How To Make Jell-O Shots Without Jell-O

Last weekend I was heading to a surprise party and I wanted to show up with something a little more fun than just a handle of booze. After searching around, I found the perfect recipe for Margarita Jello Shots that had a surprising twist—no Jell-O! While this particular recipe requires a little bit of elbow grease, the idea behind making any kind of Jell-O shot without the Jell-O is really what I will take away from this experience.

My main reason for nixing the Jell-O is because I don’t like the sugary, fake flavors that come with the packaged stuff. It’s not necessary. With just a few ingredients and plain old gelatin, you can pretty much make anything into a jello treat.

The Booze

jello shots

Pick out a cocktail you’d like to turn into a jello shot. The measurements for the cocktail are the proportions you’re going to want to stick to in your jello shot recipe. For example, if your recipe calls for one part alcohol to two parts mixer, simply keep that 1:2 ratio as you increase your serving size.

The Mixers

Jello shots

Whether you’re making margaritas or French 75s, you’ll need a few other ingredients to round out your jello shot cocktail.


jello shots

You may find you want to add some sugar to make your shots a little more palatable. I doubled the recipe for the margarita jello shots linked about and I didn’t double the sugar (a half cup of sugar sounded like a lot!) but I wish I had. The lime in that recipe is really intense. Taste your mixture before mixing in the gelatin and add sugar as needed. Bear in mind that you will probably want to add more than you think is necessary.


jello shots

Gelatin is the stuff that makes jello gel! You can find it right in the Jell-O aisle of the supermarket. It’s cheap and it comes in a box with four packets. You’ll probably need 1-2 packets depending on how much liquid you’re using.


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You may need to add some water if you want to stretch your recipe or tone down the boozy flavor of the shots. Start with about an ounce and increase from there. You can always add more, but you can’t take it out.

What kind of cocktails are you going to try to turn into jello shots? Let us know in the comments or tweet us @LitDarling! 

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