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Can you freeze jello shots? (How long do they last?)


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If you’re planning to make a batch of jello shots you might have wondered – can you freeze jello shots? The short answer is, yes and no. 

I love these fun jello shot ideas because they add a festive and colorful twist to any celebration. You can customize the flavors and colors to coordinate with your event and they are always popular with guests.

Closeup view of layered jello shots garnished with whipped cream and a cherry with "Can you put jello shots in the freezer" text overlay.

Today we’re diving into the world of jello shots. In addition to covering the possibilities of freezing them, I’m including my best tips to ensure your jelly shots stay as fresh and delicious as the day you made them. And I’ll answer some of the most common questions readers have about these popular adult beverages.

Make sure to try out my Mimosa jello shotsTequila sunrise shots, or even these pink Starburst jello shots. All of these are sure to elevate your party vibes.

Prepping your jello shots ahead of time can be a game-changer when you’re planning a party or gathering. If you follow these simple tips, your jello shots will be fresh and delicious on party day and sure to please your guests.

What are Jell-O shots?

Jell-o shots are a classic college party treat but have become a party staple in recent years. They’re a fun addition due to their colorful appearance and sweet taste.

Think of it as a Jello snack cup but made with alcohol and sometimes topped with whipped cream and a fruit garnish. It’s like you take a shot of the Jell-o and get to enjoy a boozy treat.

However, it’s important to remember that even though they might look and taste like candy, these are alcoholic drinks. Making them an adult-only beverage that should be consumed responsibly. Some recipes include options for alcohol-free versions suitable for your non-drinking guests.

Front view of Pina Colada Jello Shots on a tray.

To make the basic jello shot recipe, you dissolve gelatin in hot water, then stir in cold water and alcohol. Pour the jello mixture into small cups and place in the refrigerator to set up. 

With so many gelatin flavors available now, you can branch out from the classic cherry, grape, or orange flavors. And it’s fun to get creative and pair the jello flavor or color to the event.

Make Blue Hawaiian or Pina Colada jello shots for a beach-themed party. Or Strawberry Lemonade shots for a summer bbq. The possibilities are endless so have some fun with it!

What ingredients are used to make Jello shots?

You’ll need just a few simple ingredients for the standard recipe:

  • gelatin – use your favorite jello flavors
  • boiling water – to dissolve the gelatin
  • cold water – helps the jello mixture thicken
  • fruit juice – some recipes call for orange, pineapple or lemon juice
  • liquor – most jello shot recipes call for vodka or rum but tequila and champagne can also be used

How do you take a Jello shot?

Use a butter knife, toothpick or your finger and run it around the outer edge of the shot container. You can then squeeze the container and swallow the shot whole. Or you can cut it up a bit before swallowing it.

For less mess, use these squeezeable jello shot cups. Or prepare them in party syringes or squeeze pouches for a fun way to serve.

Orange jello shots garnished with whipped cream and orange slices.

Can I freeze Jello shots?

To speed up the setting process you can use the freezer. But the key is to not leave the jello shots in the freezer for too long, or it will cause them to not set properly.

Whip up your jello shot recipe and pour it into shot cups. Then freeze for 30 minutes to 45 minutes, but I wouldn’t freeze for any longer than that.

If you freeze the mixture for too long the gelatin develops a hardened texture with ice crystals, and the alcohol will stay in the liquid form. Which basically ruins the shots. So make sure to set a timer or keep your eye on them while they are in the freezer.

It’s a good idea to just set aside time to make your shots in advance so they can be refrigerated for a couple of hours so you don’t risk ruining the batch.

How long does it take for Jello shots to set up?

On average it can take 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours for jello shots to set up. If you are using small 2 ounce plastic cups you will find the shots set up reasonably quickly. Larger containers may take longer.

I always recommend making them at least 4-6 hours ahead, if not overnight, before you plan to serve them up, just to be on the safe side.

A tray of colored jello shots with lids on.

What is the best way to store Jello shots?

I like to place lids on the plastic shot glasses. It helps to keep the shots fresh and you can stack them for easier storage. 

Now, you can make them and leave the lid off. Simply prepare the shots and then place the cups on a lined baking sheet (make sure you use a rimmed sheet). The baking sheet makes it easier to move the shots from the counter to the fridge.

If you are placing in the fridge without lids, make sure to cover the cups or tray with plastic wrap, so they don’t take on other flavors of the items in the fridge. You could also use a 9×13 pan instead of a baking sheet.

How long do Jello shots last in the fridge?

I like to use up the shots within 4-7 days of it being made, but they can go a little beyond that if stored covered.

If you are garnishing with whipped cream or fruit toppings you’ll want to do that right before serving because they will start to break down the jello fairly quickly.

For best results, we recommend storing the shots ungarnished. If you store leftover jell-o shots with the whipped cream on top, they’ll last about 2-3 days, but they won’t look very pretty.

Blue Hawaiian pineapple Jello shots in cups next to pineapple rings

How long can you store leftover Jello Shots before they start to lose their flavor or texture?

You’ll want to store them covered with lids or in an airtight container. For the best texture and flavor use the shots within 24-48 hours. Note that the texture of the jello shots starts to degrade the longer they are stored.

How long can Jell-o shots be left out at room temperature?

Ideally you want to grab them from the fridge and serve up the shots within an hour, maybe less on warm weather days. You will find once the jello warms up it can become a bit softer in texture or a watery mess.

If you see they are softening up, place them back in the fridge for at least 30 minutes before you remove and serve them to guests again. 

Or you can place the shots on top of in a large bowl or pan filled with ice cubes and cold water to keep them chilled.

An array of different liquor bottles.

How much alcohol can you add to Jell-o shots?

The general rule of thumb is about 1/2 cup of alcohol along with 1 cup of cold water. You can use up to one cup of liquor for a stronger shot but that’s the max you should use. If you add too much alcohol to Jell-O shots they won’t set up properly.

What kind of alcohol is good in Jello shots?

You truly have options when it comes to types of alcohol. Look for brands that are mid-range in cost – they’ll have less “punch” than the cheaper brands.

From the classic vodka to rum, whiskey, brandy, champagne or even tequila. Just choose the type of booze that pairs best with the flavors of the jello powder.

Do Jello shots even get you drunk?

In general, if they’re made with 1/2 cup of alcohol, four jello shots are the equivalent of one regular shot so you should be able to have a few of the shots and still be okay.

While there is alcohol in the shots, you will find if you’re using 2 ounce shot cups most of the time you will not get drunk. But if you consume a lot of the 2 ounce shots or larger shots, then yes, you could feel the effects of the alcohol. 

**Save Can You Freeze Jello Shots for Later**

Orange jell-o shots garnished with whipped cream and orange slices with text overlay.

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