Whether you’ve been out of college a few months or a few decades, I’m sure you remember a night when you and a few Jello shots got a little too cozy, and things got out of hand. Sticky fingers, artificial colors, acrid flavors, and one hell of a hangover—sound familiar?
Well, I’m here to tell you that there’s no need to write off Jello shots (or their estranged cousin, the pudding shot) just yet. Don’t worry, there will be no recipes for plastic-handle-vodka-Jaeger-and-strawberry-Jello shooters. These feature lots of bourbon and, dare we say it, actually taste good!
Let’s start with an old standby: chocolate pudding. Simple, right?
What about with bourbon, pistachios, and sea salt?
That’s what I thought. This gorgeous recipe, from Verses From My Kitchen, is more of a pudding-with-bourbon versus a true pudding shot, but all you would have to do is sub out as much (or a little) of the coffee as you would like with bourbon
You really can’t talk about upscale shooters without mentioning The Jello Mold Mistress of Brooklyn. Her site is an embarrassment of riches, but two of my favorites are the Honey Bourbon Peach Smash (which technically uses a honey liqueur, but it’s so damn good you won’t care) and the Black Berry Mint Julep. Both recipes start with unflavored gelatin, so there are no artificial colors or flavors.
But maybe you don’t want to deal with sheets of gelatin sticking to your fingers, or you’re just in a rush.
That’s alright. Sweet Tea Bourbon shots, like these:
All you have to do for these is replace the liquid called for in the Peach or Lemon box directions with half bourbon, half sweet-tea. And as for the lemon rind presentation: cut a lemon in half, scoop out the innards, refill with Jello. Once the Jello is set, then slice into smaller wedges.
And even though the weather is taking a bit of time to cool down, the time is ripe for festive pudding shots. This Eggnog Pudding Shot would be perfect around Christmas, but if you can’t wait, it would be easy enough to make a Pumpkin Pie version—use milk steeped with chai tea in place of the eggnog, and pumpkin puree instead of the CoolWhip.
So there you go. Bourbon makes everything better–even Jello shots.