Here at Supercall, we know Jello Shots. Plain ones, healthy(ish) ones, crazy shaped ones—you name it. No matter what type they are, all Jello Shots share one common trait: they need to sit in the fridge to reach the perfect consistency. So how long does it take for Jello Shots to set? It all depends on your shot.
In general, standard Jello Shots with one and a half cups of water to half a cup of liquor will set after spending two to four hours in the refrigerator. Try to take it out sooner, and you’ll have a liquidy, watery mess. The shots will stay good in the fridge for three to four days, so there’s really no rush. But be sure to plan accordingly because there’s no way to speed up this crucial step. Sticking Jello Shots in the freezer doesn’t quicken the setting process as some might believe. Instead, your shots will develop a layer of ice and freezer burn.
Things get a little more complicated if you’re using tropical fruit to make a tiki-esque Jello Shot. Fruits like pineapple, kiwi and ginger contain an enzyme called bromelin that keeps the gelatin from setting, cookbook author David Lebovitz writes. Heat destroys bromelin, so simply heating the fruit before putting it in your shot will help you avoid the issue altogether. Adding more alcohol can also complicate things. Stronger Jello Shots (up to a one-to-one water to alcohol ratio) will eventually become solid, but they need to be left in the fridge closer to the four hour mark.
Good Jello Shots can’t be rushed. Leave yourself plenty of time before your get-together, and you shouldn’t have any issues.