cinnamon in hard candy form and find it difficult to keep it in their mouths for as long as the candy lasts, cinnamon is a classic flavor and is just as delicious as a Jolly Rancher.
It might take a little getting used to, and it may not be as popular as the other classics, but cinnamon fire Jolly Ranchers are among the best flavors and are painfully good, just like Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.
Gotta love them!
You might think that lemon would be painfully sour, but that is not the case.
It is surprisingly delicate with a nice hint of citrus sour, as if someone carefully squeezed a few drops of lemon juice on your tongue, followed by a subtle sweetness.
Lemon Jolly Ranchers make for a surprisingly palatable hard candy that is not too overpowering and a favorite among people of all ages.
9. Fruit Punch
When you think about fruit punch, your mind instantly goes back to childhood memories of plunging in the pool on a hot summer day with your friends and happily slurping some Kool-Aid.
Fruit punch Jolly Ranchers taste fruity without tasting anything like a particular fruit and are a fun candy to suck on, especially for the nostalgic factor.
In a bag full of bright reds, blues, and greens, the off-whitish colored pineapple Jolly Rancher often gets forgotten and left at the bottom of the bag.
However, if you can overcome the subtle coloration and try one, you’ll be pleasantly surprised!
With a little sweet and a little tangy taste, pineapple offers a unique flavor that is pretty decent, especially if you’re a fan of the fruit itself.
Although grape is one of the original flavors of the Jolly Ranchers hard candy, there is a mixed reaction when it comes to the grape-flavored treat.
Some folks relate its flavor to that of cough syrup which reminds them of sick days spent at home recovering from the flu.
If you keep that feeling aside and try to recondition your mind to focus solely on the current experience, grape can be a fun flavor, especially due to its deep purple color which is sure to stain your tongue.
A favorite among many people back in the day, peach Jolly Ranchers were discontinued a couple of years back but luckily, they have been brought back in an all-peach bag.
They taste a lot like actual peaches and have a hint of sourness coupled with a light sweetness.
They’re not as brightly colored as the rest of the flavors, but are definitely a must-try for all Jolly Rancher lovers.
13. Tropical Flavors
This consists of a bag of assorted tropical flavors that will take you on a journey to a tropical island with flavors such as fruit punch, pineapple, mango, and lime.
Other than the already discussed fruit punch and pineapple flavors, you’ll get mango, which is sweet and bright, just like the actual fruit, without being too tart.
Lime, on the other hand, is a rather bold flavor with an intense taste.
You can try this bag of tropical goodness for an exciting change from the usual flavors and, trust us when we say this, you’re going to love it!
14. Smoothie Flavors
Similar to a bag of tropical flavors, the assorted smoothie flavored pack includes your favorite flavors such as strawberry, watermelon, peach, mixed berry, and orange.
But these aren’t your typical Jolly Rancher flavors that we discussed above.
These are softer, less sweet, and creamy, reminding you of a delicious strawberry or watermelon smoothie, or a freshly baked peach cobbler.
15. Sour Flavors
The sour flavors include wild strawberry, watermelon, green apple, cherry, and blue raspberry – all with a fun sour twist!
These aren’t extremely sour like other sour candies on the market and just have an extra zip of flavor.
They’re not blow-your-mind and burn-a-hole-through-your-tongue sour and are even preferred over the original flavors by some.
Now that we’ve talked about the best Jolly Rancher flavors and the best way to enjoy the popular hard candy, let’s answer a few additional questions that you may have.
Do Jolly Ranchers Come In Different Varieties?
Yes, Jolly Ranchers come in two main product variations – hard candy and chewy or gummy candy.
The hard candy product variation consists of fruity, sour, cinnamon, tropical, creamy, and sugar-free hard candies, the Jolly Rancher lollipops, and candy canes.
The chewy or gummy varieties include the Jolly Rancher chews, jelly beans, jelly hearts, gummies, and Jolly Rancher bites.
How Do You Properly Store Jolly Ranchers?
The best way to store Jolly Ranchers is to keep them in a cool, dry place at room temperature. Make sure to keep them away from direct sunlight and places that are too hot.
In a humid climate, the candy can get gross and sticky really fast, which is why you may either want to eat them quickly before they spoil or store them in an airtight bag.
Once they get sticky, they are not much fun to eat and it becomes difficult to peel off the plastic. Plus, the outer layer of the candy turns into a gluey texture, and we’re sure no one likes that!
Should You Refrigerate Jolly Ranchers?
You don’t necessarily need to refrigerate Jolly Ranchers to prevent them from going bad. All you need to do is simply put them in an airtight box or Ziplock bag and store them in a cool dry place.
Can You Freeze Jolly Ranchers?
Yes, you can freeze dry Jolly Ranchers and turn them into a tasty frozen treat. When left in the freezer, these hard candies will puff up and become slightly crunchy and airy.
The air inside them makes them easier to chew than regular Jolly Ranchers and it turns them into something entirely new. Just make sure to leave plenty of space between them to expand.
Do Jolly Ranchers Go Bad?
If stored properly, hard candies and lollipops like Jolly Ranchers last the longest and essentially have an indefinite shelf life.
These individually wrapped candies do best without moisture, and if they do spoil, they will appear sticky or grainy and may experience changes in flavor.
Can You Melt Jolly Ranchers?
Yes, you can melt Jolly Ranchers and make your version of the delicious treats such as shots, molds, and shaped lollipops. You can do so using the stove, the microwave, or the oven.
When using the stove, add the candy to a saucepan with a thick bottom and leave it on low to medium heat for it to start melting.
As soon as the first signs of melting appear, stir the candy gently so that it doesn’t settle and melts evenly.
When using the microwave, put a few pieces of the candy in a small microwave-safe cup and heat it at 80% power for about a minute. You may need to do a few test runs to see what setting works best for your particular microwave.
Alternatively, you can heat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit, which will be hot enough to melt the hard candies once you put them inside.
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