In honor of Mardi Gras, Chowhound turned three classic New Orleans cocktails into elegant jelly shots—which is generally the non-branded term used to denote fancier Jell-O shots. And these certainly are elegant, but they’re also still pretty potent. (So be sure to have plenty of proper Mardi Gras food on hand to counter their effects, and complement their festivity.)
They look especially pretty because instead of the traditional paper or plastic cups, they’re made in baking pans and cut into cubes to reveal the layering. And they’re balanced and not too sweet, just the way a proper cocktail should be mixed.
If you still prefer your jelly shots (or Jello shots) quick and trashy, allow native New Orleanian Poppy Tooker to show you how they’re done:
But for those who believe frat party-style Jell-O shots are best left behind them, keep scrolling.
And for the curious—or cautious—we’ve also calculated how many jelly shots it would take to equal the alcohol in one cocktail…so you can plan (and consume) accordingly! These are just the thing for a Mardi Gras party, whether you serve them as an alternative to traditional drinks or a boozy Mardi Gras dessert (and unlike bananas Foster, no open flames are involved!), but be sure to keep them out of reach of kids.
Knox Original Unflavored Gelatin, $8.43 at Walmart
Each of our recipes relies on unflavored gelatin for jiggle that doesn't interfere with their sophisticated flavors.
Related Reading: Everything You Need to Know About Gelatin
6 jelly shots = 1 Hurricane Cocktail
Dark rum and high-quality maraschino cherries star in these little beauties, which also benefit from grenadine and passion fruit juice. Get our Hurricane Jelly Shots recipe.
Luxardo Gourmet Maraschino Cherries, 2 jars for $29.84 on Amazon
These dark, lush Italian imports are a far cry from the neon-red maraschino cherries you know from well drinks.
8 to 9 jelly shots = 1 Ramos Gin Fizz Cocktail
A base of whipped cream, citrus juices, gelatin, and gin is gilded with a top layer bright with orange blossom water, orange zest, and club soda. Couldn’t hurt to add a little gold leaf if you’re feeling extra-fancy. Get our Ramos Gin Fizz Jelly Shots recipe.
Cortas Orange Blossom Water, $6.87 on Amazon
Add fragrant orange blossom water to all sorts of drinks, desserts, and savory dishes.
5 jelly shots = 1 Sazerac Cocktail
Classic Bitters Variety Pack, 3 for $36.94 on Amazon
Get a trio of classic bitters, two of which (Angostura and Peychaud's) are called for in this recipe alone.
Related Video: Get the Party Started with These Mardi Gras Cocktails
Header image by Chowhound.