My mom taught me the valuable lesson of never taking candy from a stranger. I’m pretty sure she never said anything about taking Jell-O shots from a stranger. Technicality?
I should preface this introduction by saying… don’t be like me.
A few weekends back I was celebrating Jazz Fest with some friends. There’s a certain spirit here in New Orleans that I’ve never encountered anywhere else. As we left the all day music festival… dusty, sun-tired, and thirsty, we found ourselves smack-dab in the center of an epic neighborhood block party. Backyard gates were open to reveal full bands playing to the street, people set up folding tables with steaming crock pots selling gumbo, grills racked with meats for sale or not sale, and…. in the midst of the happy chaos… a girl in a neon wig selling Jell-O shots off of a simple plastic tray.
I was like a moth to the flame. Again… don’t be like me.
It took a whole 2.2 seconds of deliberation before one of my fine friends offered up dollars for the little novelty shots… from a stranger… in the streets.
It was good. It was green. It was Jell-O. The moment felt exactly as it should, so right with a splash of reckless.
My block party Jell-O shot got me thinking about how I could fancy up Jell-O + vodka. Oh the possibilities!
Would it be too soon to say I’ve found my new calling? How about… I’ve found my Memorial Day Weekend calling: super couture Jell-O shots, sans jello, added cucumber and gin.
Notice that I’m calling these treats Shot Bites and not Jell-O Shots.
While they are small and jiggly and boozy, they are made from unflavored gelatin and not Jello-O brand stuffs. Using unflavored gelatin give us some breathing room to create flavor combinations that move beyond the Jell-O box. We really need to move beyond beyond beyond the Jell-O Box.
We’re talking about fresh cucumber juice, lots of lime juice, fresh ginger, strawberry puree from sweet strawberries… we’re going all out!
For these four recipes I used a few different ice cube trays:
Hexagon Ice Cube Set.
The Perfect Cube.
You might also consider mini disposable cups, or a mini muffin tin. Choose your path.
Everything I learned about fancy Shot Bites I learned from The Kitchn.
Here are the basics:
Fresh Juice and Sweet Tea Shot Bite Math
1 cup liquor + 1 cup non-alcoholic liquid + 2 envelopes (5 1/2 teaspoons) unflavored gelatin
Let’s talk about this math. This formula represents the maximum amount of alcohol we can use to create these shot bites. Any more alcohol will mess with the gelatin and our Shot Bites won’t set up properly. Heed the math. For each of these recipes, I used about 3/4 cup alcohol because I tend to like a less boozy bite (aka college was ten years ago). We can just replace any of the missing alcohol with whatever non-alcoholic liquid we’re using. On that note, you could leave out the alcohol completely to make these bites family-friendly. Remember, 2 cups total liquid meets 2 envelopes of gelatin. With that math, you can make so many delicious things!
Sweet Tea. Ginger Lemonade. Bourbon!