Micky’s cocktail cabinet: Trick or treat jelly shots

20131018_190245IN THIS edition of Micky’s Cocktail Cabinet, we’ll be covering a party favourite: vodka jelly shots. They’re a straightforward way to stretch a cheap bottle of vodka into 70+ shots and the sweetness of jelly takes some of the sting out of the vodka, making for a much more palatable shot. As an added bonus, with Halloween right around the corner, it’s very easy to stick jelly sweets into them to add a touch of trick or treat to the occasion.

Per 10 shots you’ll need:

  • A measuring jug
  • Half a packet of Hartley’s jelly cubes or approximately 60g of jelly cubes
  • 100ml of boiling water
  • 100ml of vodka
  • 10 empty 25ml shot glasses
  • 10 jelly sweets [optional]

My personal preference for jelly cubes is the Hartley’s brand, which sets you back around 50p a packet and comes in a wide variety of flavours. It’s a very simple one to use, but generally if you’re using a different brand, all you’re looking for is a packet of jelly that comes with the general instructions of “add boiling water, stir, add cold water.” Half a packet of Hartley’s is around 60g (the weight fluctuates from flavour to flavour – exactness is not a massive problem), which is enough to make 10 shots.

Separate out the jelly cubes into the measuring jug and pour in the boiling water. Stir vigorously until all of the jelly cubes have dissolved. At this point, add the vodka and stir the ingredients again. Pour the mixture into the shot glasses. Ideally you’ll want to pour around 20ml into each shot glass, leaving plenty of room for the (optional) jelly sweets and generally avoiding spillages.

Allow the mixture to cool down to room temperature. If you’re using them, now is the time to add the jelly sweets. Always make sure to wait until the shots have cooled to room temperature before adding sweets, otherwise the sweets will start to melt, which makes both of an unattractive sight and affects the taste of the jelly shot.

Once cooled, place the shots on an empty shelf in the fridge. Ideally, you’ll make the jelly shots a day in advance of when you need them, since they’ll take around 4-6 hours to set. Once they’re set, plate them up and serve to guests.



…Use more water

The recipe above will produce jelly shots with a 1:1 alcohol-to-jelly ratio. When adding the 100ml of vodka, you can add another 100ml of cold water at the same stage to produce shots with a 1:2 alcohol-to-jelly ratio, which is ideal if you want less alcoholic shots and comes with the added bonus of allowing you to squeeze an extra 5 shots out of your mixture.

…Use rum, tequila, fruit-based alcohols or any mixer you desire

Whilst vodka is the usual spirit of choice for jelly shots, rum and tequila are also popular and effective in its place. Fruit-based alcohols such as peach schnapps or coconut rum also go well with jelly shots and allow for all sorts of flavour combinations.

…Use vegetarian-friendly jelly

Unfortunately, standard jelly is not vegetarian-friendly. Although they can be a little more expensive/harder to acquire, vegetarian jelly also works fine with the above recipe.