Jello Shots

Jello Shots – The Complete Guide!

Originally Posted On February 25, 2023 and Last Updated On

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Looking to make the best Jello shots for you’re next party or get together? Jello shots are great if you’re in need something different from the traditional kamikaze or lemon drop.

Why not work your alcohol into a gelatin state, and serve chilled in small cups that look great and are seriously yummy!

And, no. You don’t have to be a freshman on spring break to enjoy this great Jello shot recipe. Nope. They can be enjoyed by most anyone. You could even go alcohol free and serve them to your kids as a cool refreshment!

So What is a Jello Shot Anyway?

A jello shot is bite sized serving of regular jello with one additional special ingredient – that ingredient being alcohol. Although typically most popular among the college-aged crowd, jello shots can be welcomed addition to just about any party.

Just like your favorite jeans, jello shots can be dressed up or dressed down depending on your special event. You can keep things simple with these easy jello shot recipes or make your favorite mixed drink into jello with some flavorful mixed drink jello shot recipes.

Regardless of the recipe you choose, you can switch things up by the way that you serve your shots. Keep things casual with traditional plastic cups or get creative by serving your shots as fruit slices, in cocktail glasses, fun Jell-O shot syringes, fancy jello shot cups or as jello jiggler shots.

The great thing about jello shots is its versatility. You can flavor them with whatever flavor you’re craving, be it watermelon, lemon, strawberry, or even chocolate.

Really, the possibilities are endless. Plus, you can determine how strong or weak you want the shots to be by adjusting the alcohol to gelatin ratio.

The most commonly used alcohols are rum and vodka, however, you can use almost any liquor of your choosing. Remember, though, the more alcohol you use, the stronger the shooter (duh!), and the stronger the alcohol taste will be.

So the more alcohol you choose to use, consider adding a bit more powder or water to counteract the strong alcohol flavor, the stronger your Jell-O shot will be. Just use higher proof alcohols like Everclear for strong Jello shots.

Whatever your event, jello shots are the perfect thin to give your party a fun retro feel. Enjoy!

How to Make Jello Shots …

So, how to make jello shots with alcohol anyway? Basically what you want to do is prepare jello as usual…boil water (the amount listed on your box) and stir in your powder until fully dissolved. Then add your cold water/liquor, and refrigerate.

The key to making great jello shots is how much liquor and how much cold water. If you use no cold water, then the shot will likely be too strong, so you’ll want to use some cold water with the liquor.

Need to make a ton at one time? Check out my Recipe For 100 Jello Shots.

The recipe must be done correctly for the gelatin to set. If too much liquid is added, you’ll just be left with colored liquid. You must decipher how much alcohol to add, and then leave that much water out.

Perhaps you want to combine the liquor and cold water in a measuring cup first and make sure the total amount combined is what the box asks for for the cold water portion.

Here’s what you’ll need to make about 30-32, 1 oz measurements. (standard shot size) jello shooter.

My Jello Shot Recipe

jello shot ingredients

Jello Shots Recipe

The step-by-step guide on how to make the best jello shots from scratch. They're easy and fun!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
5 minutes
Total Time 13 minutes
Course Drinks
Cuisine Drinks
Servings 12 Jello Shots
Calories 50 kcal


  • Bowl – to mix ingredients
  • Whisk
  • Sauce Pan
  • Vegetable cooking oil spray
  • Small plastic cups
  • Measuring Cup
  • Ladle


  • 1 Box Jello brand Jell-o use your favorite flavor!
  • 1 1/2 Cups water divided use
  • 1/2 Cup Vodka or your choice of alcohol


  • Line up your small plastic cups on a tray. The plastic cups restaurants use for condiments are ideal, but normal picnic cups should be good, too. Paper cups can also work.
  • Spray vegetable cooking oil inside the cups. A quick blast will do. You don’t have to worry about the oil affecting the jello’s taste—it won’t.
  • Put a cup of water to boil. Nope, a water heater won’t do—you really need to boil the water to ensure the jello powder dissolves completely.
  • Once boiled, pour the water into a mixing bowl. Put in a single of packet of jello. Use a whisk to dissolve all the jello powder so it won’t leave any sediments.
  • Mix in ¾ cup of your alcohol and ¼ cup of cold water. Vodka is usually the alcohol of choice when it comes to jello shots, but there are alternatives. To recall favorite cocktails, you can try using tequila for lime jello (margarita), coconut rum and pineapple jello (piña colada) and rum with strawberry jello (strawberry daiquiri). You can also use flavored vodka to go along with its corresponding jello flavor.
  • If you want an even more potent jell-o shots, you can make it 1 cup of alcohol with no cold water.
  • Use a ladle to put the jello into the cups or let cool a bit and use your measuring cup.
    jello shot recipe
  • If you want to make several batches of different jello flavors in one go and boil all the water you need, you will need assistance, since jello requires boiling hot water to dissolve properly. You can try making one batch of the same flavor at the same time instead of doing different flavors instead.
  • Put the jello shots in the refrigerator. Do not put them in the freezer! Give them four hours to gel completely.
  • If you find that your refrigerator won’t’ be able to hold trays of cups or a bunch of plastic cups inside, here’s an alternative: Ladle the liquid jello shots into a shallow baking pan, preferably the pans that can be stacked up on each other. Pop them all carefully in the refrigerator, and wait for four hours. Once they’ve gelled, take them out and use a bread knife or even a plastic knife to cut them into small squares. Empty the baking pans into punch bowls and leave a ladle ready. People can then just ladle the jell o shots into their cups like any drink.
  • You can try experimenting with the amounts of water and what you mix in your jello. For example, some people use two cups of boiling hot water added with a little less of a cup of fruit juice, and another less of a cup of flavored vodka. Just remember that the more liquids you put in, whether they are alcohol, water or juice, the greater the chance of your jello shots not gelling properly.
  • Keep in mind that jello shots may pack a punch, so you might want to keep yourself from knocking back one too many.
Keyword Jello Shots

Jello Shot FAQs …

How Long are Jello Shots Good For?

Jello shots can last in the refrigerator for up to a week. BUT, you need to make sure you either cover them with cling wrap, or use jello shot cups with lids. This is because a refrigerator will dry out your shots leaving them hard and almost tasteless.

So my recommendation is to use them as close to the time of making them. And up to 2 or 3 days for the best result. After that, you’re just drinking them for a buzz because they won’t taste awesome.

But they won’t get you sick either.

How to Make Jello Shots Not Stick?

Use a vegetable cooking oil spray like Pam or something similar. Spray on the cups or rinds. The spray will not change the taste of the jello shot at all and will really help make jello shots come out easier.

Can You Make Jello Shots With Wine?

Yes, of course you can. That’s the beauty of making jello shots, you can use practically ANY alcoholic drink as a Jell-O shot!

Wine Jell-O shots are colorful and flavorful and a fun way to use a cheap bottle of wine. Just be sure to pair up flavors, like I wouldn’t want to use a lime jello with wine. Yuck!

Do Jello Shots Go Bad?

Yes, of course jello shots can go bad. It’s just a matter if they are refrigerated or not.

Left in the fridge they can last up to two weeks max. Unrefrigerated I wouldn’t eat them after 24 hours.

They probably aren’t “bad” after 24 hours, but they start getting watery and funky.

More Jello Shot Articles…

About the Author

  • Bill Allen

    I'm Bill Allen, the guy behind this site. I've been a bartender, bar owner and sitting on both sides of a bar for almost 35 years, so I have some experience in the whole mixology scene. And now I'm just building out my site with as much helpful content as I can share with you. Allen Bill

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