Jello Shots. Chances are they conjure up images of the 1980’s in some American frat house. I mean Jello Shots? Hardly the most sophisticated of drinks. But, no, you’d be surprised at their origin.

Jelly (gelatine) and alcohol mixtures date back to at least the 14th century, with adventurous bon vivants mixing wine into their aspic. Jelly drinks went mainstream in the 1800’s, with famed barkeep, Jerry Thomas, penning a punch jelly recipe in his 1862 work, “How to Mix Drinks”.

Jell-O, the brand, jumped on the bus in the 1950s when Tom Lehrer used it to circumvent a ban on alcohol at a navy base party. And this fuelled their rise peaking in the 1980’s and beyond!

Yes, owing to the Jello Shot’s long history, Tequila Jello Shots are relative newcomers. But they do go exceptionally well together, and their recipes are just waiting for your creativity.

Ingredients for Tequila Jello Shots

It’s simple and fun. This recipe for Jello Shots is for 16 x 1-ounce shots. Simply multiply the amounts if you’d like to make more or to fit bigger cups.

  • 3 ounces of any gelatine (Moirs has been the favourite jelly brand in South Africa for over 100 years, so you can’t go wrong there.)
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1/2 cup tequila
  • 1/2 cup cold water

How to Make Jello Shots with Tequila

Making jelly is child’s play. Ah, but this is a recipe for grown-ups only, so tell the kids to skedaddle.

  1. Chill the tequila and cold water mix in the fridge so they are at a consistent temperature.
  2. Pour your gelatine into a bowl.
  3. Add boiling water, and stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
  4. Stir in your chilled tequila and water mix (as well as optional food colouring).
  5. Pour the mixture into shot glasses or moulds.
  6. Refrigerate until the liquid sets. It’ll take at least 2 hours, but we recommend leaving it overnight, so long as you can resist the temptation.
  7. Serve cold.
  8. Gulp!

Pro tip: Use small, plastic shot glasses, as they make it easy for imbibers to squeeze out their shot.

jelly shot

Tips to Make Your Tequila Jell-O Shots

Olmeca has been in the tequila business for over 50 years, and you’ll find it in bottle stores in 80 countries, so we know a lot about tequila and the locals’ favourite flavours and colours. We have plenty of tips to share when it comes to making Tequila Jello Shots:

  • Add food colouring. Bring colour to the party. Add small amounts of food colouring until you get your desired colour.
  • Use flavoured gelatine, like lime or strawberry, to give your jello shot its own unique personality.
  • If your jello shot is too tart, add a little sweetness. Syrup works best and it can take the place of a bit of the water.
  • Use citrus rinds as moulds. Cut limes or oranges in half and remove all of the fruit, leaving the peel intact. Fill this natural bowl with gelatine, refrigerate, and enjoy! The citrus will make the perfect tart accompaniment to your tequila!
  • Make rainbow jello shots! Fill cups 1/3 full. Chill these until the jelly is almost set (1 hour) before adding the next colour. Repeat until full.

Convert Any Cocktail into a Jelly Shot

Want versatility? Jello’s your man! You can make just about any cocktail into a jelly shot. It can be a tad tricky, but don’t worry, the ones that flop can go down your throat, rather than down the sink! Just experiment, till you have your recipe down pat!

The key is to keep the original cocktail’s proportions correct while using 1 total cup of volume for the chilled liquid.

Let’s take the Margarita Jello Shot recipe for our example. Use 1/4 cup water with 3 ounces tequila, 1-ounce triple sec, and 2 ounces lime juice This is the same ratio you would use when making a normal Margarita.

If you prefer, you can take out of the equation the orange liqueur and just make a lime jello shots recipe.

But you don’t have to stop there. No, you can make almost any cocktail, including Tequila Sunrise, Tequila Negroni, and even Tequila Vampiros (the favoured drink of Dracula!).

How Long Do Tequila Jello Shots Last?

Keep your Tequila Jello Shots in the fridge in a tray with a cover, and they’ll last for over a week. Don’t freeze them, however. When they thaw, they’ll lose their appealing texture.

Best Tequila for Jello Shooters

Jello Shots mean fun –so you’ll want a tequila to match. When it comes to making alcoholic drinks, it’s essential to use a nice quality bottle. Insist on Olmeca Blanco. It’ll be the life of the party!