Jell-O Shooter FAQ Page
For starters, FAQ is short for Frequently Asked Questions. And this page is to answer questions, so you don't have to e-mail me and wait for an answer to many of the commonly asked questions about this site.

Q: Who invented the Jell-O shooter ?

A: According to The Boston Globe January 1, 1984, while in the army, Tom Lehrer, who was working for the National Security Agency, developed vodka Jell-O. This was done as a way to circumvent a restriction on alcoholic beverages on base (Jell-O is not a beverage). Knox Gelatine has a recipe for Wine Gelatine in their recipe book since at least 1934, though.

Q: Why Jell-o shooters and cocktails? Wouldn't it be easier just to make regular drinks?

A: Yeah, it probably would be easier just to mix up a few drinks, but would they be as much fun? And if you consider the average cost of a small package of Jell-o is 55 ¢ (US) and bottles of juice or mixers start at $ 2.00 (US), Jell-O is quite a bargain. Also, if you have ever spilled a cocktail on your keyboard, you know how messy and sticky they are. A Jell-O shot will just wiggle and jiggle when knocked over and not seep in between the keys on your keyboard.

Q: Why name these things after Oklahoma Bands ?

A: Why not? I could have named these things after anything, so why not after bands in a music scene that I like. Who knows maybe a few of you will not only discover some tasty shooters, but be introduced to a few cool bands as well.

Q: How much liquid do I use per package of Jell-O ?

A: Small packages of Jell-O and Knox Gelatine packets contain two tablespoons of gelatine. That will gel 2 cups of liquid. In other words, the proportions for one small box of Jell-O or one Knox packet is 2 cups of liquid. Large Boxes of Jell-O are double that, so double the amount of liquid. Gelatine will NOT set if too much liquid has been added. To be on the safe side, add a little less liquid than required, or you might wind up with alcoholic consommé.

Q: Do I need to use boiling water with Jell-O ?

A: YES! Boiling water dissolves the gelatine. Some other brands of gelatine, such as Kosher and Seaweed ones don't always require boiling water. When in doubt, read the package directions.

Q: How much alcohol can I use ?

A: Only 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the 2 cup liquid content of a batch of Jell-O shooters should be alcohol. Anymore and it might not set. The lower the proof the more alcohol you can probably jell. Before you decide to use a 1/2 Cup of Everclear in your next batch, remember when consuming Jell-O alcohol shots, you won't taste the alcohol going down, but in a few minutes you will feel it hit your bloodstream, when the gelatine dissolves in your stomach. Yeah, I know. Nag. Nag...

Q: What if I don't have all the various kinds of alcohol, can I still make these shooters?

A: Sure. You just need to make a few adjustments. You can take white Brandy, Vodka or any clear fairly flavorless liquor and add flavorings such as powdered Kool-Aid mix, extracts, coffee syrups or juices.

