A Detailed Guide On How to Make Jell-O shots

9 mins read
how to make Jell-O Shots

Jello shots are known to be the most fun party beverage of all time. You would definitely find these as a staple, at most of the wildest parties.

If you want to try Jello shots at your own party, and wondering how to make Jell-O shots, then here is a guide for you detailing what to use and how much to use in your shots.

A. What are Jello Shots?

A Jello shot is a mix of water, alcohol, and gelatin usually served in shot glasses or tiny jello cups. You can make many flavors of these shots depending on how your imagination and tastebuds work.

Although the history of jello shots dates back hundreds of years, the credit for making the first modern jello shot goes to Tom Lehrer.

He worked in the army and wanted to sneak in alcohol to a Christmas party on the naval base. So he experimented and created what was the first jello shot. Tom Lehrer was probably the first person to answer the question “how to make Jell-O shots?”

It is easily a party favorite because it is super easy to ingest alcohol through these shots than to drink them. The jello hides the taste and the smell of the alcohol and even people who are averted to alcohol can enjoy the shots.

The question of how to make Jell-O shots pops up more often than you think! Don’t worry, we are here to teach you how to make Jell-O shots.

Did you know that Gelatin is made out of animals? Yes! Gelatin contains collagen, which is a protein found in animal tissue.

Gelatin is extracted mostly from cows and pigs. It is made by boiling animal tissues, bones, and skin with water.

Gelatin also has many other uses than being used as a thickener in desserts. It is otherwise used in beauty products, photograph films, and even candles.

B. Jello Shot recipe

Jell-O shots are a party favorite since they don’t take a lot of effort to make.

How to make Jell-O shots you ask? All you need is:

  1. One cup boiling water
  2. Half a cup of cold water
  3. A packet of Jell-O gelatin mix powder (flavor of your choice, in this recipe we’re going with strawberry.)
  4. Half a cup of alcohol of your choice (in this recipe we will go with half a cup of plain Vodka.)
  5. 12 gelatin cups/ plastic shot cups

Once you have these simple ingredients, you can get started.

Note that this is an easy and generic jello shots recipe of Vodka jello shots you can make.

How to prepare:

  • First, add the Jell-O mix to a mixing bowl.
  • Keep some water to boil on the gas and once done, add it to the mix.
  • Keep stirring till the powder is completely dissolved. Continue to stir.
  • Before the gelatin starts setting and starts to become a bit solid, add half a cup of cold water and Vodka to it. Make sure to not add too much Vodka or else the Jello won’t set.
  • Pour the mixture into plastic cups or gelatin cups.
  • If you do not have cups, you can simply use a baking pan and baking sheet. After it sets, cut the jello into cubes with a butter knife and serve.
  • Let it sit for a while and after 10-15 minutes, and then refrigerate.
  • Ideally, the prep time for it to set is 4-5 hours but you can take it out after 2-3 hours as well.

This is the most general way of making jello shots. There are many recipes for many different types of jello shots to enjoy at parties.

How to make Jell-O shots out of different flavors? These contain different flavors of both Jell-O and alcohol.

C. How much alcohol to use?

Whilst making jello shots, you might find yourself wondering whether you have put enough alcohol for it to take effect.

The alcohol content in these shots is very important since very little will not get the job done but a lot can damage the structural integrity of your jello.

Make sure you don’t add too much alcohol just to make your shot stronger. This will disrupt the calculated quantity of the jello and won’t allow it to be set.

The ideal amount of alcohol to use in your jello mix is 1/2 a cup of whatever liquor you have chosen with 1/2 a cup of cold water. The cold water is important for the gelatin mix to cool down. Mixing liquor with boiling water does not sound digestible.

D. Which type of alcohol to use in Jello Shots?

Now you may wonder, how to make Jell-O shots with different alcohols?

