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Jell-O is typically eaten only at Chinese food buffets and hospital cafeterias, but Jell-O shots are a whole different breed. The party classic is enjoyed even by those who turn up their noses to the virgin stuff. This summer at Reviewed, we decided to upgrade the boozy novelty with a patriotic twist: We spiked the heck out of some red, white, and blue Jell-O.
To achieve these stripes, you'll need to make three separate batches of jello. The key to keeping them starkly layered is to be sure that each layer cools fully before adding the next. Contrary to popular belief, these colors can run. If you don’t wait for each individual color to set, you’ll end up with a pink or baby blue layer instead of three beautiful stacks.
That being said, make sure you have several hours—or better yet, a couple days—to spare. Since each layer takes around 90 minutes to set, these festive chupitos are a time consuming labor of love. But the gleeful reaction from partygoers and friends alike will make all that waiting by the fridge worth it.
1. Bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add red Jell-O. Stir until the powder has dissolved completely. Let cool.
2. Add 1 cup of vodka, and set the mixture aside to cool to room temperature. When cooled, fill plastic cups ⅓ of the way with red jello. Place in fridge 60-90 minutes, or until fully set.
3. While waiting for the first layer to cool, stir two packets of unflavored gelatin into ½ cup vodka. Whisk to combine, and let stand 5 minutes to thicken.
4. Meanwhile, bring 1 cup of water to boil. Pour the hot water over the gelatin mixture and whisk to combine, taking care to break apart or remove any lumps. Pour in the sweetened condensed milk and stir until fully combined. Let the mixture cool until it reaches room temperature.
5. Remove your red jello cups from the fridge and top them ⅔ of the way with the white jello mixture. NOTE: Pour slowly at first to ensure that the red and white layers don't mix. If they do, put the red Jell-O cups back into the fridge until they’re fully set, and let the white mixture sit out at room temperature until it’s fully cooled.
Once your white layer is poured, place the tray in fridge 60-90 minutes, or until the white layer is fully set.
6. While waiting for the layered cups to cool, bring 1 cup of water to a boil and add blue Jell-O. Stir until the powder has dissolved completely. Let cool. Add 1 cup of vodka, and set aside to cool to room temperature.
7. Fill plastic cups the rest of the way with the blue jello mixture. Place in fridge 60-90 minutes, or until fully set.
To drink (eat?), run a finger around the edge of the plastic cup to loosen the seal. Slurp the whole shot down like a boozy, questionable oyster. (We used a 1:1 liquor to water ratio in this recipe, so these puppies are potent. Proceed with caution, and Happy Fourth!)