For tailgating, holidays or any day you want to feel more festive, learn how to make colorful DIY Jello Shots. How can you not be in good spirits after shooting one of these mini cocktails?

A matching-hued Jello Shot is a fun way to infuse your school spirit right on your tailgating menu. But this homemade mini cocktail recipe isn’t just for sporting events!

Try green for St. Patrick’s Day, red for Valentine’s Day or a color that matches the season or your party theme. These Jello Shots are so easy and delicious, you’ll want to whip them up all year long. (For the 21+ crowd, of course!)

Table of Contents
  1. Recipe ingredients
  2. Ingredient notes
  3. Step-by-step instructions
  4. Recipe tips and variations
  5. Jello Shots Recipe

Recipe ingredients

Ingredients for jello shots.

Ingredient notes

  • Jell-O: Any 3-ounce flavor of Jello will work for this recipe, so choose a flavor you enjoy and a color that matches the color scheme.
  • Vodka: The subtle spirit plays nicely in these shots. See how to boost the flavor below in the recipe variations.

Step-by-step instructions

  1. In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the jello in a large glass measuring cup or bowl.
Mixing the ingredients for jello shots.
  1. Pour the boiling water carefully into the Jello and stir until the Jello is dissolved. Stir in the vodka.
Mixing the ingredients for jello shots.
  1. Pour the Jello mixture into disposable 2-ounce cups or shot glasses, and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.
Pouring red jello shots into small cups.

Recipe tips and variations

  • Yield: Each 3-ounce box of Jello makes 10 Jello Shots.
  • Two hues: For shots with 2 color layers in one cup, fill shot glasses halfway with the first Jello mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours. Repeat with the second color and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours more.
  • Make ahead: Prepare up to 3 days in advance, then store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  • Sugar-free: If desired, substitute one 0.6-ounce box of sugar-free Jello for the 3-ounce box of regular Jello.
  • Gelatin sheets: To prepare Jello Shots using gelatin sheets instead of powder, mix together 1 cup vodka and 1 cup fruit juice, such as lemon juice. Add 2 (230 bloom strength) gelatin sheets and allow to bloom for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make simple syrup in a small saucepan by mixing together 2/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk hot simple syrup into the gelatin mixture. Continue with step 3.
  • Other liquors: If you’re not fond of (or don’t have) vodka, substitute in spirits you enjoy. Consider cocktail-inspired mixes: Try tequila and lime Jello for a Margarita Jello Shot, bourbon and orange Jello for an Old Fashioned Jello Shot or gin and lemon Jello for a Tom Collins Jello Shot.
Various colored jello shots in clear portion cups.

More tailgating recipes

Various colored jello shots in clear portion cups.

Jello Shots

For tailgating, holidays or any day you want to feel more festive, learn how to make colorful DIY Jello Shots. How can you not be in good spirits after shooting one of these mini cocktails?
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Servings 10 (2-ounce) Jello Shots
Course Snack
Cuisine American
Calories 88

Ingredients 

  • 3 oz package Jello (see note 1)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 cup vodka (see note 2)

Instructions 

  • In a saucepan over high heat, bring 1 cup water to a boil. Meanwhile, place the jello in a large glass measuring cup or bowl.
  • Pour the boiling water carefully into the jello and stir until the jello is disolved. Stir in vodka.
  • Pour the jello mixture into disposable 2-ounce portion cups or shot glasses, and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours.

Notes

  1. Jell-O: Any 3-ounce flavor of Jello will work for this recipe, so choose a flavor you enjoy and a color that matches the color scheme.
  2. Vodka: The subtle spirit plays nicely in these shots. See note 8 for other liquor ideas.
  3. Yield: Each 3-ounce box of Jello makes 10 Jello Shots.
  4. Two hues: For shots with 2 color layers in one cup, fill shot glasses halfway with the first Jello mixture and refrigerate for 2 hours. Repeat with the second color and refrigerate until set, about 2 hours more.
  5. Make ahead: Prepare up to 3 days in advance, then store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for 3 to 4 days.
  6. Sugar-free: If desired, substitute one 0.6-ounce box of sugar-free Jello for the 3-ounce box of regular Jello.
  7. Gelatin sheets: To prepare Jello Shots using gelatin sheets instead of powder, mix together 1 cup vodka and 1 cup fruit juice, such as lemon juice. Add 2 (230 bloom strength) gelatin sheets and allow to bloom for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, make simple syrup in a small saucepan by mixing together 2/3 cup of water and 2/3 cup granulated sugar. Bring to a boil and remove from heat. Whisk hot simple syrup into the gelatin mixture. Continue with step 3.
  8. Other liquors: If you’re not fond of (or don’t have) vodka, substitute in spirits you enjoy. Consider cocktail-inspired mixes: Try tequila and lime Jello for a Margarita Jello Shot, bourbon and orange Jello for an Old Fashioned Jello Shot or gin and lemon Jello for a Tom Collins Jello Shot.

Nutrition

Calories: 88kcalCarbohydrates: 8gProtein: 1gSodium: 41mgPotassium: 1mgSugar: 7gCalcium: 1mgIron: 1mg
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Meggan Hill

I’m the Executive Chef and head of the Culinary Hill Test Kitchen. Every recipe is developed, tested, and approved just for you.

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