Hibiscus and Champagne Jello Shots

It’s time to partaaaaaaay. And by partaaaaaaaay, I mean make Hibiscus and Champagne Jello Shots!

champagne hibiscus jello shots

I remember when I was still producing that wine and spirits radio show, my boss took it upon himself to interview a bartender while on a vacation to Paris. The bartender was very smug, as he was the lead guy in the hottest bar in the city, and was explaining to my boss all the amazing things he’d made at his establishment. A new way to freeze alcohol was one, the other was what he called “solid cocktails.”

Without missing a beat, my 70 year old boss just zinged back, “What? Like freaking Jello shots?”

The bartender had no idea what he was talking about but yes: Jello shots. All the rage in the City of Lights.

Thinking about fun things to do for NYE this year, I wanted to make my own. I have had one Jello shot in my entire life– not being a big partier at any point– and have never made them before. So I zinged around Pinterest to find a few ideas, and then went for it. The Champagne part of this is pulled directly from Erica’s Sweet Tooth.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 16 ounces of sparkling wine (I used a $7 Cava, and this amount is less than a bottle. I’d recommend using leftover bubbly for this on January 1st, too)
  • 4 packets of gelatin (one whole box of Knox!)
  • 1/2 cup Hibiscus syrup
  • 1/2 cup vodka (per usual, I use Tito’s)
  1. This is easily the most important step of the entire recipe: CHILL YOUR BOTTLE OF SPARKLING WINE. Well. I mean, at least three or four hours in the fridge. This has nothing to do with the gelatin setting properly, and has everything to do with you not getting covered in an exploding bottle of wine when you open it. Trust a girl.
  2. Once your bottle is well chilled, open it carefully. Measure out 10 ounces of sparkling wine and add to a saucepan. Dust the top of the wine with three packets of gelatin. Let sit for 2-3 minutes, or until gelatin makes a skin on top of the wine.
  3. On low heat, stir the gelatin into the wine until fully dissolved– i.e., no clumpies. Pour your new gelatin mixture into a square container (I used a small Pyrex dish). Let set for about an hour in the fridge.
  4. Next, measure out 1/2 cup of hibiscus syrup (I found Wild Hibiscus in the Hispanic foods section of my grocery store, which comes with hibiscus flowers floating it it. It’s awesome. I’ll use the flowers for something else), and 1/2 cup of vodka. Add to your saucepan and sprinkle your remaining packet of gelatin on top. Wait two minutes, then on super low heat, mix the gelatin in until blended. Do not stand over the pan, unless you want a nose full of hot vodka to the face. (You live, you learn, kids.)
  5. Let the mixture cool slightly, then slowly pour the hibiscus blend on top of your semi-set champagne Jello. Let set for another 4-6 hours, or overnight.
setting champagne hibiscus jello
To remove the jello from the pan, set it in a bath of warm water, and scrape the jello from the sides of the pan using a butter knife. Take the mold out of the water, dry it off, and then invert onto a cutting board.
I sliced my “shots” into 1″ squares, though I’m not entirely sure how much alcohol that is in each go-round. I got about 24 squares from my mold. I’d recommend not eating more than 3 or 4 of these in a night. We’re not in college anymore, guys.
In case you were wondering, hibiscus flowers + syrup taste kind of like strawberries and rhubarb. They’re very, very sweet and just a bit tangy. The jar wasn’t exactly cheap (about $8) but I can’t imagine that you’ll go through all of its contents in one night.
(Oh, and if you’re already anticipating a bundle of joy in 2014, replace your Champagne with sparkling apple cider, and use either cranberry juice or water in place of the vodka in the hibiscus layer. BOOM! Virgin Jello shots.)

champagne hibiscus jello shots

Happy New Year’s, everyone! Be safe, and I’ll see you tomorrow!

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