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Can You Freeze Jell-O Shots?

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Nothing gets a party going quite like a tray of Jell-O shots! These sweet, brightly colored single-serve drinks give a fun alcoholic twist to a childhood favorite.

But what if you’re short on time and trying to whip up a batch in a pinch, or have leftover Jell-O shots—is your freezer the solution?

So, can you freeze Jell-O shots? If you’ve left your party preparation until the last minute, the freezer can be used to quickly chill and set Jell-O shots. However, Jell-O shots should not be frozen completely, as the texture will become grainy and unpalatable.

Have you left your party prep to the last minute? Or maybe you’ve got a load of Jell-O shots leftover from a party?

Let’s take a look to see what happens if you put Jell-O shots in the freezer and find the best way to store these alcoholic treats!

What Are Jell-O Shots?

Firstly, we’d just like to say that Jell-O shots are not just for college students! In recent years they have become popular with all ages, giving a fun alcoholic kick to any party.

But what exactly are Jell-O shots? Jell-O shots are a mix of Jell-O—or any other type of jelly—with an alcoholic liqueur or spirit. And with a huge range of jelly flavors and alcohols to choose from, the possibilities are endless!

Jelly shots can be made with any color or flavor of Jell-O, and any other type of jelly will also work perfectly well. As we all know, jelly comes in some amazing colors, so these little shots are bright, fun, and definitely not for kids!

How To Make Jell-O Shots

The best thing about Jell-O shots is how easy they are to make. And with so many options available, you really can get fun and creative with your party preparations!

To make the shots, check your packet of Jell-O to see how much water is recommended.

You then need to decide how strong you want to make them—a mix of half water and half alcohol normally works well, although for stronger spirits it is a good idea to make them a bit weaker.

When you’ve decided how much water to use, pour this amount of boiling water into a jug and add the Jell-O powder. Whisk until the powder is dissolved, then add your alcohol and stir well.

Pour the liquid into shot glasses and place them into the refrigerator. As they cool, the jelly will set, giving you a firm-ish jelly which can be enjoyed straight from the shot glass.

Can I Freeze Jell-O Shots?

The thing to remember when making jelly shots is that alcohol does not set into a solid. So, when you’ve chilled your shots in the refrigerator, they will always be slightly wobblier and runnier than normal alcohol-free Jell-O.

So, what if you’ve left it until the last minute to make Jell-O shots, or they are just not setting properly in the fridge – can you freeze Jell-O shots?

Putting Jell-O shots in the freezer can be a good way to speed up the setting process. If you are throwing a last-minute party, you can make your Jell-O shots and pop them on a tray in the freezer.

Just make sure that you put the tray securely on a level surface, as spilt jelly could be a nightmare to clean from the freezer!

However, if you leave your Jell-O shots in the freezer for too long, the texture will begin to change.

The aim is to chill them to a temperature slightly lower than your refrigerator, without freezing them. This will help them to fully set and become as firm as possible.

Once the Jell-O shot starts to freeze, strange things will begin to happen. The water crystals and gelatin inside the jelly will freeze solid, but the alcohol will remain as a liquid.

This means that your Jell-O shot will take on an odd, grainy texture – still perfectly edible but not to everyone’s taste!

If you have leftover jelly shots, then the freezer is not a great place to store them. Because of the high alcohol content, they will never freeze solid in a domestic freezer, and will have an unappetizing grainy texture.

Theoretically, you could store leftover Jell-O shots in the freezer, as they would still be edible. However, the grainy texture will remain even when they are defrosted, and the jelly may become mushy and sloppy.

If you really need to freeze your Jell-O shots, make sure they are in an airtight container and do not freeze for more than a few weeks. Defrost in a refrigerator before serving, or they can be consumed straight from the freezer.

But don’t panic, it isn’t the end of the road for your leftover jelly shots! The freezer may not be the answer, but we can tell you how to store your Jell-O shots to keep them at their best.

Best Way To Store Jell-O Shots

So, if the freezer is not a good place to store jelly shots, where should we be keeping them? Luckily, prepared jelly has a long shelf life, and the added alcohol will also act as a preservative.

This means that, if stored properly, Jell-O shots can be kept ready to eat pretty much whenever you want one!

(But obviously, as responsible adults, we’d advise keeping your Jell-O shots for parties and special occasions only! They are definitely not recommended as a breakfast treat…)

Jell-O shots will keep fresh for up to 4 days in the refrigerator. To keep them fresh for as long as possible, store the shot glasses in an airtight container, away from strongly flavored or smelly foods. 

Jelly easily soaks up flavors and smells, so putting the Jell-O shots next to strong cheese or fish could give you some interesting flavors!

Putting plastic wrap over each shot glass can be a worthwhile precaution to keep them tasting fresh and fruity.

Your Jell-O shots will keep for up to 4 days in the fridge if stored in this way. They may last for even longer but check carefully for signs of mold or badness before consuming them.

The long shelf life of these colorful shots makes them the perfect ‘prepare in advance’ party treat!

Related Questions

Now that we’ve gone over how to best freeze Jell-O shots if you’re in a pinch, let’s take a look at a few related questions on the subject!

What do I do with leftover Jell-O shots?

Leftover Jell-O shots will keep for up to 4 days in the refrigerator, but if you’ve got some left over from a party it is unlikely that you’ll be sat downing shots in your pajamas the next evening!

So, what can we do with these leftovers before they go bad?

Well, like any other leftover food, it is time to get creative! And we think the perfect way to make use of leftover jelly shots is to make them into adult-only desserts.

As each shot only contains a tiny amount of alcohol, this will be just enough to give a classy kick to your after-dinner treat without overdoing it on the vodka or rum.

Here are some great suggestions for turning your Jell-O shots into a dessert:

  • Jell-O shot trifle
  • Jell-O fruit salad
  • Jell-O & ice cream sundae

How long do Jell-O shots last out of the fridge?

Jell-O shots will keep at their best in the refrigerator. At warmer temperatures, they may start to become runny and loose their firm jelly texture. It is best to keep them refrigerated until you are ready to consume them.

If you do want to take them out of the fridge sooner, they should be eaten within 30 minutes. Put them in a cool place away from direct sunlight.

If you are at an outdoor event, such as a barbecue or pool party, use a cool box and ice packs to keep your Jell-O shots from melting.

How can I tell if my Jell-O shots have gone bad? 

So, we’ve said that your Jell-O shots can be kept for up to 4 days in the refrigerator—great news if you want to prepare them in advance for a party! 

But what if you’re not quite sure if they’re ok to eat? Maybe someone left them out for too long, or a friend left some after a party and you don’t know how old they are.

Here is how to tell if your Jell-O shots have gone bad:

  • Pockets of watery liquid develop in or on the jelly
  • The jelly tastes bitter and sharp
  • The surface of the jelly develops a layer of mold

As with any food item which may have gone bad, if in doubt, throw it out!

What are some of the best Jell-O shot recipes?

The amazing thing about Jell-O shots is that it gives us a chance to get fun and creative with our party treats. With a huge range of colors, flavors, and alcohols to play with, the possibilities are endless!

Here are some fabulous Jell-O shot recipes to help any party go off with a bang:

  • Whiskey sour – bourbon & lemon jelly
  • Strawberry daiquiri – rum, lime juice & strawberry jelly
  • Bloody Mary – vodka, tomato juice & plain jelly
  • Pina Colada – rum & pineapple jelly

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