We Tried 4 Pinterest Famous Jell-O Shots — Here's What We Thought

We're officially halfway through the week and a few days closer to one of summer's biggest holiday weekends: July 4. It's a time to celebrate our nation's independence, but also our own independence — with a few days OOO (out of office). And what better way to celebrate than with an array of festive (read: boozy) refreshments? Which brings us to the trending topic at hand: Jell-O shots.

Disclaimer: I don't love Jell-O shots. I also don't happen to be a huge fan of DIY projects, baking, and other activities that include too much preplanning (or science of any kind). But that doesn't always work out so well when themed holiday parties, large groups of people, and cocktails are involved.

So, instead of just winging it this weekend, I attempted to make four of the top summer Jell-O shot recipes on Pinterest — not just your run-of-the-mill college-day plastic gelatin mixes, but the prettier, more sophisticated takes on the jiggly alcohol trend. Would they hold up to the beautiful blogger shots that are constantly being re-pinned online? And, would I enjoy myself and the finished product in the process? Scroll on to see which shots were worth the work, and which are getting axed from my Pinterest board.

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The Results
I had extremely low expectations for these strawberry shots. I haven't worked with gelatin or Jell-O for many, many, years (or ever?), and I was also highly skeptical of the strawberry shell situation. It all seemed too Pinterest-perfect to be true. But, I was wrong. Overall, these were very straightforward to assemble. And the taste? With blueberry Jell-O, coconut cream, and strawberries in the mix, you could hardly notice the vodka after-bite.

My only complaints were having to make two separate Jell-O colors (which took a bit of extra time), and finding a suitable way to stand the little berry shots in my fridge so they could solidify (let's just say, some spilling ensued).

Make Again?
Sure, why not?

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The Results
Wrong again! Just as the strawberry shot shells proved easier than I imagined, so did the lemon slices. On top of making for a good Instagram shot, these Jell-O shots were much less messy to assemble and set — plus, they were pretty fun to consume from the peel (that novelty factor is key). The flavor was sweet and tangy with just enough vodka punch.

Make Again?
100%

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My Results
As it turns out, a few things:

1. When instructed to place gelatin mixture inside of disposable shot glasses, do not go rogue and attempt shot blocks in an ice cube tray.

2. Do not subsequently attempt to pack and travel with said blobby shot block mess because an even blobbier situation will ensue.

Perhaps these margarita tequila shots would have worked if I had made them in the suggested plastic shot vessels. But overall, that felt like a waste of time and resources. If I was going to have a tequila shot, I'd rather just have one instead of wasting plastic and effort on a Jell-O version.

Make Again?
Not in shot block or plastic cup form, but I would make these again with lime slices (similar to the pink lemonade vodka versions).

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The Results
Not bad! I ended up making my Jell-O shot squares with sparkling rosé instead of champagne and the flavor was very crisp — just like rosé, but chewable. Overall, the assembly was by far the simplest and quickest. However, the sprinkles were a bit too chunky and crunchy on top of the smooth gelatin. And at the end of day, I'd probably rather just sip on a glass of sparkling rosé then eat a jelly square.

Make Again?
Maybe — for a second attempt, I'd go for edible glitter instead of sprinkles and also pour them in a strawberry shell for a champagne and strawberry shot combo.

Final Thoughts
Jell-O shots are worth the work when they're easy enough to assemble and also quirkier than the original version of the drink or shot could ever be. These festive boozy treats work best when flavor and novelty come together — like lime wedges with margarita-y Jell-O or strawberry shot shells with sparkling rosé gelatin, but ultimately fall short when you'd rather just have the tequila shot or glass of champagne over a jiggly mess.

Looking for more Jell-O shot recipes? Check out some of our other Pinterest favorites, here.