WHO INVENTED THE JELL-O SHOT?
No, the Jell-O shot was not invented by American singer-songwriter Tom Lehrer in the 1950s. He is well known for writing about it, making the recipe as a subterfuge to consume alcohol on the alcohol-restricted Army base where he was stationed.
Jell-O shots seem like a modern concept, but Jell-O itself (flavored, sweetened gelatin) was invented in 1897. Beginning in the 1400s, gelatin (protein produced from collagen extracted from boiled animal bones and connective tissues) had been used to make desserts.
In 1862, the first modern cocktail recipe book was published in the U.S.: Jerry Thomas’ Bartenders Guide. You can still buy it (reprinted) on Amazon.com.
Thanks to some pretty crafty sleuthing on the part of JelloShotRecipe.Blogspot.com, you can see a photocopy of the first known recipe for a molded gelatin-alcohol combination.
Jerry Thomas advises: “The strength of the punch is so artfully concealed by its admixture with the gelatine, that many persons, particularly of the softer sex, have been tempted to partake so plentifully of it as to render them somewhat unfit for waltzing or quadrilling after supper.”
That sounds so much more charming than “abject drunkenness.”