These shots are mainly known for being mixed with Vodka but you can get creative about it. When it comes to how to make Jell-O shots, any clear spirit is best paired with the gelatin shots but sometimes even black rum and whiskey are added to different flavors of Jell-O.

how to make Jell-O shots
Image by Rod Herrea via Flickr. Copyright 2022.

1. Vodka

Vodka is the easiest and cheapest option to use in jello shots since it comes in many flavors and any quality can be bought as the jello flavor will mask the taste and smell of Vodka.

How to make Jell-O shots with Vodka?

The most common recipe is the Orange flavored Jell-O shot with plain Vodka. The best way to get the tastiest jello shots is to use flavored Vodka instead of the plain one.

For example,

  • If you’re a fan of Pina Colada, try pineapple Jell-O with coconut-flavored Vodka. This will give you a great kickstart for the party.
  • A Sex on the Beach jello shot is sure to receive compliments from the crowd. Just pour peach schnapps and cranberry juice and add Vodka to the gelatin shot.
  • You can go for a berry combination- strawberry or raspberry Jell-O powder with blueberry or cherry or red berry Vodka.
  • And if you want to surprise your guests, try lemon Vodka with lime Jell-O.
  • If you want to go above and beyond and really wake the party up, use coffee-flavored Vodka with unflavored gelatin.

2. Rum

Rum is the second-best choice for Jello shots after Vodka, especially White Rum. Rum and Vodka are usually a party’s best friends so it would make sense that people would like jello shots made from the same two liquids.

How to make Jell-O shots with Rum?

Some rum and jello recipes are

  • The simplest one is to add White Rum to the strawberry gelatin mix.
  • Making a classic Mojito jello shot would definitely be a banger among the crowd. Just mix White Rum and mint in your lime-flavored Jell-O.
  • If you want to use Black rum, and make a Rum-and-coke Jello shot, use coca-cola flavored jello gelatin mix. Squeeze in a bit of lime to soften the taste.
  • Make Hawaiian punch flavor by mixing Fruit punch Jell-O and White Rum. For best effects, squeeze in a few drops of orange juice in it.
  • The Blue Lagoon jello shot is most famous to leave your tongue a fun color. Add White Rum to blueberry-flavored Jello and a cap of Blue Curaçao mix.

3. Tequila

Making jello shots mixed with tequila is a bit more complicated than with Vodka and rum because you cannot add just tequila to the mix and serve it. You need to make the jello just like you would make cocktails.

How to make Jell-O shots with Tequila?

  • Margarita Jello shot: Who doesn’t love a classic margarita? You can serve it as jello shots too now. If you are wondering how to make Jell-O shots margarita style, just add tequila and lime juice to the unflavored gelatin mixture and freeze. Before serving, salt the rim for the added effect, and voila! Margarita jello is ready to serve. This shot will be colorless so if you want it to be a party-popper color, then use a drop of food color or another flavor of Jell-O.
  • Jell-OJ: This is the perfect combination of tequila and jello with orange juice and salted rims. Add a slice of tangerine on top and serve.

If you want to know how to make Jell-O shots with different flavors of Margarita, then here is the answer.

Margarita has a lot of flavors, so go crazy and experiment with them all. Pomegranate, grapefruit, orange, strawberry, blue curacao, watermelon, or blueberry, use anything you like.

Making Jell-O shots is great if you know how to experiment with your drinks. So get your bartending shoes on and start mixing. (But make sure to not sample a lot before the party starts!)

E. Halloween Themed Jello shots

Jello shots are a big hit during Halloween parties,  therefore, how to make Jell-O shots for a Halloween theme party is frequently searched online.

To make your Halloween party more creepy and interesting, here are some interesting recipes.

1. Jello Shot Worms

We have all heard of and seen gummy worms at Halloween parties. But did you know there is a more fun way of making gummy worms? You have guessed it right, add alcohol to it.

how to make Jell-O shots
Image by rmkoske via Flickr. Copyright 2022.

How to make worm Jell-O shots?


