Jello shots are a fun and easy party drink that everyone loves. These festive, wiggly shots are made by mixing vodka or rum into flavored gelatin. The result is a sweet, smooth cocktail that goes down easy.
Making jello shots is simple. All you need is a box of gelatin mix, some boiling water, a spirit of your choice, and a tray of shot cups. You can whip up a batch of jello shots in about 10 minutes. They also need several hours to fully set in the refrigerator before they are ready to serve.
Once you learn the basics, you can get creative with different flavor combinations and liquors. Try out some of these tips for making perfect jello shots every time.
Ingredients for Jello Shots
Jello shots only require a few key ingredients:
The gelatin mix provides the signature jiggly texture. Use a standard 3-ounce box of Jello brand gelatin or an off-brand equivalent. Opt for gelatins with intense fruit flavors like cherry, orange, lemon, or lime to complement the liquor.
To bloom and activate the gelatin, you need 1 cup of boiling water.
Vodka and rum are most commonly used, but you can experiment with gin, tequila, or triple sec too. Use 1/2 cup of liquor for every 3-ounce box of gelatin.
You can use small plastic shot glasses or paper cups. Make sure they are 1-2 ounces in size.
Equipment for Making Jello Shots
You don’t need any special equipment to make jello shots. Here are the basic supplies you’ll need:
- Saucepan for boiling water
- Whisk for mixing
- Liquid measuring cup
- Spoon for portioning
- Tray or pan for holding shot cups
Follow these simple steps for perfect jello shots every time:
Step 1: Boil the Water
Bring 1 cup of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Then remove from heat.
Step 2: Dissolve the Gelatin
Pour the boiling water into a bowl. Add the 3-ounce box of dry gelatin mix and whisk vigorously until fully dissolved.
Step 3: Add the Liquor
Pour in 1/2 cup of your chosen liquor and stir to combine.
Step 4: Distribute the Mixture
Carefully pour the gelatin-liquor mixture evenly between the shot cups, filling each about 3/4 full.
Step 5: Refrigerate to Set
Cover the tray of shots and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until firm.
Step 6: Party Time!
Pull the jello shots out of the fridge and serve chilled. Bottoms up!
Tips for Perfect Jello Shots
Follow these tips to help your jello shots turn out flawless every time:
- Use boiling water to fully dissolve the gelatin. Lukewarm water won’t cut it.
- Don’t fill the cups all the way to the top. Leave a bit of room for the gelatin to expand as it sets.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight, to allow the gelatin time to completely set.
- Run the sealed shot tray under warm water for 10 seconds before serving to help loosen the jello from the cups.
- Serve within 2-3 days for the best texture and appearance.
Fun Jello Shot Flavor Ideas
Once you master the basics, the possibilities are endless when it comes to jello shot flavors.
- Strawberry Daiquiri – Strawberry gelatin with rum
- Margarita – Lime gelatin with tequila and triple sec
- Piña Colada – Pineapple gelatin with rum and coconut milk
Creamy & Indulgent Flavors
- Cheesecake – Lemon gelatin with vanilla vodka and cream cheese
- Mudslide – Chocolate gelatin with vodka, Kahlua, and Irish cream
- Pumpkin Pie – Spiced pumpkin gelatin with rum and creamy liqueur
Sour & Fizzy Flavors
- Lemon Drop – Lemon gelatin with vodka and lemon-lime soda
- Jolly Rancher – Cherry or watermelon gelatin with vodka and Sprite
- Mimosa – Orange gelatin with champagne and orange juice
So get creative and whip up a signature cocktail in gelatin form!
Jello shots are festive enough on their own, but you can jazz them up with fun presentations:
- Serve in colorful Dixie cups instead of plain shot cups
- Float a small piece of fruit in each shot like cherries or pineapple chunks
- Dust the tops with powdered sugar or coconut flakes
- Add plastic cocktail umbrellas or swizzle sticks
- Chill them until almost frozen for a slushy-like texture
Safety Tips for Jello Shots
Jello shots go down quick and easy, so keep these safety tips in mind:
- Use 1/2 cup of liquor per 3-ounce packet of gelatin so they don’t get too boozy.
- Pace yourself – jello shots can sneak up on you!
- Make sure to refrigerate and serve them chilled. Don’t leave them sitting out.
- Provide a safe ride home for guests who overindulge.
- Keep out of reach of children by storing leftovers in the refrigerator.
Now that you’re armed with expert tips, it’s time to get shaking on those jiggly shots! Whip up a batch for your next backyard barbecue or holiday party. Just don’t forget to save one for yourself.
From choosing your preferred spirits to layering in delicious flavors, making jello shots is easy, fun, and endlessly adaptable. With just a few simple ingredients and some clever combinations, you can create jello shots in all sorts of mouthwatering flavors your guests will love. So don’t be afraid to get creative and concoct your own signature jello shot recipes. Just follow our tips for perfect set and consistency so they come out flawless every time. Whip up a tray of these wiggly, colorful treats and get ready for a party hit! Bottoms up!
FAQs About Making Jello Shots
Is vodka or rum better for jello shots?
Either vodka or rum will work well, so choose your preferred base spirit. Vodka gives a neutral flavor, allowing the gelatin flavors to shine. Rum adds depth of flavor and pairs especially well with tropical, fruity gelatins.
How much liquor do you put in jello shots?
A good guideline is 1/2 cup of liquor per 3-ounce box of gelatin powder. This prevents the shots from getting too thin or boozy.
Should you refrigerate jello shots with lids on or off?
Cover the shot tray with plastic wrap or foil when first chilling to prevent the gelatin from absorbing other fridge odors. Once set, you can remove the cover.
Can you reuse jello shot cups?
It’s best to use fresh shot cups each time. Used plastic cups can retain odor and flavor residue even after washing. Disposable paper cups are inexpensive and let you start with a clean slate.
How long do jello shots last in the fridge?
Properly stored jello shots will last 2-3 days refrigerated. The gelatin can start to break down after that, causing a mushy texture. For the best quality and appearance, serve within 2 days.