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FOOD FUN: Stars & Stripes Jell-O Shots

Perfect for a July 4th celebration: red, white and blue Jell-O shots.

All you need is a mini star silicon mold, like this one from Wilton. You can probably pick one up locally, where July 4th-themed housewares or are sold (or a good baking supplies department).

Then, just follow this recipe on GoodCocktails.com.

And plan ahead for red, green and white Jello-O shots for Christmas, using lime Jell-O instead of Berry Blue.

Jell-O shots are made by substituting approximately one third to one half of the second cup of liquid added to Jell-O powder (the first cup is the boiling water that dissolves the gelatin.

Vodka or rum are popular (flavored vodkas add another flavor dimension), but the shots can be made with any alcohol. Note that the alcohol blended into the Jell-O is absorbed much more slowly than in a cocktail, resulting in abject drunkenness on the part of those who underestimate how much alcohol they have consumed.

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Mix up some fireworks with these patriotic Jell-O shots. Photo courtesy GoodCocktail.com.
 
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.”
  




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