Licorice-Based Candy

Licorice-Based Candy

Not all ‘liquorice’ sweets are made from ‘liquorice’ extract, usually they will contain lots of different flavourings that are similar, such as anise and fennel.

There are lots of varieties of liquorice sweets around, in the UK the most popular sweets are Liquorice Allsorts and in America red Twizzlers and Red Vines are very popular. If you want to purchase American liquorice sweets there are a number of online retailers who will ship the goods to you from across the pond.

Not all “liquorice” sweets contain extract, usually they will contain lots of different flavourings that are similar, such as anise and fennel. Some of the black sweets do contain the liquorice extract and this will be listed in the ingredients.

Liquorice root is a shrub native to Europe and some parts of Asia, and it contains a natural sweetener that is 50 times more sweet than sugar. The shrub has many medicinal properties and is used to help stomach ulcers and bowel problems; it also significantly increases blood pressure.

Most liquorice sweets don’t actually contain any liquorice so you won’t have to worry about a sudden rise in blood pressure! For the sweets that do, they wouldn’t contain enough extract to cause any side effects, so they are perfectly safe (and tasty) to eat. American sweets such as Red Vines and Twizzlers use anise extract for liquorice-based flavouring, but don’t contain any real liquorice root.

We’ve put a little recipe together to help you make your own liquorice candy:


1 cup of butter
2 cups of granulated sugar
1 cup of golden syrup
1 tin of sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp anise extract
Half tbsp of black food colouring paste (optional)


– Grease a cake tin with butter
– Melt butter in a pan and add granulated sugar, condensed milk, a pinch of salt and bring to the boil
– Use a food thermometer to measure the temperature of your candy, it needs to be around 250 degrees
– Remove from heat and stir in anise extract until thoroughly combined
– Pour your mixture into cake tin and let it set at room temperature over night

You should end up with some tasty and slightly squishy black sweets by the time you’re done – feel free to lower the suggested temperature for softer and more squishy liquorice.

An American sweet that tastes very similar to liquorice is the red Twizzler, made by the chocolate icon Hershey’s. They are described as ‘liquorice sweets with a twist’ and they have a variety of flavours. The classic black liquorice (which contains real liquorice), cherry, watermelon and strawberry are some of the juicy flavours you can choose from.