Hello, faithful (and not-so-faithful-but-who-could-blame you) reader(s)! I've had one or two kind people tell me they miss my blog. Thank you. To be honest, I miss my blog. I haven't written in a good long while, mainly because I've been content, but I miss it. So, my New Year's resolution is to start the blog up again, even though I'm still happy. How's that sound?
Don't answer that so quickly in the positive. The second most asked question I've been getting from Facebook friends lately is: How did you make those amazing looking Jello shots you have photos of from New Year's eve? So, today I'll share with you the wisdom of Jello shots. See? All that excitement over the return of my wit & wisdom, now wasted on Jello shots. Sorry.
As you may imagine, Eldest is home from college. When she learned we would be going to Paul & Vera's for New Year's Eve, she made the oh-so-collegiate suggestion of making Jello shots. As someone had made some at a not-that-long-ago party and I remembered them being somewhat of a crowd-pleaser, even with our mostly-middle-aged friends, I decided that might be a fun, if not exactly good, idea. But, I also decided I wasn't going to produce boring, half-assed Jello shots either; if I'm putting in the time and effort to do this, mine will be memorable.
Via a website that would make your inner science geek laugh out loud with drunken glee, one which used the scientific method for making Jello shots, I found some scientific tips for some decidedly above average flavored Jello shots. I also found some tips that should be common sense to anyone with taste buds and a shady past: apparently Jello shots made with gin or bourbon taste like ass. Umm, I could have told you that, and I didn't even have to waste the time, money, or effort to make the damn things!
So, armed with scientific justification, I headed to the liquor store. An hour or so and several wasted stops later, I began to cook. Following you will find the basics of Jello shots, interjected with all the tongue in cheek you can stand.
1. Don't assume you have enough room in the fridge for Jello shots. Be prepared to take out the milk, orange juice, butter and/or eggs in order to make room, hopefully a whole shelf. Don't take out the wine. Simply relocate it to another shelf; milk and OJ are more dispensable.
2. The basic recipe for Jello shots is 8 oz. boiling liquid (generally not alcohol if you want good-tasting shots), small pkg. of Jello, and 8 oz. of cold liquid (alcohol, schnapps, or alcohol/water if the alcohol is strong enough. This can be manipulated in many surprising ways. For example, I used Starbuck's espresso roast coffee for the boiling water and used unflavored gelatin to make a super yummy coffee/Frangelico/Starbuck's creme liqueur concoction.
3. There are a few options for dispensaries for Jello shots: real shot glasses (not an option if you're making 120 Jello shots in 8 flavors), little paper pill cups that are used in hospitals everywhere (which your husband should NOT be asked to obtain, even if he is a doctor and should be able to hook you up), or little plastic cups (which come in teenie weenie 1 oz., which I think some hospitals might use, and don't have lids, or 2 oz., which are used by restaurants nationwide and are called "portion cups" or "souffle cups" and have handy lids, making for easy stacking). We finally found our cups at the liquor store, of all places; I guess savvy liquor store owners know that their clientele might need Jello shot cups.
4. A tip that I did NOT get until it was too late, and one that will definitely be used next time? Turn the cups upside down before refrigerating. Otherwise, most will need to employ the "Finger First" method of eating the Jello shot (see below). Tipsy, this isn't a big deal. Sober, some may be squeamish. Drunk, some may not be able to pull this off.
5. For maximum fun, make a variety of flavors and colors. I used a variety of liquors and liqueurs and had a good representation of color from the rainbow. Be creative.
6. Still have Jello shots well into the party? Play a drinking game with them! We used a very simple, but very fun, game that someone brought (which I've played many times, sans alcohol, and it was still fun), and after two rounds, we were making headway! After all was said and done, we had approximately ten of our one hundred twenty shots still standing.
7. Do not assume that just because something is a liqueur and not liquor that it isn't strong. I didn't get the hint that 99 Bananas liqueur was 99 proof. Mixed with (New!) Tropical Fusion flavored Jello, it produced a shot that barely gelled at the normal recipe proportions and did amazing puckery things to people's faces .
8. Do not play drinking games with two different sized shots. Some will invariably insist on reaching for the teenie weenie size when it's their turn to man up.
9. Coffee-flavored shots are good when dropped in a cup of coffee. They melt immediately & give you super-caffeinated, somewhat alcoholic goodness in a mug.
10. Berry Blue jello, while very pretty, really tastes like kitty ass, and therefore makes shots that sort of resemble kitty ass and turpentine. Or kitty ass and suntan lotion, if you happen to mix it with Malibu coconut rum. I will continue a quest to find something that tastes decent with it because of its important addition to the color variety, but I'm not really hopeful.
For those who want specific recipes, I don't remember specifics, as I was really just winging it myself. Generally, if I used a low-alcohol-content schnapps, I used 3/4 cup with 1/4 cup vodka to bolster the potency as the cold liquid. If you use high-alcohol-content liquor (or, you know, 99 Bananas liqueur), it might be wise to use water to cut the potency if you're aiming for palatable. The final flavors (and our clever names for them)? Maliblu (Berry Blue Jello with Malibu coconut rum), Cherry Cordial (black cherry Jello with vodka), Schnapps My Cherry (cherry Jello with Peach schnapps/vodka), Sour Midori (Melon Fusion Jello with Midori/sweet & sour mix/vodka), Emerald City (lime Jello with Midori/vodka), Tropicana (Tropical Fusion Jello with 99 Bananas liqueur), Just Peachy (apricot Jello with Peach schnapps/vodka), and Starbuck (unflavored gelatin, coffee, Starbuck's creme liqueur, and Frangelico).
Since I would be a bad person if I didn't state the obvious, don't consume all these Jello shots & think you can drive. They have more alcohol than you think in them. Have a Designated Driver, walk, or take a cab. Be safe. That is all.