Back in my young twenties I was living in DC and my group of friends would frequently go to a bar called Millie and Als. They had this crazy promotion every night that involved an enormous light bulb over the bar. When the light bulb was on, jelly shots were $1.
This was a fun promotion and we took full advantage of it on many weekends. Then we got friendly with one of the bartenders one night and she revealed a stunning fact: Jelly shots were always $1. They just turned on the light to get people interested.
Fact number two was that the jelly shots were mostly jelly and very little shot.
Anyway, these shots are not those shots. Not only do they look cool, but they have a delicious cherry lime flavor and pack a serious punch. If you’re on your game, you can still make them for New Year’s Eve!
1) To make lime shells, juice limes. If you use very fresh limes, you should be able to turn the lime skins inside out and scratch off the insides with a knife. Then return them to their normal shape. Work slowly with them though and be careful not to tear them.
Optionally, you can also just make these shots in disposable mini cups and not do the lime idea.
2) To make the shot mixture stir together water, sugar, and lime juice.
3) Sprinkle gelatin on top of liquid and let it sit for a few minutes to dissolve (bloom). Stir together well. If there are lumps of gelatin in the mixture, microwave the mixture for 30 seconds on high and stir to try to help dissolve all the gelatin. You might not be able to get it all 100% dissolved which is fine.
4) Once gelatin is mostly dissolved, stir in vodka, cherry liquor, and grenadine.
5) Immediately pour mixture into limes or cups.
6) Refrigerate for at least four hours so shot mixture can gel.
7) Slice lime halves in half and serve cold!
The Lime Situation
You need a lot of fresh squeezed lime juice to make this recipe work. The cherry liquor is pretty sweet and so lots of lime juice helps to balance the sweetness.
Since I was juicing a bunch of limes anyway, I decided it would be fun to actually serve the shots in the lime shells. This requires a bit of work and is far from necessary, but it does look cool.
I wasn’t sure which slicing direction would be best for making the lime cups so I tried cutting them in both directions. It works best if you cut the lime in half through the ends so you can see the middle line down the lime.
The lime in the above photo that is cut cross-wise so you can see all the individual lime segments isn’t the right way to cut it because it makes it very hard for the lime to sit flat.
Once you’ve juiced all your limed, you need to scrape out all the skins and stuff on the inside of each half.
I’ll be honest. This is a pain in the butt. The best way I found to get all that skin off the inside of the lime is to carefully turn the lime half inside out! If you have fresh limes, they should be flexible enough to do this.
Then you can use a paring knife to carefully peel off the skin on the inside. It requires a bit of patience because if you tear the skin obviously you can’t later fill it with liquid.
I tore a few but was able to get most of them pretty clean. They don’t have to be perfect.
Shots! Shots! Shots!
These shots are pretty easy to make but you do need some cherry liquor which probably isn’t something you have in your liquor cabinet.
The only trick about mixing the shots is to make sure you dissolve your gelatin well before filling your cups or limes.
Use hot water and mix it with sugar and fresh lime juice. Then sprinkle your gelatin over the liquid and it should dissolve after a few minutes.
If you notice that the gelatin is clumping in your liquid just microwave it for 30 seconds and that should help it dissolve. Try to dissolve the gelatin as much as you can. There may be a few lumps here and there which is fine.
Once the gelatin is mostly dissolved you can add your booze and grenadine!
Now just pour the mixture into your limes.
Obviously, if you don’t want to do the lime thing you can also just use mini disposable cups.
Also, you may not have enough limes to use all the filling so have a few cups on hand also.
These guys will gel quickly in the fridge. I left mine in the fridge and they were solid after four hours which is pretty quick.
Once they come out just carefully cut each lime section in half and you’ll have these beautiful little shot segments!
Not only do these look cool, but they are really delicious also. The cherry and lime flavors go perfectly together.