Blueberry Martini Jello Shots
My friend Chris invited me to a barbecue last weekend, and wanting to be a good BBQ guest like Deb at Smitten Kitchen, I offered to bake a pie. It turns out, though, no one who was attending the BBQ was very excited at the prospect of pie. Who would’ve thunk it?! Geez, how can anyone not like pie? Pies are delicious; it’s jammy fruit in a buttery flaky crust! So then I thought of making a watermelon tomato salad with olives, but after showing Chris the recipe, her response was, “Uh, that’s weird.” Back to the drawing board, I searched the Internet, but nothing seemed really interesting. A few days later I was still lost, but after a few glasses of sangria with friends, it finally dawned on me, ‘My friends are lushes, why not make jello shots?’
I didn’t want to make regular jello shots though, I mean my college days are far behind me. So I googled “gourmet jello shots” and I came up with a Los Angeles Times adapted recipe for Blueberry Martini Jelly Shots from Bar Nineteen 12 in Beverly Hills. It was exactly what I needed, jello for adults, or as I like to call them, ‘jello for the grown and sexy.’ I emailed Chris with my idea and she responded with one word, “Nice!”
I made a few modifications to the recipe to make my life easier. The recipe calls for sheets of gelatin. I opted to use gelatin powder instead since it can be found in regular supermarkets (I used Knox Gelatine). As for setting the jello, the recipe has you use half-ounce silicone molds — since these shots are meant to be picked up with your fingers and eaten — but I didn’t want to go out and buy molds, so I ended up using an ice tray. It worked nicely except for the fact that each cube was bigger than a half-ounce, so I ended up with about twenty shots instead of thirty-five. I would double this recipe if you are going to take the ice cube route. In addition, I would avoid using ice trays with really large ice cube molds. If that’s the only type of tray you have, don’t fill it all the way to the top. You don’t want to bite into a giant cube of hard gelatin. It’s not as tasty. I also added more blueberries per shot because I thought it looked cheesy to have only one lone blueberry in each cube.
The jello shots were a hit at the BBQ, especially amongst the girls. The shots were cold, refreshing, and made for some summer fun. One of the girls thought they were a bit strong, but she doesn’t drink much, so if you are making these for the non-drinking crowd, I would mix in some water and perhaps some more simple syrup so they’re weaker. Also, the texture of these shots are harder than normal jello shots; a cross between jello and gummy bears. One of the guys wasn’t too crazy about the texture, but then again I notice a lot of men aren’t into candies of the gummy sort, so if harder jello freaks you out, you can add less gelatin or serve them after leaving them out for a while.
I can’t wait to experiment with these jello shots. The possibilities seem endless. I’m thinking mojito shots, lychee saketini shots, sangria shots…. So next time you’re a BBQ guest, and no one likes pie, make these jello shots. Vodka + Gelatin = SCORE!
Blueberry Martini Jello Shots
(Adapted from an adapted recipe by the LA Times for Blueberry martini jelly shots at Bar Nineteen 12)
Total time: 25 minutes, plus overnight chilling
Servings: About 20 Shots (more if you use 1/2 ounce molds instead of an ice tray)
10 1/2 ounces Stoli Blueberry vodka
2 ounces simple syrup* (add more if blueberries are sour)
3 1/2 (1/4 ounce) packets of gelatin powder
About 60 fresh blueberries (more if the blueberries are small)
1. Off heat, combine the vodka and simple syrup in a small saucepan. Add gelatin powder to the vodka mixture.
2. Heat the saucepan over low heat, stirring, until the gelatin is dissolved and incorporated into the vodka mixture, about 5 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat.
3. Place a few blueberries in the bottom of each individual ice cube mold, and carefully pour the vodka mixture into each. Refrigerate the ice cube tray until set, preferably overnight. These cocktails will keep, refrigerated, for as long as 2 days.
*To make simple syrup, combine equal parts sugar and water in a saucepan, and stir over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.