Emergency Substitutions
  • Absinthe - Penrod, Anisette, Ouzo (add oil of wormwood extract or soak wormwood leaves in alcohol for 48 hours at own risk).
  • Creme de Menthe - Peppermint Schnapps.
  • Cinnamon Schnapps -soak several Red Hots (or other cinnamon candy) in Peppermint Schnapps or Vodka for a few hours to extract Cinnamon flavor.
  • Cointreau, Curaçao or Grand Marnier - 1 part Triple Sec to 1 part Brandy, or Triple Sec alone, or 2 parts Orange juice to 2 parts Vodka.
  • Frangelico -3 parts White Brandy or Vodka to 1 part Hazelnut Syrup.
  • Kahlua- Creme De Coffee or 2 parts Coffee, 1 part sugar, and 2 parts Vodka with a dash of cream or milk.
  • Grand Marnier- 1 part Triple Sec to 2 parts Brandy.
  • Grenadine- dash each of Strawberry, Raspberry, Cherry, Pomegranate (if you can find it) or Lime or Lemon flavorings (Kool-Aid works well) mixed with water or Vodka, or Lime or Lemon juice with dashes of Raspberry, Strawberry and Cherry Pomegranate, (if you can find it) syrups.
  • Jamaican and other Dark Rum- 4 parts White Rum to 1 part brown sugar or Molasses. or 1 part Rum extract to 1 part Vodka.
  • Mead- 1 part honey to 1 part vodka.
  • Midori- soak pieces of crushed Melon covered with sugar (honeydew, preferably) in Vodka or Brandy for a few hours to extract Melon flavor.
  • Midori- 1 part Lime juice, 1 part Lemon juice, 1 part sugar, and 1 part Brandy or Vodka.
  • Orgeat- 1 part almond extract or syrup to 3 parts orange juice.
  • Vermouth- White Wine
1 part = any equal part
1 1/2 oz. = 1 shot = 44 milliliters
Bar Measurements=Standard Bar Measurements
1 Dash/Splash=1/32 ounce
1 Teaspoon=1/8 ounce
1 Tablespoon=3/8 ounce
1 Pony=1 ounce
1 Jigger/Bar glass=1 1/2 ounces
1 Wineglass=4 ounces
1 Split=6 ounces
1 Cup=8 ounces
1 Cup=16 Tablespoons
1 Cup=1/2 Pint
2 Cups=1 Pint
1/4 Cup=4 Tablespoons
1/3 Cup=5 and 1/3 Tablespoons
1/2 Cup=8 Tablespoons
2/3 Cup=10 AND 2/3 Tablespoons
1 Tablespoon=1/2 fluid ounce
2 Tablespoons=1 fluid ounce
1 Tablespoon=3 Teaspoons
3 Tablespoons=1 shot (1 1/2 ounce)

Metric Conversions
1 fluid ounce=29.573 milliliters
1 quart=9.4635 deciliters
1 gallon=3.7854 liters
3.3814 fluid ounce=1 milliliter
33.814 fluid ounces=1 liter
1.0567 quarts=1 liter
0.26417 gallon=1 centiliter
10 milliliters=1 centiliter
10 centiliters=1 deciliter
10 deciliters=1 liter

Other Measurements

English                                 Metric
-------------------------------------   -------------------
Fifth  = 4/5 Qt. = 1/5 Gal. = 25.6 oz   750 ml = 25.5 oz
Pint   = 1/2 Quart     = 16 oz          500 ml = 17.0 oz
Half-Pint  = 1/2 pint  = 8 oz           200 ml =  6.8 oz
Half-Gallon            = 64 oz          1750 ml = 59.7 oz
Quart                  = 32 oz          1000 ml = 34.1 oz

Q: What if I don't have all the various kinds of Jell-O, can I still make these shooters?

A: Sure. The easiest way is take a package of Knox Gelatine and combine it with a package of sweetened Kool-Aid, or any other other powdered drink mix, of the desired flavor. Or you could use unsweetened Kool-Aid and add a 1/2 Cup Sugar. Or you can replace the water with the juice of the desired flavor.

Q: How do I get the jell-o shooters firmer?

A: Easy, double the ammount of gelatine without increasing the ammount of liquid. If you don't want to have pudding shots you can bounce like a rubber ball, I recommend substituting the large package, or 2 small jell-o packages, for a small jell-o package and a Knox gelatine packet. For some reason, Knox firms up stiffer than Jell-O.

Q: Why don't all the recipes liquid use 2 cups for a small batch and 4 for a large?

A: Flavor. Sometimes adding a 1/4 of a cup of something instead of a couple tablespoons will overpower the other flavors instead of enhancing the shot. Triple Sec in particular. It's a really strong bitter orange flavor that can overwhelm delicate flavored liquors and many gelatine flavors. Ease of measurments. I imagine most of us don't want to make shots with all the flavors divided into tablespoons and teaspoons. If you want your batch of Jell-O shooters to have 2 cups of liquid (or 4 cups if it a large batch), you could measure all the cool liquids together and top it off with water or a flavorless liquor, like vodka or everclear.

For further information on alcoholic Jell-O recipes, go to the expert The Jellophile.