Category Archives: star-spangled

Jell-O Jiggler Shots Part II: Star-spangled Photo-tutorial

This is how you say "America, Fuck Yeah!" in Jell-O shots

For this year’s patriotic, alcoholic Jell-O Jigglers, I decided to cut stars out of the bottom layer of Jell-O, fill the holes with a white gelatin mixture, and then replace the stars on the top layer and pour white gelatin around them. So the top and bottom layers both have blue and white stars and they sandwich a layer of red. Here’s the bottom, before I inverted it:

it was actually a little prettier this way--I accidentally dissolved it a little too much in the process of unmolding.

By the numbers:

  • 2 small (3 oz) or 1 large (6 oz) box Berry Blue Jell-Othe lime Jell-O ended up in a separate pan, infused with limoncello
  • 2 small (3 oz) or 1 large (6 oz) box red Jell-O (I used Strawberry)
  • 8 packages (7 g each, about 2 oz total) plain gelatin
  • 14 oz. (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
  • 4 2/3 cups water (about 37 oz)
  • 2 2/3 cups vodka (about 21 oz or 630 ml)
  • 1 cup (8 oz) blue curacao
  • 1 cup (8 oz) raspberry pucker
  • 2/3 cup (5.3 oz) triple sec

That means it’s 11-12% alcohol or ~23 proof (107.3 oz total, 12.4 oz of which are alcohol—21 oz vodka @ 40% + 16 oz liqueur @ 15% + 5.3 oz liqueur @ 30%). So it’s roughly comparable to most wine or mixed drinks and approximately 18-27 servings of alcohol.

Layer #1: BLUE

Jell-O and gelatin combined like a blue, boozy reflecting pool: behold my kitchen shelves!

Whisk together the first color of Jell-O (6 oz.) with 2 packages of plain gelatin. Add 2 cups boiling water and stir to dissolve. Cool slightly (10-15 min) and add 1 cup vodka and 1 cup clear or matching liqueur up to 40-proof (I only had 2/3 cup blue curacao so I added a little of the red pucker, which gave it a slightly midnight hue, and some triple sec). Chill until set—at least 30 minutes.

If your refrigerator isn’t level—mine isn’t, you can stick flat things under the corners to try to get the Jell-O to set in an even layer. I used pieces of individually-wrapped American cheese. 

i know, it's "fake" cheese or "plastic" cheese or what have you; I still think it melts better than anything else I've found

Layer #2: WHITE

 gelatin mixed with cold water after a few minutes, "bloomed" meaning the gelatin has absorbed the water and softened

Empty two packages of plain gelatin into a bowl and add 6 Tablespoons of cold water. Let it “bloom” for 5 minutes.

Then add 2/3 cup boiling water, 1/3 cup vodka, 1/3 cup triple sec (or other clear liqueur), and 6-7 oz. sweetened condensed milk (about 1/2 a can). Let it cool.

Meanwhile, cut shapes out of the first layer and return them to cold storage.

I used a cookie cutter dipped in water to make the shapes and then lifted them out gently by easing each corner out one by one with a butter knife

Pour the white gelatin into the star-holes and then in a thin layer across the top of the entire blue layer. Chill until set, at least 30 min.

or just fill the stars i wanted a thin white layer separating the blue from the red

Layer #3: RED

Repeat step one with the second color. This time it really has to be cool so it doesn’t melt the other layers when you pour it on top. So, combine 6oz. Jell-O mix with 2 packages gelatin, add 2 cups boiling water, let cool 25-30 min, add 1 cup vodka and 1 cup liqueur.

Pour gently (I pour over the back of a spoon to distribute the impact a little more) over the set layers. Chill until set—at least 30 min.

red Jell-O and gelatin dissolved in water I thought about making the red into 2 thinner layers separated by white layers...y'know, like stripes on a flag. but that seemed like too much fuss, even for me.

Layer #4: WHITE

Repeat step two: “bloom” 2 packages gelatin in 6 T. cool water for 5 min, add 2/3 cup boiling water, add 1/3 cup vodka and 1/3 cup triple sec or other clear liqueur. If you want a thin white layer separating the colors, pour 4-6 oz of the white mixture over the set layers, tilting to get it to cover the surface of the colored layer, and chill that until set before preceding.

you can still see the red through the white the return of the stars

Then, place the cut pieces on top of the set layers and gently pour the rest of the white mixture around them. Chill until set.

I am completely unenthused about how Jell-O tastes, but I really love how it looks. I suppose I could improve the flavor by making my own with fruit purees or juices and gelatin, but I haven't gotten that ambitious yet. 

Cut and serve directly from the pan. Or, to invert and see the opposite side, immerse the pan in warm water for a few seconds (5-10 should be plenty). Not too hot or too long, because it will start to melt quickly—10 seconds in near-boiling water was too much. Place a serving platter upside down over the pan and flip. Immediately return to the refrigerator to re-firm.

Dipping the knife in hot water before cutting helps make cleaner cuts, but ultimately it’s still Jell-O. It wants to be wiggly and a little uneven, clearly “homemade” even if it comes from a box.  happy birthday, america, bottoms up!