Jello Shots are a fun and easy fruity cocktail shot made with Jell-O or gelatin and alcohol!
This is the Ultimate Guide for How To Make Jello Shots where I’ll share tips, ideas, and some of my favorite recipes for your next party!
What’s In A Jello Shot Recipe?
These fun party shots are a very simple combination of ingredients but there are tons of flavor possibilities depending on what you choose! Jello Shots are made with Jell-O/gelatin, water, and alcohol.
If you’re making them from scratch with unflavored gelatin, you’ll want to consider adding some form of sugar be it with simple syrup, soda, or fruit juice.
Which Alcohol For Jello Shots:
You can use any alcohol you want, but some spirits are definitely better than others when it comes to making this recipe.
- Vodka – This is the most common alcohol used. If you’re making them for potency and less for taste, this probably is the best option. Try using a flavored vodka to make it more palatable.
- Rum – This is my favorite alcohol to use, it tastes great with pretty much every jello flavor, it’s smooth, and flavored rums can really add a lot to a shot! I like using white rum because it doesn’t change the color of the shots.
- Gin – Just don’t do it. I love Gin, but in all of our testing, everything tasted medicinal.
- Tequila – This is a middle of the road choice. Tequila wouldn’t be my first pick but it tasted good when made with lime jello, triple sec, and a sprinkle of coarse salt for a Margarita Jello Shot.
- Whiskey/Bourbon – This is my second favorite combo, but it truly depends on the flavor of jello you choose. We love Bourbon with Peach and Black Cherry jello, Irish Whiskey is a little more versatile.
- Brandy – Brandy is made by distilling wine and usually comes in fruity flavors which lend well to jello shots. I love using apricot and blackberry brandy in my recipes.
- Wine/Champagne – Both make great shots! You can make my Sangria Jello Shots or Champagne Jello Shots. Both are made with straight gelatin and the flavor of the alcohol itself really is the star!
- Beer – I’m not a huge fan of beer, but in our testing, we felt that a fruity IPA paired with orange jello had the best flavor.
- Liqueurs – These are almost always a good idea when it comes to making Jello Shots. These sweetened liquors add a lot of flavor to the shots and let you get extra creative. Try using Pucker for a sour twist!
How To Make Jello Shots:
How To Make Them with Jell-O:
This is the easiest way to make them and I find that the shots made with Jell-O tend to set a little quicker.
- 3oz. box of Jell-O
- 1 cup of hot liquid
- 1 cup of cold liquid
- Add Jell-O to a medium heat-safe mixing bowl.
- Heat the water in a pot until just barely boiling, remove and pour the cup of boiling water into the bowl.
- Whisk until the Jello powder has completely dissolved.
- Add vodka or another alcohol of your choice.
- Distribute into jello shot cups on a baking sheet.
- Place in the refrigerator to set for 1.5 to 2 hours.
How To Make Them From Scratch:
This might not be the cheapest way to make them, but you have a little more control over the flavor with this method! It also makes a larger batch.
- 2 tablespoons of unflavored gelatin
- 1 cup hot liquid
- 2 1/4 cups cold liquid
- Whisk together gelatin and 1/4 cup of either alcohol or water in a large heat-safe mixing bowl and let sit so the gelatin can bloom.
- Heat 1 cup of liquid in a pot until just barely simmering, remove and pour into the bowl with the gelatin mix and whisk until combined.
- Add in the remaining liquid and pour the mixture into plastic cups on a baking sheet.
- Place them in the refrigerator to set for 1.5 to 3 hours.
Tips For Making Jello Shots:
- Don’t Boil For Gelatin – If you’re using Jell-O, you can bring the liquid to a boil. However, if using gelatin I recommend just bringing it to a light simmer.
- Skip The Molds – In my experience, fun shaped silicone molds aren’t the best and you usually have to use cooking spray with them for jello shots which makes them kind of gross.
- Don’t Overfill – If you’re not planning on serving these right after they set and are storing them in the fridge for a few days, make sure to leave room at the top for the lid.
- Mini Baster – This is actually the cleanest and easiest way to fill up your shot glasses. I love this mini baster!
- Measuring Cup – I have found that a small measuring cup also works great for distributing the shots into the cups. I really like this cup because it has a nice spout for easy, no mess pouring.
- Hot Liquids – I recommend heating water or wine. However, if neither of these are used in your recipe, any liquid can be used.
- Cookie Sheet – The easiest way to transport from the counter to the refrigerator after filling is by arranging the cups on a cookie sheet.
- Layering – If you want to make layered jello shots. Make your first layer and place in the fridge for 1 hour to set before adding the next layer. Repeat for as many layers as you want.
There are so many flavor and color possibilities when it comes to these gelatin cocktails! You can even get creative for the holidays like with my Halloween Vodka Jello Shots!
How Long Do Jello Shots Take To Set?
They will typically take between 1.5 to 3 hours depending on the size and the proof of the alcohol that’s used.
Can They Really Get You Drunk?
Yes, Jell-O Shots absolutely can get your drunk – after all, they aren’t called “shots” for nothing! Check out the helpful table my husband built below that tells you the alcohol content of each 2oz. jello shot based on the amount of alcohol in the mixture and its volume.
Remember that while you can use alcohol as the hot liquid in a jello shot, I wouldn’t recommend it with stronger alcohols. This is for a couple of reasons, not the least of which is that it makes for a notably strong shot.
How Long Will Jello Shots Last?
They should be consumed within 1 week of being made.
Can Jello Shots Be Frozen?
Personally, I wouldn’t recommend it. During our testing, freezing for long periods of time tends to break down the shot resulting in an unpleasant texture. However, if you need to speed up the setting process, it can work.
Gelatin sets at around 50 degrees and water freezes at 32 so we’re shooting for somewhere in there, which really makes your fridge the perfect spot We found that popping them in the freezer for 20 to 30 minutes sped the process up, but don’t leave them in there longer than that.
How To Make Jello Shots
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Berry Rum Jello Shots
- 6 ounces water
- 1 (3oz.) box Berry Blue Jell-O
- 3 ounces White Rum
- 4 ounces Peach Schnapps
- 3 ounces Triple Sec
- Bring water to a low boil in a pot.
- Add the Jell-O mix to a large heat-proof bowl and whisk in the boiling water until the powder has completely dissolved.
- Add in the alcohol and transfer into 2oz. sized plastic cups arranged on a baking sheet using a measuring cup or mini baster.
- Place the baking sheet loaded with jello shots in the refrigerator and allow them to set for 2 to 3 hours.
- Once set, enjoy immediately or cover with lids and store in the refrigerator.
- Final Amount Varies - The amount of shots recipe makes will vary based on the size of the cup you use and how full you fill it.
- Skip The Molds - In my experience, fun shaped silicone molds aren't the best and you usually have to use cooking spray with them for jello shots which makes them kind of gross.
- Don't Overfill - If you're not planning on serving these right after they set and are storing them in the fridge for a few days, make sure to leave room at the top for the lid.
- Mini Baster - This is actually the cleanest and easiest way to fill up your shot glasses. I love this mini baster!
- Measuring Cup - I have found that a small measuring cup also works great for distributing the shots into the cups. I really like this cup because it has a nice spout for easy, no mess pouring.
- Cookie Sheet - The easiest way to transport from the counter to the refrigerator after filling is by arranging the cups on a cookie sheet.