Everything you've ever wanted to know about making Jello* shots!

*Please note that "Jello" is a trademark for a particular brand of instant gelatin. These shots can be made with any brand of instant gelatin dessert product! And, yes, since you ask, I am a lawyer.

A few years ago I made vodka Jello shots for an office Christmas party. I was reliably told that they were still scraping them off the wallpaper in the conference room in March.

They were very popular and alarmingly easy to make. With the holiday season approaching, I thought I'd share some tips.

Use a clear colorless form of alcohol, at least as strong as vodka.

Put the vodka in the freezer a day ahead of time, and then make the Jello using the "quick set" recipe. Substitute the ice cold vodka for the cold water in the quick set recipe.

You could use the other recipe, of course, and just substitute ice cold vodka for all the water (the quick set recipe uses ice cubes for about half the water volume). This would produce a much stronger shot.

Let the Jello "jell," then spoon it out into tiny bathroom-size paper cups for serving purposes. (I always liked the tiny Dixie Cups with cartoon characters on them for this purpose.) This way the guests can invert the cups into their mouths and just suck down the whole shot. Or they can squeeze the cup to eject the shot. Of course, they may end up throwing them at each other or something.

Do not pour the liquid pre-jelled Jello into the cups, because it will cling to the sides and thus it will be much harder to extract from the cup. The whole idea is to make them oh-so-easy to suck down.

For vodka shots, I like using black cherry or black raspberry Jello. For Christmas I once filled a copper Christmas tree shaped mold with vodka-enhanced lime Jello, then scattered maraschino cherries to create an "ornament" effect. This actually looked really nice when served on a white plate. The guests served themselves with spoons and cups.

A friend of mine points out that lime Jello is especially good mixed with tequila. I'm sure it is.

If you really want to get your guests snockered, of course, there is always grain alcohol.

Caution: the combination of booze and sugar can lead to particularly nasty morning-after effects. Also, Jello shots tend to sneak up on you, so don't do these if you are driving or otherwise require good brain function or bodily coordination.

Having said that, enjoy! Happy holidays!

This page was created on December 2, 1999.

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