Tuesday, December 10, 2019
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3 Jell-O Shot Recipes You Never Knew You Needed

What is it about Jell-O shots that prohibits them from ever becoming outdated?

They’re kind of like a best friend —  always around when you need them, but know to stay far away when you’re totally embarrassed by them.

Campeon restaurant served Jell-O shots during The Fresh Toast launch party last week to a bunch of guests who regressed into drinking noobs when they saw the jiggly treats being passed around. That’s the magic of Jell-O shots, right? Nobody doesn’t like them.

We asked a few of our favorite bartenders to give us their take on what keeps this treat so relevant.

As James Physick from The Penrose in NYC tells us:

Listen, if I’m at a party, they’re great, but if I saw them at a bar, I’d assume that it’s more of a college frat bar. They’re great for a Halloween party. They get you so smashed, but you don’t realize it because of all that sugar. They come a-creeping.

He uses this standard recipe, using Peach Schnapps (or Vodka) for the liquor. And remember to keep them refrigerated once they set.

Nostalgia is a huge reason (if not the reason) Jell-O shots remain popular. Matthew Luke Meyer from Sweet Afton in Astoria, NY, says for him, Jell-O shots remind him of college. And somehow, whenever you eat a Jell-O shot, your actions swing in that general direction, too. “There’s something great about watching your friends trying to dig a shot out of a cup with their fingers, looking around at each other, like, “Is it good? It’s good!”

The last time i had Jell-O shots was in Bushwick, Brooklyn. Not so coincidentally, it was the same night I fell down some stairs and broke my foot, at the same bar. And that was the last time that I saw Jell-O shots in a bar.

Bartender Nik Virrey likes his Negroni-O shots. It’s a solid punch, but light in flavor. Here’s how to whip up a batch.

  • 1 packet desired flavor (Cherry preferred to keep the color)
  • 6 oz boiling water
  • 2 oz Gin
  • 2 oz S. Vermouth
  • 2 oz Campari

Combine all ingredients. Cool to room temp. Pour into chosen vessel. Let set for 3ish hours in the fridge before serving.

The Fresh Toast Launch Party / Photo by Amy Sussman
The Fresh Toast Launch Party / Photo by Amy Sussman

For a Jell-O shot that has more of a special kick, Warren Bobrow, author of Cannabis Cocktails, Mocktails and Tonics, has a recipe that you can easily add cannabis to.

“You can add an infused spirit in an oil or tincture base,” says Warren. ” Sativa for day use and indica for night.  The use of Jell-O makes it serious fun!”

For his standard honey lemon shooters, Warren uses Barenjager, which is a lovely honey liqueur from Germany. Simply prepare Jell-O the traditional way, but instead of using the entire recipe of water, use Barenjager instead. (He also makes Jell-O shooters with Stroh 160 Austrian spiced rum with either vanilla or ginger flavored Jell-O).

If you’d like to infuse the shots with cannabis, here’s the trick. Says Warren, “I infuse the decarbed cannabis in a 240 degree oven covered for 45 minutes to an hour. Let cool. Into my Magical Butter Machine* with one bottle of the spirit of my choice. Set for 160 degrees for 1 hour to infuse. Strain and add back to the bottle and top off with fresh liquor. I never use much more than an ounce per bottle if I really want to get wasted.  Otherwise 1/2 ounce of good flowers will be perfect.”

If you don’t have a Magical Butter Machine, Warren says to infuse the decarbed cannabis in liquor at 160 degrees using a double boiler. No gas! (because alcohol). Strain. Refill with fresh liquor and follow the Jell-O recipe for alcohol shots.

“The weed zips in there!,” says Warren. “You just can’t see it. Just some color and aroma.”

From total marijuana legalization in Canada, to North America becoming more chilled out about its own state laws, buying your favorite green flower has never been easier and growing your own is almost as simple. 

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