Big batch cocktails, Bellini bars, and forties of rosé are all good and dandy, but it's not a party until someone busts out the jello shots. These boozy, low-carbohydrate treats up the ante on any occasion, from 4th of July to Halloween. If your memory of jello shots is nothing more than a pungent shot of vodka in plastic cups of different colors, you haven't had a real jello shot. So if you're ready to take the leap and enjoy jello in a grown-up way, whip up one or all of these 16 jello shot recipes for your next get-together.
How to Make Jello Shots
Whether you are making watermelon jello, cherry jello, or cranberry jello, it all follows the same process. To start, make sure you have enough time to make them. The total time it takes for jello shots to set up can take upwards of 6 hours, so make sure you give yourself enough prep time, otherwise you'll be stuck with watery jello and no one likes that!
You'll also want to grab some plastic containers to put your jello mixture in.
Once you've decided on your jello flavors, mix 1 cup of boiling water in a large measuring cup or bowl. Add in a 3-ounce box jello and 1/2 cup of liquor and 1/2 cup of cold water. Whisk and pour into the containers. Do this with different flavors!
Tips For Making the Best Jello Shots
As simple as it sounds, making jello shots can turn into quite the production, especially if you're making a big batch of them. Timing is everything, so try to enlist a friend to help you so that you'll be able to get to everything in time. Make sure to whisk continuously, and ensure that your containers are all laid out in a line before you start so that you can pour them seamlessly without having to mess with getting more out as you go.
Get your ratio down. Although each of these recipes will specify a ratio, you can't go wrong with a 1:1 ratio of boiling water and alcohol. However, if you're looking for jello shots that are less strong or tastier, use slightly less. On the other hand, opt for more alcohol if you want your jello shots to be extra boozy. It's also helpful to assess how strong your liquor is before you decide on the ratio. If you're using a liquor with a lower ABV like schnapps or champagne, you'll want to use more than if you're using vodka.
Since jello shots only have a few key ingredients, each one matters. Our last tip for tasty jello shots is to use decent liquor. We understand not wanting to use top-shelf vodka for the jello shots at your BBQ or tailgate, but stay away from the very cheapest option too. Bad alcohol = bad jello shots, so go for something inexpensive but not as cheap as possible.
Jello Shots Recipes For Every Party
1. Orange Creamsicle Jello Shots
If the orange creamsicle was your favorite ice cream truck frozen treat, you are going to love how these Jello shots taste. What could be better than the combo of orange juice and ice cream? Simply refrigerate them for a few hours and they're ready to be shared with friends.
2. Champagne Jello Shots
Who knew a jello shot recipe could be so classy? Weddings, brunches, New Year's Eve, bridal showers, these are good for any gatherings, especially with the gal pals.
3. Watermelon Mojito Jello Shot
These juicy shots have summer written all over them. You can even use jello powder to make it super easy. Layered with rum, real watermelon juice, and fresh mint, have a batch on hand for your next cookout.
4. Pink Lemonade Jello Shots
Having a picnic in the park? Bring a few of these yummy pink lemonade jello shots along. Follow this jello shot recipe by simply dissolving gelatin in pink lemonade, pour in the vodka, then let it rest inside lemon halves.
5. Pink Starburst Jello Shots
Did you think the Pink Starburst were the best when you were a kid? Me too. All you have to do to enjoy "adult" starburst jello shot cups is get out your mixing bowl, head to the grocery store and grab a bag of them! Let's take a trip down memory lane with a couple of these sweet shooters.
6. Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots
If there were one cocktail that was meant to be enjoyed in jello gelatin form, it's the tequila sunrise. The trick to making these look so pretty is letting the orange layer rest before topping it off with the tequila-soaked cherry layer. Make these for your next party and you'll never go back to the original version.
7. Cherry Cola Jello Shots
Remember how excited you were as a kid when you got Cherry Cola instead of regular Cola? You'll get that feeling again when you get a shot of this boozy treat. Filled with all the cherries you can handle, this jello shot recipe has Maraschino cherries, Cherry Cola, and cherry brandy.
8. Margarita Jello Shots
Still doing tequila shots? It's time to upgrade to these yummy margarita shots.
Is it just me or is lime jello the best flavor of jello? To follow this jello shot recipe, get a small saucepan and stir lime jello in boiling water until it has completely dissolved. Add in Cointreau, lime juice, and tequila, pour the mixture into a lime wedge, and grab the salt because it's shots time.
Chef's Note: You can also use triple sec instead of Cointreau.
9. Mint Julep Jello Shots
Jello may not have been around during William Faulkner's time, but I have a feeling if it had, he would have indulged in a few of these.
10. Bacon Bourbon Apple Jello Shots
Everything is better with bacon. Even jello shots. I bet your curiosity is killing you right now. Go on, give in.
11. Sweet Tea and Ginger Lemonade
We love spiked sweet tea, especially when it jiggles. Equal parts sweet tea and bourbon, use this jello shot recipe for your next lazy afternoon.
12. Bailey's Irish Cream Jello Shots
If you still think all jello shots taste like vodka, give this recipe a try. The base is comprised of a thin layer of espresso then topped with a creamy layer of Bailey's Irish liqueur and a dollop of whipped cream. Bet you've never had an Irish coffee like this before.
13. Double Stuffed Oreo Jello Shots
You may have a hard time sticking to a normal cookie serving size once you try this jello shot recipe. Using unflavored gelatin, doctor it up with milk, white chocolate Godiva liqueur, and vanilla flavored vodka. Then take real Oreo cookies, scrape out the inside, and sandwich the shot in between. Forget the shot glasses, this party shot is best enjoyed in cookie form.
14. Birthday Cake Jello Shots
Another stellar recipe from jello shot experts A Beautiful Mess are these festive birthday cake vodka jello shots. Similar to the filling of the Oreo jello shots, you'll want to use cake flavored vodka and add on the sprinkles and whipped cream. Enjoy the fun of a birthday cake with only about 30 kcal! Birthday party, or no birthday party, the recipients of these will love their party treat.
15. Pecan Pie Jello Shots
How awesome are these? Completely smashing any preconceived notions about the jello shot, these pecan pie slices are what winning is all about. Bring them to your next family gathering or whip up a batch for the neighbors. Everyone will simply adore them.
16. Pina Colada Jell-O Shots
Featuring coconut, rum, and pineapple juice, these tasty treats will you bring you right back to a hot summery beach day. Use Malibu rum in this jello shot recipe to really make it a party, and enjoy the cherry on top!
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This post was originally published on August 24, 2021.