Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots {Easy Party Recipe}

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If you’re looking to change things up swap the classic cocktail and go with Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots instead. It’s a fun and easy party idea for adults, plus they look and taste amazing.

Summer is all about fruity, citrus flavors with pops of color and these Jell-o shots hit all the summer notes. Two beautiful layers, topped with a swirl of whipped cream followed by a maraschino cherry. Perfection!

tequila sunrise jello shots with whipped cream and a cherry on top

While these make a show-stopping addition to your Cinco de Mayo parties and Mexican-themed fiestas, you can also serve them for other occasions. Like a boozy brunch, fun girl’s trip, birthday parties, holiday celebrations or even a backyard BBQ. 

More favorite shot recipes that are fruity and fun are these Mimosa Jello Shots, Blue Hawaiian Jello Shots and pink Starburst jello shots. Everyone loves these and they are great for summer entertaining.

Friendly reminder – the alcoholic version of this recipe is intended for adults aged 21 and up. We’ve also included a non-alcoholic version below for the younger crowd. 

ingredients needed to make tequila sunrise jello shots

Ingredients Needed

  • Red Jell-o
  • Unflavored gelatin
  • Orange juice
  • Tequila
  • Boiling water
  • Cold water
  • Whipped cream and Maraschino cherries for garnish

Other Items Needed:

How To Make Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots

Set the shot cups on a baking sheet and put them aside. 

red jello being dissolved in water in a mixing bowl

In a medium bowl, combine the red Jell-O and the boiling water and stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Then add the cold water and stir. 

Using an injector or a cup with a spout, fill each cup ¼ of the way full. 

Set the tray in the fridge for an hour or until they have set. 

filling the shot cups with red jello layer

In a medium mixing bowl, add the orange juice and sprinkle in the unflavored gelatin. Push the gelatin down into the juice if needed, and allow the mixture to set until it has all dissolved and is not clumpy. 

gelatin being dissolved in orange juice in a white bowl

Add a ½ cup of boiling water and stir. Pour in the tequila and stir once more. 

Fill the shot cups with the mixture using the spouted cup or injector until they are ¾ of the way full. 

mixing together the water, tequila, and orange juice then putting it into the shot cups

Set the tray back in the fridge for another 1 to 2 hours until the gelatin has set. 

Just before serving, add the whipped cream and cherries for a garnish. 

Tips for Making

  • To make the red layer alcoholic: Swap out half a cup of cold water for more tequila. 
  • For a sweeter, smoother flavor: Use Sunny D for the orange juice. We think it rounds out the flavor of the shot. If you don’t want a sweeter shot, stick with orange juice.
  • I like using pulp-free OJ but you can use one with pulp if you like. 
  • Do not add the hot water to the unflavored gelatin until it has dissolved. Adding it too early makes it clumpy and stringy, which isn’t the best texture for jello shots. 
  • Use up to a half cup of alcohol per layer, but no more, or the gelatin may not set up. 
tequila sunrise jello shots stacked on top of each other some garnished with whipped cream and cherries

Storing Instructions 

Keep tequila sunrise Jello shots without the garnishes and covered in the fridge for up to 7 days. 

Always add the garnish just before serving so it doesn’t melt down into the layers. 

How to make non-alcoholic version

If you have non-drinkers or guests under age 21 you can make a non-alcoholic version of a tequila sunrise. Simply swap out the tequila for the same amount of orange juice and make as directed.

Common FAQs 

How much tequila do you add to jello shots?

For this recipe, you can use up to a half cup of tequila per layer. Any more than that may cause the layers not to set. 

What’s in a tequila sunrise?

Traditionally a tequila sunrise cocktail contains tequila, grenadine, and orange juice. 

What does a Tequila Sunrise taste like?

It’s sweet and tangy at the same time. Normally the grenadine provides the sweetness, but in our Jell-o shot recipe, it’s the red Jell-o that gives that sweetness and beautiful sunset-like glow.

What tequila should you use to make Jello shots?

You can use any variety you’d like but we usually go with a clear tequila because it tends to have a smoother flavor. But feel free to use your favorite tequila. Because it’s mixed with the Jell-o and orange juice, any harshness may be covered by the Jell-o and orange juice.

Can I freeze Jell-shots?

Technically you can freeze Jell-O shots but we don’t recommend it because it changes the texture and consistency. When thawed, the Jell-o turns into a soupy mess that isn’t pleasing to the eye or palate. Frankly, it’s just gross!

Can I use other spirits?

While you can swap the tequila for other spirits like rum or vodka, it will no longer be a tequila sunrise.


  • EASY TO PREPARE – this recipe is easy to prepare and uses common ingredients.
  • SHOWSTOPPING PRESENTATION – the layered colors are gorgeous and sure to impress all your guests.
  • CAN BE MADE AHEAD – prepare a batch the day before your event. Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry shortly before serving.
  • RECIPE CAN BE DOUBLED – double or triple this recipe for larger gatherings.

More Fun Drinks to Make:

**Pin Tequila Sunrise Jello Shot Recipe for Later**

two tequila sunrise jello shots with whipped cream and cherries with text overlay

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tequila sunrise jello shots with whipped cream and a cherry on top

Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots

If you're looking to change things up swap the classic cocktail and go with Tequila Sunrise Jello Shots instead. It's a fun and easy party idea for adults, plus they look and taste amazing! Ages 21 and up!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Adult beverages, Beverage, Cocktail
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Chill Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time: 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings: 15
Calories: 25kcal
Author: Lori @ A Reinvented Mom

Equipment

Ingredients

  • 1 3-ounce box red Jell-o
  • 2 .25 ounce unflavored gelatin packets
  • ¾ cup orange juice
  • ½ cup tequila
  • 1 1/2 cups boiling water, divided
  • 1 cup cold water
  • Whipped cream, optional garnish
  • Maraschino cherries, optional garnish

Instructions

  • Separate the empty shot cups and place on a baking sheet or a flat moveable surface. Set aside.
  • Add the red Jell-o and 1 cup boiling water to a medium mixing bowl, and stir until the jello has fully dissolved. Add the cold water and stir.
  • Using a spouted cup or an injector, fill each shot cup about ¼ of the way full. Place tray in the refrigerator for an hour or until set.
  • Add the orange juice to a medium mixing bowl and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the top of it. You may need to gently push the gelatin powder into the juice to make sure all the gelatin gets wet. Allow the mixture to set until the gelatin has dissolved and is no longer clumpy.
  • Add a half cup of boiling water and stir until the gelatin has dissolved.
  • Add the tequila and stir.
  • Using a spouted cup or an injector, fill the shot cups until they’re about ¾ of the way full.
  • Place tray in the refrigerator for 1.5 hours or until set.
  • Garnish with whipped cream and a cherry, if desired.

Notes

  • Make sure the unflavored gelatin powder has dissolved before adding the hot water.
  • Don’t exceed half cup of alcohol per Jell-o layer or the shots won’t set up properly. Swap out tequila for the water in the red layer if you want a boozier shot.
  • For a non-alcoholic version swap out orange juice for the tequila.
  • Wait to garnish until right before serving.
  • Ungarnished Jello shots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 7 days with the lids on.
  • Optional garnishes are not included in the Nutritional Information.
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Nutrition

Serving: 1shot | Calories: 25kcal | Carbohydrates: 1g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 3mg | Potassium: 25mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 25IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutritional information is provided as a reference, using an online calculator. We recommend verifying the information independently for accuracy.

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