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These Sparkling Watermelon Jello Shots are just as fun as they sound and give jello shots an exciting, delicious new reputation.
This recipe …out of left field or right smack dab in “this makes sense” town? Asking for a friend.
I am so excited to bring you a (healthier?) jello shot recipe, you guys. SO EXCITED. Thinking back to Summertime adventures growing up, I remember getaways to the lake on Memorial Day Weekend with my parent’s friends. There were jet skis (such a fun workout), s’mores, potluck food spreads, and (for the adults only) jello shots. While we didn’t partake in the shots, I filed them away for “one day I’mma try one of those.”
Then college happened and I tasted a couple (typical) gross (too strong) shots and wrote them off. I was not, it turns out, interested in bright red jello that made me dizzy. WELL FOLKS, if you were burned by gross jello shots in the past, I have a treat for you. These little cuties are tasty, easy to make and even call for healthier ingredients like fresh fruit and gelatin.
What are jello shots?
Exactly what they sound like! Jello shots are bite-sized portions of alcohol-infused jello. Though jello is typically a kid-friendly snack, jello shots are definitely an adult-only party treat! Typically, they are made with a package of Jell-O, boiling water, and vodka or other liquor of choice, but today we’re skipping the artificial watermelon flavor and using fresh watermelon instead!
Watermelon Jello Shot Ingredients
These watermelon jello shots are super easy and made with better-for-you ingredients! Here’s what you’ll need to add to your grocery list to be party-ready with a batch of sparkling jello shots:
- Watermelon – you’ll need 3 cups (about 1½ pounds) of fresh cubed seedless watermelon for this recipe. Save your halved watermelon rind to serve the jello shots in a ‘watermelon bowl’ later!
- Lime Juice – ¼ cup of lime juice gets added to the mix also. We prefer fresh lime juice over bottled always, so if you go the fresh route like we did, the juice from 2 limes should be just right!
- Gin – you’ll use ¾ cup gin here. You can totally swap the gin for vodka if gin isn’t your thing, or even use tequila for a margarita-style spin if you wish!
- Honey – rather than using the typical too-sweet jello container mix, we’ll sweeten our jello shots with ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons of honey (our favorite natural sweetener!) for a really yummy, better-for-you twist on traditional jello shots!
- Gelatin – gelatin (we used THIS unflavored gelatin) will, of course, turn our fruity mixture into bouncy jello! We’ll use ⅓ cup here.
- Prosecco – here’s where the ‘sparkling’ in sparkling jello shots comes into play! You’ll use 1 bottle of prosecco in this recipe!
How to Make Jello Shots
It’s super easy! Here’s how to make this yummy adult-only treat!
- Blend – blend the cubed watermelon in a high-speed blender (we LOVE this one…it’s a splurge, but totally worth it!) until fully liquified. Then, pour the watermelon into a large mixing bowl using a fine-mesh strainer to remove the remaining watermelon pulp.
- Combine Watermelon, Lime Juice, Honey, and Gin – once your watermelon is pulp-free, stir to combine the watermelon juice, lime juice, honey, and gin large bowl.
- Combine Gelatin + Prosecco – in a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the gelatin and one cup of prosecco (we’re swapping in prosecco for a cup of water here to avoid watered-down jello shots!). Cook the mixture for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until gelatin dissolves and the mixture becomes foamy and doubles in size (it will foam A LOT, but this allows us to not have to water down the shots). Remove the gelatin + prosecco mixture from heat and let sit 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk it all Together – once cooled, whisk the gelatin mixture into the watermelon mixture, and add in the remaining prosecco.
- Pour – once everything is fully combined, pour the jello shots into a 9×13 inch baking dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until set, then, using a large knife, cut into 1-inch cubes and serve! For a fun twist, you can instead fill a hollowed-out watermelon half with the jello shot mixture, then cut it into slices just like you would a regular watermelon once set!
How long does it take jello shots to set?
Your jello shots will take at least 4 hours to set in the fridge, so be sure to plan accordingly! You can totally make them in advance and store them in the fridge until you’re ready to enjoy!
More Adult Beverage Recipes
- Place the watermelon in a high-speed blender and blend until fully liquid.
- Pour the watermelon through a fine mesh strainer to remove remaining watermelon pulp.
- In a large bowl, whisk to combine the watermelon juice, lime juice, honey, and gin.
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat, whisk together the gelatin and one cup prosecco. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until gelatin dissolves and mixture becomes foamy and doubles in size. Remove from heat and let sit 5-10 minutes.
- Whisk the gelatin mixture into the watermelon mixture along with the remaining prosecco.
- Once fully combined, pour the jello shots into a 9x13 inch baking dish and refrigerate for at least 4 hours until set, then cut into 1-inch cubes and serve!
I saw honey listed twice… once as 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP & at the end of the recipe as just 1/4 cup… bit only saw it in the recipe once…. is it being listed in 2 different amounts twice an error?
Amber Link says
That was a mistake! It should be 1/4 cup plus 2 TBSP total.
Could you make this recipe with other fruit? Say, raspberries or strawberries?
Amber Goulden says
Yes, I’ve done it with strawberries before! They are a little less juicy than watermelon though so I’d reduce the gelatin by 2 tablespoons.
Could I omit the alcohol and replace with water?
Amber Goulden says
Yes, absolutely! You could also use juice if you’d like.
Would love a clarification! Where it says “Cook for 10 minutes, stirring continuously, until gelatin dissolves and mixture becomes foamy and doubles in size. Remove from heat and let cook 5-10 minutes.”
Does that mean let it REST for 5-10min once its removed from the heat?
Amber Goulden says
Yes, it should say let rest!
Samantha Wood says
I followed the recipe and left in fridge over night and they have not gotten hard yet. Any suggestions? It’s been over 24 hours.