To make jello shot worms to serve with the finger foods, all you need is

  1. A packet of Cola flavored Jell-O mix
  2. Bendy straws
  3. 1/5 a cup of black rum
  4. Heavy cream or whipped cream
  5. 1 cup boiling water
  6. 1/2 cup cold water
  7. A long jar


Step 1:
  • Add the gelatin mix into boiling water and let it completely dissolve.
  • Once it is warm, add the cold water and rum to it.
  • Mix thoroughly and let it sit till it’s cool.
Step 2:
  • While the mix is cooling, prepare your mold. Take the straws and tie them together.
  • Place them in the long jar. The jar should be long enough to cover all the straws from head to toe.
Step 3:
  • Once the mix has cooled down, add the heavy cream or whipped cream and stir thoroughly.
  • Now it is time to pour the liquid into the straws.
  • Once you have done this successfully, refrigerate the jar and leave it for 5-6 hours.
Step 4:
  • This is the part where you have to get dirty.
  • Once you take the jar out, run the straws under warm water to free up the jello inside.
  • Now squeeze the straw with your thumb until the jello comes out. Some of the worms might break in the process but that is ok.
  • Once you have taken all the worms out, freeze them for an hour.

Your Jello Shot Worms are ready to freak your guests out! Wondering how to make Jell-O shots worms look even creepier? If you want to make them look more realistic, you can crush some Oreos and place the worms on them. This gives a “worms in the mud” effect.

2. Jello Syringes

These are fun Jello shots put into syringes.

So how to make Jell-O shots in syringes you ask?

Jello syringes follow the same recipe as jello worms but instead of pouring them into straws, you have to pour them into big injections. Just give someone a shot every time they feel sick of the party.

F. Jello Shot Cake

A great way to show off your mixology and baking skills simultaneously is by making jello shot cakes. These cakes are different flavored layered jello shots as one big jello cake.

how to make Jell-O shots
Image by emma via Flickr. Copyright 2022.

These cakes are best for a big party or gathering where you want to let loose. It is not as difficult to make as it looks, especially, if you have experience with making jello shots.

How to make Jell-O shots cake?


  1. 6 different flavors of your choice of Jell-O. You can make it rainbow-themed for which you’d need Grape, Berry Blue, Lemon-lime/Melon, Lime/Pineapple/Tropical, Orange/Peach/Apricot, and Strawberry/Raspberry/Watermelon flavored Jell-O packets
  2. 6 mixing bowls
  3. 2 tbsp Gelatin (unflavored)
  4. Hot water
  5. Coldwater
  6. 2 cups yogurt
  7. Cooking oil/spray
  8. Jello mold
  9. And any clear spirit (Preferably White Rum or Vodka)


Step 1:

  • Make a gelatin and water mixture by adding gelatin to boiling water and stirring till the gelatin is dissolved.
  • Add the cold water and alcohol to the gelatin mix itself.
  • Evenly distribute the mixture to the 6 mixing bowls.
  • Add the 6 Jell-O mixes to the 6 bowls and stir till it is completely dissolved.
  • Refrigerate the mixes for 10 minutes and then take them out to add the yogurt. Mix thoroughly.

Step 2:

  • Adding the layers to the mold is the tricky part. Add the first layer and refrigerate till it is frozen enough to handle a second layer.
  • Repeat the process till you have added all the mixes to the mold. After the last layer is added, keep it in the fridge overnight till they freeze solid.

Your shot cake is now ready! For a bonus, use whipped cream to decorate.

In a similar, yet easier manner, you can make layered shots too. If you are wondering how to make Jell-O shots in layers, do not worry because they are really simple and follow the same recipe as the Jell-O shot cake but without the yogurt.

These are great if you want other holiday-themed jello shots, for example, the 4th of July themed shots would be fun to serve at your firework watch party. Use Berry Blue, Cherry, and Pina Colada flavored Jell-Os.

Now there you go, hopefully, the recipes on how to make Jell-O shots were fun. Prepare them and get your party rolling!

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