Category Archives: shots

Happy Birthday America Jell-O Jiggler Shots

grainy cameraphone pictures from a year ago, hooray! the red was strawberry + raspberry pucker and vodka, the blue was some kind of berry + blue curacao and vodka, the white had triple sec and vodka

Jell-O shots are often prepared in individual molds, which is handy for portion control and ease of consumption, but (obviously) requires that you have individual molds. You can, of course, make alcoholic Jell-O in one big sheet just like people generally do with non-alcoholic Jell-O, but the alcohol interferes with how the gelatin sets, which can make un-molded Jell-O shots a real mess to serve. If you really want to make alcoholic Jell-O that you can cut into pieces and serve as finger-food (or finger-drinks?), you need to add more gelatin.

I worked out ratios of Jell-O mix, plain gelatin, liquor, and liqueur last year for a 4th of July party, and now I don’t remember all the sources I consulted or factors I weighed. But I did record the recipe I settled on: 1 package of plain gelatin per 3 oz. Jell-O mix (a small box) combined with 1 cup boiling water, 1/2 cup liquor (80 proof) and 1/2 cup liqueur (40 proof). That yields a significantly higher-proof Jell-O shot than the traditional recipe, which calls for 5 oz. liquor per 3 oz. package, but it still sets up firmly enough to cut cleanly and eat with your hands.

blue curacao and vodka in the berry layers, limoncello and vodka in the lemon layers, triple sec and vodka in the condensed milk layers Flavor and design-wise, the possibilities are virtually endless. You can create the patriotic “stained glass” effect pictured above by making red and blue Jell-O in separate pans, chilling them well, cutting them into cubes and then pouring a mixture of sweetened condensed milk, gelatin, water, and alcohol over them (recipe below). That obviously also lends itself well to things like team colors or other holiday combinations.

You can create a layered effect by making small batches and letting each one set before you add the next one—a technique that lends itself well to rainbow pride shots. The Michigan-themed cubes on the right that look vaguely like expensive MOMA paperweights (ht: Ryan Hennessey) were created by alternating small batches of berry and lemon Jell-O with the sweetened condensed gelatin shot recipe in a 9×13 pan in 30 min. intervals. Other potentially-helpful tips: I made the mixture for each layer right after putting the previous one in the refrigerator so it could cool to room temp before I poured it on top, and I poured the new layers over the back of a spoon to soften their impact on the “set” layers.

If you had the time and inclination, you could make layers within “stained glass” pieces or cover “stained glass” pieces with different colored layers. But if that all seems like too much fuss, you can also just make single colors. And if you like, you can cut them into whimsical shapes. I’m going to make them again for a 4th of July picnic this year, although I haven’t decided what colors or styles, except that it will have to involve the seasonally-inappropriate box of lime that’s been in the cupboard for ages and the bottle of Raspberry Pucker we’ll never use for anything else. I may put pictures up after they’re done, but thought for once I’d try to post a holiday-appropriate recipe before the holiday in case any one else’s 4th of July might be enhanced by alcoholic gel-food. they do bend and wobble a bit, they're still just gelatin, but they will stay together well enough to transport them and you can leave them at room temp for hours without them melting into unappealing goo

Happy 4th of July to all who celebrate it. I wish you exactly as much grilled tube meat, sparkly exploding stuff, and patriotic kitsch as you desire (even if that’s none).

Recipe: Jello Jiggler Shots

Colored Jell-O Jiggler Shots:

  • 1 3oz box Jell-O
  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup 80-proof liquor
  • 1/2 cup 40-proof liqueur

1. Whisk together the Jell-O powder and plain gelatin.

2. Add the cup of boiling water and stir until dissolved. Cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

3. Add liquor and liqueur

Makes a 1/2” layer in an 8×8 pan or a 1/4” layer in a 9×13 pan. Double if desired–can use 6 oz. box of Jell-O.

White Gelatin Shots:

  • 1 envelope plain gelatin
  • 3 T. cold water
  • 1/3 cup boiling water
  • 1/3 cup liquor/liqueur (I used half vodka and half triple-sec)
  • 100 ml (~3 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1. Sprinkle gelatin on cold water and allow to soak for 5 min.

2. Add boiling water and stir well. Cool, stirring occasionally.

3. Add liquor/liqueur and stir, add sweetened condensed milk and stir.

Use one recipe for thin layer in 9×13 pan. Double to cover 2 batches of colored Jell-O cut in “stained glass” pieces in an 8×8 pan. Triple to cover 4 batches of “stained glass” Jell-O in a 9×13 pan.

Non-alcoholic White Gelatin:

  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 2 envelopes gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water
  • 1 can (14 oz) sweetened condensed milk

1. Sprinkle gelatin on cold water and allow to soak for 5 min.

2. Add boiling water and stir well. Let cool to lukewarm, stirring occasionally.

3. Add sweetened condensed milk.

Makes enough to cover 4 batches “stained glass” Jell-O in 9×13. Halve for 8×8. Make 1/3 or 1/4 for thin layer in 9×13.

For non-alcoholic colored Jell-O, follow the instructions on box.

so this is 2 small-box (3 oz) batches of blue, 2 small-box batches of lemon, and 3 single batches of white. Feeds...or intoxicates a crowd.