Lemon Jello Shots for grown up parties

Lemon Drop Jello Shots-3

Two years ago we made these to add some zest to the birthday party of one of the coolest people we know in Dubai, Sueraya Shaheen. We had planned on baking her a cake, but thought that this would be a kitchsy way to celebrate her birthday, one that she would appreciate as an artist herself as would her guests from the progressive art scene in the Middle East.  Needless to say, it was a blast.

Jello immediately throws everyone back to a much-loved childhood treat. Spiked jello in the form of shots conjure an almost necessary right of passage into adulthood for many. Elevating the presentation as we did by using the actual lemon rinds, makes it actually posh to do it again way past age 21. 

Lemon Drop Jello Shots-2

We have so many of these posts that we prepared, executed and shot that got lined up in a long cue to make it to the blog, but the good thing is that great ideas are timeless. And this is certainly one of them!

Lemon Drop Jello Shots-5

It may seem pretty intricate but we can assure you that this is a very simply treat to make, it just has a complicated-looking presentation. That simply means that you get to do something that is ridiculously easy to execute, but which is so impressive to look at that it will certainly wow your guests.

Lemon Drop Jello Shots-1


2 packs jello

boiling water (as indicated by instructions on jello box)

1  to 1  1/22 cup vodka or gin

1 dozen lemons  halved lengthwise

Zest of two lemons

Useful tools:

grapefruit knife (to core pulp from lemon leaving pith and rind)

24-slot muffin pad to hold lemon halves while jello sets

really sharp chefs knife


Pre-chill alcohol

Remove pulp from lemons with grapefruit knife and or a spoon.

Make jello according to instructions

Add lemon zest

Allow to cool slightly (keep mixing with a whisk) then add alcohol

Place lemon halves in slots of muffin tin

Pour extra liquid into shot glasses

Chill until set

Slice in half to serve

Consume and be merry.

Lemon Drop Jello Shots-4

CHEF’S NOTE:  You may replace 2 tablespoons of water in the recipe with the equivalent measurement of fresh lemon juice to add extra zing to the recipe. In fact, we much prefer it that way. If you want to add copious amounts of alcohol, you may need to add about 2g of agar agar to make sure they set properly.


16 responses to “Lemon Jello Shots for grown up parties


  2. Just in time. Was looking for vodka jelly ideas for next weekend. Last time was watermelon with cherry jelly and vodka, and before that vodka jelly in scooped out oranges.

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  4. What a cute idea! Thanks for sharing

  5. oh my gosh, i love these. anything with lemon makes me really happy, intricate or not! 🙂

  6. We did something similar for a 4th of July party a few years ago, but we used oranges. The shots were huge! It’s probably better to use smaller citrus like lemons. 🙂 It’s a fun way to engage people with food!

  7. What a creative idea for Jello shots! I bet these were delicious and made for a wonderful party! I wish lemons weren’t so expensive here in Thailand…I’ll probably have to make this with limes.

    • Limes would be a great substitute! You would also get an interesting colour contrast if you used the lemon jello. We too are used to limes back home rather than lemons but lemons are abundant here in the Middle East, more so than good limes.

  8. such a cool idea! even sans-alcohol, it could be a fun dessert for kids as well.

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