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Basic Jell-O Shot Recipe

User Rating 5 Star Rating (2 Reviews)


Jell-O Shots
Photo Courtesy: © Shannon Graham

This is an open ended shooter recipe that is just waiting for your creativity. You can use the gelatin flavor of your choice, change the color with a few drops of food coloring, layer flavors and colors, cut out shapes with cookie cutters or use various containers, pour the unset mix into molds, or try them with tequila, rum, or any other liquor. You really cannot go wrong with this recipe and your friends will love it. There are also more tips and recipes below that will get you started with new flavor ideas.

This recipe is for a single, 3 ounce box of gelatin, which is the most common size. It will make about 16 1-ounce shots and you can multiply the recipe to make more or to fit bigger cups.

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View Video: How to Make Jello Shots

Cook Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 20 minutes

Yield: 16 1-ounce shots


  • 3 ounces Jell-O or other gelatin (any flavor)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup (4 ounces) vodka (or other distilled spirit)
  • 1/2 cup cold water


  1. Chill the liquor and cold water mix in the refrigerator so they are a consistent temperature.
  2. Pour gelatin into a bowl.
  3. Add boiling water, stirring until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  4. Stir in chilled liquor and water mix and food coloring (optional).
  5. Pour into shot glasses, molds, or a baking pan for a sheet of Jell-O to cut up once set. Tip: The small, plastic shot cups are perfect because the drinker can just squeeze the shot out.
  6. Refrigerate until the liquid sets. (At least 2 hours, but overnight refrigeration is recommended)
  7. Serve cold.

Convert (almost) any cocktail into a Jelly Shot:

You can make almost any of your favorite cocktail recipes into a jelly shot. It can be a little trick, but with experimentation, you can get the mixture right. The key is to maintain the original cocktail's proportions while staying around 1 total cup of volume for the chilled liquid.

For instance, for a Margarita Jelly Shot use 1/4 cup water with 3 ounces tequila, 1 ounce triple sec and 2 ounces lime juice (the Margarita ingredients retain the ratio and equal 6 ounces, which is why the water is cut to 1/4 cup or 2 ounces). There are more popular cocktail recipes adapted to Jell-O shots here: 10 Fun Jell-O Shots from Popular Cocktails.

More Jell-O Shot recipes:

Basic Tips:

  • Use unflavored gelatin (usually comes in 1/4 ounce packets) if you want the cocktail ingredients alone to make up the shot's flavor. Use flavored gelatin when replacing or enhancing a flavor of a drink's ingredient (e.g. in the Margarita example above you can either let the lime juice stand alone, use lime-flavored gelatin to enhance the lime, or strawberry gelatin for a Strawberry Margarita).
  • Use flavored vodkas, rums, and tequilas. This is a simple way to add or enhance flavors in Jell-O shots.
  • If you shot is too tart, you can counteract it by adding a little more sweetness. Simple syrup works best and if you use it, it can take the place of a portion of the water.
  • Add food coloring. Some of these shots that use unflavored gelatin can look kind of dull and boring. If you have mixed all the ingredients together and find you want to change or enhance the color, simply add small amounts of food coloring until you get the desired color.
  • Distinguish a variety shots by using different colors for each: yellow for a Banana Daiquiri, red for a Planter's Punch, etc.
  • To make layers, begin with making one flavor of jelly shot and fill cups 1/2 or 1/3 of the way full. Chill these until almost set, about 1-1 1/2 hours, then add the next flavor. Repeat until you have completed your layers.
  • You can also use citrus fruit rinds as molds for your shots. Cut limes or oranges in half and remove all of the fruit, leaving the peel in tact. Fill this bowl with gelatin and allow to set then cut into thirds or quarters for single serve pieces. See the Candy Corn Oranges recipe for more...
  • A fun addition is to place small fruits such as berries and cherries to the gelatin before it sets. One of the most popular is to use cherries with the stem sticking out of the mold or cup.
  • Many people suggest using Everclear or another high-proof liquor in their Jell-O shots. I recommend against this for two reasons. First of all, a clear vodka tastes better and these shots are supposed to taste good. Second, more often then not, people are going to have a number of Jell-O shots along with other alcoholic drinks and too many made with Everclear can send a person over the edge toward alcohol poisoning. If you want a stronger shot, just add more 80 proof liquor and cut some of the water, it will be enough.
User Reviews

Reviews for this section have been closed.

 5 out of 5
Strong, But very good!, Member nicole077

The recipe is strong on the liquor content; however you can always use more or less. Overall the shots are smooth, and pack a punch.

65 out of 68 people found this helpful.

See all 2 reviews

Related Video
How to Make Jello Shots
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