Monday, October 3, 2011

Lemon Drop Jell-O Shots for National Vodka Day

October 4th, National Vodka Day
Suburban living has its benefits.  For example, we have friends to pick up our mail when we are out of town, help picking up the kids from school when we are running late, and someone to fill our measuring cups when we are missing an ingredient.

Such was the case with the creation of our Lemon Drop Jell-O Shots.  In preparation for a neighborhood gathering, and with a phenomenal idea from Naomi at Baker's Royale, I had my lemons assembled and scrubbed, halved and scooped out and lined up on mini muffin tins awaiting their vodka laced Jell-O filling as I reached up into the liquor cabinet for the vodka.  Much to my surprise, the vodka cabinet was bare.

Doing my best to avoid a late night trip to the store I peered out my windows to see if lights were on at any of the neighbors.  One was out of town, another doesn't drink, another out to dinner, but the one directly across the street was lit up in celebrating of Maggie's 9th birthday (10 Gryffinder garbed "Hermiones" were in attendance).  With laughter carrying across the street I stood hesitantly in my front yard while clutching my big measuring cup and decided to head over.

The dad opened the door, saw my measuring cup and asked if I needed sugar.  The all out belly laugh that occurred after I stated, "No... I need a cup and a half of vodka," had me smiling while he asked if my day really had been that bad?

Vodka in hand, I scurried back home, prepared my Jell-O concoction (we used a ratio of 2/3 vodka to 1/3 water) and set the filled lemon shells into the fridge to set overnight.

A sharp knife and a pretty plate was all that was remaining for our party offering the next day which indeed garnered plenty of "Oooh's and aaah's" as it was placed on the drink table.

Adjustable to suit your tastes, the hardest part of the recipe is scooping out the lemon shells.  My first attempt to turn the shells inside out, as I had seen recommended, didn't work and found me with a torn half lemon shell left in my hands.  My solution was to use a paring knife to cut away as much of the lemon from the rind as I could and simply using either the edge of the knife or my fingernail to peel away the remaining pith, almost like peeling the lemon from the inside out.

Visually appealing as well as fun, I enjoyed the numerous questions about how I had shaped the wedges, with most people not realizing that I had cut the wedges from a half lemon that had chilled overnight.  Popular with all ages (over 21 years of age) I served a few saved wedges to my parents, Father-in-Law, and my dad's 85 year old cousin the following night and actually had my Father-in-Law ask for seconds.  Jell-O shots do indeed span the generations!

Happy National Vodka Day 2011!

Lemon Drop Jell-O Shots

A fun way to do shots, these shots can be made with any sort of citrus.  We found our water/vodka ratio to be not too "alcoholy", yet still fun.

2 6 oz boxes Lemon Jell-O
1 1/2 cups vodka
1 cup water
12-14 lemons

Scrub lemons.  Cut lemons in half.  With a small paring knife, cut as much of the lemon away from the rind as you can.  With the tip of the knife, or simply your fingernail, scratch at the membranes until you can "peel" the remaining membranes from the rind, you will be left with an empty 1/2 lemon rind. (Kind of like peeling from the inside out).

Stand the rinds in mini muffin tins.  Set aside.

Prepare jiggler recipe for the jello using two boxes (6 oz) of jello and 2 1/2 cups of liquid.  (At this point you may adjust the vodka level to suit your tastes, I have read recipes replacing 1/4 cups of vodka for 1/4 cup of water to others using 100% vodka.  Use what works for you and prepare Jell-O as directed, just keep the liquid amount to 2 1/2 cups).

We heated 1 cup of water and stirred the Jell-O until the sugar was dissolved.  We then added 1 1/2 cups of vodka to the jello and stirred to combine, then poured the Jell-O into the prepared lemon shells.

Place the mini muffin pan holding the shells into the fridge and chill overnight. 

To serve, simply cut the "lemon" halves into wedges and arrange on a plate.  Enjoy!


  1. These are so cute and fun! I bet they are even funner to eat too. =)

  2. I love these!!! They are so cute and I am so happy you showed us how to do it!!!!! Love it :)
    Laura @ A Healthy Jalapeño

  3. I love it. I would probably have to use all three citrus flavors so I could decide which I like best. I also like your ratio since I'm not huge into boozy taste. Very, very cool idea.

    I know I could ask for sugar from neighbors, but am not sure how the vodka thing would go over. :)

  4. Oh, you mastered these! I really want to make these for my book club...they're just SO pretty! Not sure what sort of intellectual discussion we'd get into after a few of these gems :)

  5. HOLEY MOLEY - How did I not know National Vodka Day was tomorrow? Should I spike the American Women's Club Meeting tomorrow and surprise them? :-) Just kidding....I won't...unless it's boring... lol

    xoxo thanks for bringing this to my attention...

  6. Oh my goodness, first I didn't have an idea that there is such a day, and second..wowwwwwww I am so impressed Kim! What a great pics and method that you made those..Wonderfully done!!!

  7. How cool are you? These are amazing! Bright, colorful, and full of booze! A trifecta of deliciousness!

  8. These are super cute! I don't really do shot, but this make me want to have some! Bookmarking this recipe for party ideas. ;-)

  9. These are super cute. What a perfect way to celebrate national vodka day!!

  10. Kim,
    Happy Vodka Day! Your Lemon Jello Shots are the perfect way to celebrate, so bright and festive. I'll have to make these for Bunco

  11. There's such a thing as national vodka day? Wow, what a great way to celebrate!

  12. Definitely a fun way to celebrate national vodka day! :D

  13. I love it! I have made the regular jell-o shots for parties before but this is an awesome idea! I was looking at the picture and trying to figure out how you did it! lol Then I read the rest of the post. Thank you for a wonderful idea for my next party!

  14. I had no idea that today was national vodka day...what a way to celebrate huh?! I love how you used the lemon wedge. Such a great idea!

  15. Eee! Kim, these are *awesome*! And I agree that the icing on the cake is definitely the final presentation - before I even read your post I sat staring at your first picture. They're adorable and perfect for a party. :D the story of borrowing alcohol from the neighbor. XD I'm glad he found it as funny as I did!

  16. I feel a boozy weekend coming on! I've been too afraid to try these, but looking at your photos makes me want to give it a shot! Tee hee... Get it? Shot...

  17. oh wow! how cool are these!!! I looooove the presentation!

  18. My neighbor and I are always making ingredient requests...but vodka has never been one of them :) These look like such fun!

  19. wow these looks great I had jelly vodka and they're like a bomb , I love how you made them so beautiful and fun :)

  20. Pretty cool! The trick with using a half lemon and then cutting the wedges is certainly not obvious.

    I'm not a Jello shot kind of guy, but I'd have to try this just because they are so neat.


  21. I tried a kid-friendly version of these a long time ago and they didn't turn out so cute. I think I made the jello too flimsy. Still fun though! And eow- what a generous neighbor to give you that much vodka!!! Lol

  22. National Vodka Day? How did my family not know about this. Next year I am sure there will be a hoopla. These little jell-o shots are adorable!

  23. Stumbled upon this pic while browsing thru kitchenartistry...loved it!
    Amazing pic n idea!


  24. Definitely a fun way to celebrate national vodka day! :D


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