You’d be hard-pressed to find a more efficient and entertaining alcohol delivery vehicle than the Jell-O shot. It's not just for college students to hide the flavor of cheap booze or for bars to hide the fact that theirs barely contain any liquor -- the proper way to make jiggly cocktails you can serve by the trayful is to do it in your kitchen. And if you’re a true-blue Chicagoan, you pour some local spirits into the mix. (Like Malört? Yes, of course, read on.) We asked six local distilleries for their favorite Jell-O shot recipes -- each making about 30 shots -- and here’s what they shared:
Tailwinds Old-Fashioned Jell-O Shots
- 1 3-ounce box Cherry Jell-O
- 1 3-ounce box Orange Jell-O
- 2 cups boiling water
- 1 cup Tailwinds Rested Agave
- 6 dashes Angostura bitters
- 1 cup cold water
- Combine Jell-O boxes in a bowl.
- Boil water and add to mixture.
- Stir in Rested Agave and bitters.
- Add cold water.
- Pour into shot cups.
- Let sit for 2 hours in fridge.
KOVAL Magnificent Mule Jell-O Shots
- 1/2 cup KOVAL bourbon
- 1 cup mint-infused lemonade
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups ginger beer -- the more carbonated the better
- Red food dye
- 6 gelatin sheets or about 1 1/2 envelopes unflavored gelatin powder
- Begin by infusing lemonade with fresh mint for 2 hours, strain out mint.
- Boil together mint-infused lemonade and sugar.
- Add red food dye.
- Sprinkle gelatin into a small amount of ice water to bloom it.
- Stir gelatin into lemonade mixture until dissolved.
- Add KOVAL bourbon.
- Refrigerate for 15 minutes.
- Stir in cold ginger beer (the colder the better).
- Allow to set for at least 30 minutes in a pan in the refrigerator (will probably take longer).
- Remove from refrigerator and cut into the shape of Chicago stars and garnish with a mint leaf.
Ruby Red Malört Shots
- 1 1/4 cups Jeppson's Malört
- 1 1/2 cups ruby red grapefruit juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 2 envelopes Knox gelatin
- Heat the grapefruit juice on medium heat.
- Add sugar, stir until dissolved.
- Remove from heat, sprinkle in gelatin.
- Stir the mixture until the gelatin is dissolved.
- Stir in Malört.
- Question your life decisions.
Chicago Distilling "Finn and Juice” Jell-O Shots
- 3/4 cup Chicago Distilling Co. Finn’s gin
- 3/4 cup triple sec or orange liqueur
- 1/4 cup boiling water
- 1 orange
- 12 dashes Angostura bitters
- 2 packets unflavored gelatin
- Lightly grease silicone molds (1-by-1-inch silicone ice cube trays or silicone chocolate molds work well) with cooking spray.
- Combine gin, triple sec, Angostura bitters, and 4 tablespoons fresh-squeezed juice from orange (reserving orange rind) and set aside.
- Sprinkle gelatin over boiling water in large, heat-proof glass measuring cup and allow 1 minute for gelatin to bloom.
- Add gin mixture to gelatin mixture, whisk together, pour into molds and let refrigerate overnight.
- When ready to serve, invert gelatin molds to release. Garnish with fresh orange zest and serve immediately.
FEW Mint Julep Jell-O Shots
- 1 1/2 cups fresh mint leaves
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 1/2 cups water
- 3 tablespoons (3 envelopes) unflavored gelatin powder
- 1/2 cup FEW bourbon
- 2 cups blackberries
- Boil the mint leaves, sugar, and 3 cups of the water in a saucepan and simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Strain out mint leaves.
- Sprinkle the gelatin evenly over 1/2 cup of the water and allow the gelatin to absorb the water.
- Add the strained minty water/sugar until the gelatin is fully dissolved; add bourbon.
- Separately, blend the blackberries and 2 cups of the gelatin/water/mint mixture until liquefied.
- If you wish to remove the seeds, strain through a mesh. Mix the fruit and bourbon together.
- Chill to the consistency of a gel, and then mix it all together to even the fruit throughout.
- Refrigerate overnight.
CH Distillery Key Lime & Tonic Jell-O Shots
- 1 cup CH Key gin
- 5 3/4 tsp. unflavored gelatin
- 2 tbsp. sugar
- 3 cups CH house-made tonic
- 4 cups water
- 1/2 cup dried lemongrass
- 1/4 cup cinchona bark
- 1 1/2 tsp. allspice
- 1 tsp. citric acid
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/2 tsp. dried orange peel
- 1/2 tsp. dried lemon peel
- 1/2 tsp. dried lime peel
- 1/2 cup agave nectar
- Juice and zest of 1 lemon
- Juice and zest of 1 orange
- Juice and zest of 1 lime
- Combine tonic ingredients and boil, reduce to simmer for 30 minutes.
- Strain and put in ice bath. Stir in agave.
- Heat tonic over medium heat, stir in sugar until dissolved, remove from heat.
- Sprinkle in gelatin, stir to dissolve it.
- Stir in Key gin, add to cups, and chill overnight.