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The Standard Jello Shot Recipe

Orange and blue jello shots made with the standard jello shot recipe

This is the generic, standard recipe for jello shots.


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  • 1 small (3-ounce) box of jello
  • 1 cup of alcohol. Vodka is the traditional choice, but you can use other kinds of alcohol if you prefer.

How To Put Jello Shots Together

1. Pour jello crystals into a bowl (preferably one with a pour spout as this will make it easier to fill the jello cups without spilling).

2. Boil water.

3. Add 1 cup of the boiling water to the jello crystals.

4. Mix until the jello sugar has dissolved.

5. Add 1 cup of alcohol of some kind to the mix. Traditionally, it’s vodka.

6. Stir again to mix.

7. Pour into jello cups.

8. Wait for a few minutes for the jello to cool somewhat before putting on the lid or covering the jello (otherwise you will get condensation on the lid…it won’t hurt the jello but it doesn’t look as good when handing them to out guests).

9. Put in the refrigerator to chill.

Note: I have always thought the standard jello shot recipe is too strong to make the jello really enjoyable. So I generally reduce the amount of alcohol and add some juice or cold water instead. You’ll see that in my recipes.

But if you prefer a higher alcohol content, feel free to go with the standard amount.

How long does it take for Jello shots to set in the fridge?

It usually takes between 2 and 4 hours for the jello shots to set. So you can make them the day of your party if you have to.

However, I always try to make mine at least a day in advance (less last minute prep work!). They will keep in the refrigerator for a few days with no problems.

How many jello shots does a 3 oz box make?

One 3-ounce box of jello (which is the small package) makes about 16 2-ounce jello shots.

Of course, it all depends on how much jello you put in each shot cup. You can stretch it out to about 20 if you fill them 3/4 full.

Green and blue jello shots

How To Serve Jello Shots

I almost always make jelly shots in these individual jello shot cups with lids (the 2 ounce size works best)*.

They can be stacked for storage in the fridge, are easy to hand out to your guests and don’t spill or break if they’re dropped (which always seems to happen at some point during the party!)

jello shot with mini spoon

I serve jello shots with these plastic mini tasting spoons*. 

Although some people like to use the no-utensils approach to downing them, a lot of my friends appreciate having a spoon. These ones are the perfect size for eating from a jello shot cup.

Have comments or questions on the standard jello shot recipe? Tell us in the section below.

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