Jello Shots are delicious, tons of fun and, for the most part, best left to college-aged drinkers. Occasionally, though, we fully matured drinkers secretly yearn to relive those gelatinized glory days—just maybe with less Everclear this time. So we came up with a way to marry our refined taste in drinks with our inner party animals: We Jello-ified classic cocktails. There’s something for everyone, whether you prefer the simplicity of a Moscow Mule or a Cuba Libre, the nostalgia of a Sex on the Beach or a bittersweet Negroni. Your stuffy, grown-up cocktail parties just got a lot more fun.
5 Classic Cocktail-Inspired Jello Shots
The mix of vodka, ginger beer and lime is a special kind of refreshing—a little spicy, a touch acidic, all frosty cold in a shiny copper mug. Adding gelatin to the mix doesn’t get in the way of that alluring blend, but it sure makes it a lot more fun to consume. If you can’t fathom a Moscow Mule without a copper mug, go next level and serve your gingery Jello in mini versions of the iconic cup.
As the Cuba Libre proves, rum and Coke were destined for each other. Add a little lime and you have yourself a masterpiece. We were happy to discover that adding gelatin didn’t change the drink’s flavor chemistry at all. If this is your go-to on a night out, give the Highball a rest, and slurp down a Cuba Libre with a little more bounce in its step.
This ombre tequila cocktail may lose some of its color-shifting appeal when it transforms into a Jello Shot, but the flavor is all there, we promise. In addition to a packet of either pomegranate or cherry Jell-O—whichever is easier to get your hands on—the recipe calls for orange juice and tequila to achieve that classic Tequila Sunrise taste. And don’t worry, the agave isn’t overpowered by the other ingredients, especially if you use fresh squeezed OJ.
While the Sex on the Beach doesn’t exactly count as a craft cocktail, it is still a classic, ripe for reinvention. The sweetness of the drink—which comes from a blend of cranberry juice, orange juice and peach schnapps—can be cloying, but when the orange juice is replaced with a packet of orange Jell-O and the cranberry juice is increased, it gets new life as one of our favorite cocktail-turned-Jello-Shots.
cranberry juice cocktail
Of all the classic cocktails out there, the Negroni reigns supreme, worshipped by bartenders and drinkers alike as the ultimate tipple. So we figured it was high time for the bittersweet drink to get a solid Jello Shot crafted in its honor. As it turns out, the aperitif makes a surprisingly delicious jiggler. That said, because the drink is so bitter, it did require a bit of tinkering, as well as the addition of some orange juice for a touch of sweetness.