Except for when Maggy and Sharon were sick, I never made jello, and I didn’t go to a college where jello shots were a regular on the weekend menu.
All of that changed a few days ago when I was planning the menu for a nice dinner party and decided to include a palate cleanser, which for me has always been sorbet—grapefruit-grenadine or apple cider-rosemary, for example. To keep the sorbets soft and supple, I always stir in a shot of vodka…
Which got me thinking about jello shots and how I’d never had one before. And how I’d always wanted to make jello from real fruit juice rather than the artificial stuff from a box.
So I tried it… and I liked! I decided on orange so I could use their shells as natural cups. I supplemented the fresh-squeezed orange juice with a natural orange soda. Not only did it reinforce the orange flavor, it offered subtle effervescence.
I added vodka too, which clearly gave this concoction kick. For intergenerational gatherings, simply substitute an extra cup of orange juice.
I’m away this holiday with my parents in Florida, but Maggy, Andy, Sharon, and Anothony will gather with David on Easter Sunday. I may not be there in person, but I’ll certainly be there in spirit! Before you guys start the meal, make sure to check the garage refrigerator. I left you Sparkling Orange Jello Shots–one per person please!
Sparkling Fresh Orange Jello Shots
Makes 10 orange cups, serving up to 20
If you’re looking to make these non-alcoholic, simply replace the vodka with additional orange juice or orange soda. This recipe easily halves.
5 large oranges
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup vodka
1 can (1 1/2 cups) good quality orange soda such as Orangina or orange flavored San Pellegrino
Halve oranges and squeeze their juice (you’ll need 1 1/2 cups). Scrape pulp from each orange half to make a clean shell. Set orange cups in a muffin tin.
In a medium saucepan dissolve gelatin in 1/2 cup of the orange juice. Whisk in sugar over low heat until gelatin and sugar melt. Remove pan from heat and add vodka, San Pellegrino, and remaining orange juice.
Lay oranges in muffin tins and fill with jell-o mixture. Place the pan in the fridge and chill for at least four hours.