Last Updated on October 11, 2021 by Bill Allen
How to Make (the BEST) Jello Shots – Step by Step Recipe!
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.
Whatever your event, jello shots are the perfect thin to give your party a fun retro feel. Enjoy!
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.
Most commonly used alcohol 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.
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.
How Much Alcohol Can You Put in Jello Shots?
30 Proof – 15% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 3 Parts Water
40 Proof – 20% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 4 Parts Water
50 Proof – 25% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 5 Parts Water
80 Proof – 40% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 8 Parts Water
90 Proof – 45% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 9 Parts Water
100 Proof – 50% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 10 Parts Water
150 Proof – 75% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 15 Parts Water
190 Proof – 95% Alcohol – 1 Part Liq. 20 Parts Water
Here’s what you’ll need to make about 30-32, 1 oz measurements. (standard shot size) jello shooter.
My Jello Shot Recipe
Jello Shots Recipe
- Bowl – to mix ingredients
- Sauce Pan
- Vegetable cooking oil spray
- Small plastic cups
- Measuring Cup
- 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.
- 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.
Jello Shot FAQs …
How Long Does it Take to Make Jello Shots?
It usually takes me less than an hour to make jello shots from start to refrigerator. But of course that all depends if you’re familiar with working with gelatin or are comfortable in the kitchen.
Just make sure you have all of the ingredients and needed equipment I wrote about above first. It will save you a lot of time when you are doing the actual cooking.
Plus you don’t want to go looking for something half way through and burn you shooters!
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 Strong Jello Shots?
The easiest way to make a strong jello shot is to use either Everclear or Bacardi 151 rum. You could even go as so far as to add something like moonshine if you’re able to get it. Or any other super concentrated alcohol. But one thing to remember, the higher the alcohol content, the less water you’ll need or else the jello won’t ever set up correctly and they’ll be more like jello shooters than a fun jiggly shot.
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! Check out my Wine Jello Shot Recipe here.
Do Jello Shots Go Bad?
Yes, of course they can. 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.
Other fun Jello Shot Ideas to try:
Fruit Slice Jello Shots
A little slice of happiness. A fun alternative to the traditional shot cups is to make the jello into a slice of fruit. Oranges are the most commonly used peel, but any citric fruit will do. Keep in mind, however, that lemon and lime peels will force their flavor on your jello…so chose your mixes wisely.
Cut your fruit in half and scoop out the insides, being sure to not puncture the peel. Fill each half peel with your jello shot mix of choice. Chill until fully set, and then cut into wedges.
Lime Jello Shot Ideas
How can you not have fun when green jello is involved? Try one of these in your next batch of lime jello shots.
- Bacardi Vanilla
- Coconut Rum
- Apple Puckers
- Rootbeer Schnaps and raspberry Vodka (tastes like bottle-cap candies)
- Tequila and Triple Sec
Pineapple Jello Shot Ideas
Try these with pineapple jello:
- Malibu Coconut Rum – Pina Colada!
- Pineapple Malibu
- Coco Lopez
- Parrot Bay Rum
- Blue hawaiian maui and vodka
- Tropical Maui
Orange Jello Shot Ideas
Try these with orange jello (also try making the jello in an orange peel):
- Vanilla Vodka – orange creamsicle !
- Peach Schnapps
- Grand Marnier
- Irish Whiskey
- Midori and Vodka
- Orange Vodka
Strawberry Jello Shot Ideas
- Bacardi Grand Melon
- Banana Rum
- Light Rum
Watermelon Jello Shot Ideas
And with your Watermelon flavored jello:
- Watermelon Bacardi
- Midori melon liqueur
- Malibu coconut rum
- Watermelon pucker
- Watermelon vodka
Other Combinations for Jello Shots
- Cranberry Jello and Vodka with a slice of lime stuffed in the cup
- Peach Jello and Peach Schnapps
Peach Jello and bourbon
- Mixed Fruit jello and dark rum
Mixed Fruit jello and wilderberry schnapps
- Green apple jello and sour apple pucker
- Strawberry banana jello and Blue Hawaiian maui
- Pineapple jello and cranberry jello with Malibu Rum
- Cherry jello and orange jello with Captain Morgan
- Lemon jello and lime jello with Irish Whiskey
Cherry Jello or Black Cherry Jello Shot Ideas
- Cherry Jello and Fire Ball
- Cherry Jello and Cherry Brandy
- Black Cherry Jello and Amaretto
- Black Cherry Jello and Southern Comfort and drop a cherry into the cup
- Cherry Jello and Smirnoff watermelon vodka
Grape Jello Shot Ideas
- Blackberry brandy
Raspberry Jello Shot Ideas
Try these with raspberry jello:
- Banana Rum
- Raspberry Schnapps