Do you know what our cocktails need? A little wiggle and jiggle.
Most of us have Jell-o memories — 70’s potluck desserts, tonsillectomy recovery, college jello shots – but they are rooted in youth. It’s time to bring some fun into adulthood by making swell cocktails into gel cocktails.
My friend Liz and I spent a recent day test-driving some recipes from the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, a blog and a book featuring nothing but jell-o’d cocktails. Using silicone molds, we made bite-sized jell-o Elderflower Mojitos, French 75s, Watermelon Basil Martinis, and Pineapple Brandy Fixes. The fun was in the making and the sampling, I assure you.
I’m featuring our favorite, the Elderflower Mojito, here. I thought this one did the best job of bringing out the flavor of each ingredient. The Pineapple Brandy Fix was also quite tasty (however the two others were not our favorites, and our tester spouses and friends agreed).
Lightly muddle mint in a small bowl. (Gently crush the mint with the back of a spoon if you don’t have a muddler.) Add the rum and elderflower liqueur to the bowl and set aside.
Combine lime juice, water and simple syrup/agave in a small saucepan. Sprinkle with gelatin, and allow the gelatin to soak for a minute or two. Heat over low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes). Remove from heat.
Strain the mint-infused liquor into the pan and stir to combine. We poured our mojitos into smiley face and square silicone molds, and these were set within an hour+ in the refrigerator.
Through trial and error and even occasionally re-reading the book’s directions (oops), we discovered a few tips that made subsequent batches easier:
- Do put the silicone molds on a cookie tray before filling them because it makes them much easier to place in the refrigerator.
- Do make room in the refrigerator for the tray before filling the molds.
- Spray the molds with flavor-free cooking spray and then wipe with a paper towel.
- Use a funnel, batter pourer or other device to fill the molds for less dripping and spilling. Liz had this gadget and it was brilliant.
- If you are making multiple recipes, label or otherwise mark which is poured where. Ours turned into a “box of chocolates” because we poured two clear cocktails into different spots on the same mold. Only tasting will tell us which each one is now!
- Your cool little gelled cocktails will turn into blobs quickly if left at room temperature or even in an air conditioned car, so keep them well-chilled.
My most important piece of advice is to consider your audience: if there will be children around, keep these out of sight. Jell-o = kids, but jell-o’d cocktails are only for the young-at-heart. I kept mine on the highest refrigerator shelf out of reach of my two treat-craving kids.
With a few of these recipes under my belt, I am now incredibly curious about turning my favorite cocktail recipes into jellied versions. I expect some wiggle, some jiggle and no doubt some giggle.