I spent several weeks trying to figure out what to make for Brad Lidge’s Eat the Phillies entry. I thought about doing a “Floating Bodies Soup,” but scratched that when I realized I didn’t really want to make soup, and most readers probably wouldn’t make soup, either. Then I thought about doing some kind of jello dessert with fruit suspended within it, continuing the floating bodies theme. But I trashed that idea when I realized it would be hard to do, only marginally tasty, and not very interesting. Then, the idea came to me: why don’t I combine the ease and deliciousness of jello with the mind impairing properties of liquor? Thus, Lights Out Lidge Jello Shots were born.
What makes these jello shots Lidge-ian? Well…nothing, other than if you do what I did, which is eat an entire packet’s worth of jello shots, your lights will indeed be out. (Hey, I did it for the sake of the blog!)
With something as ubiquitous as jello shots, I knew that I wasn’t going to create any new or original recipes. Everything’s been done before, by lazy frat boys throwing a party in their rickety shack of a house, or by evilly inquisitive chemistry majors with too much time on their hands. But I didn’t want this tribute to my favorite Phillies pitcher to be boring. (Yeah, I said it. He’s my favorite.) I didn’t want to just add vodka to lemon jello and be done with it. I was determined to make this interesting.
In all, I made seven different kinds of jello shots. Some were more successful than others. The general recipe is the same throughout (unless noted otherwise): 1 box of jello, 1 cup of boiling water, one cup of liquor. Completely dissolve the jello in the boiling water, then add the liquor. Stir, pour, set, and eat.
Apple-Berry Tart: 1 box strawberry jello, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup sour apple pucker. Out of everything I made, this was the most successful recipe. I made it up myself while trying to combine things that I already had in my kitchen so I wouldn’t have to go out and buy anything. Laziness does pay, remember that kids. The strawberry and apple flavors combine nicely, and there’s almost no alcohol after bite. After it set, I actually ate it all. Quickly. Word to the wise: don’t do that.
Fuzzy Navel: 1 box orange jello, 1 cup boiling water, 1 peach schnapps. This recipe came in second as far as taste. The peach mellows out the almost phony orange taste of the jello, and again, no alcohol after bite.
Recipe I Didn’t Like Enough To Give A Proper Name: 1 box peach jello, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup coconut rum. This one was a bad idea. The flavor of the peach jello is far too weak to do much when matched with coconut rum. All I tasted was rum with a little peach and coconut added in. If I wanted that, I could have just drank right out of the Malibu bottle and been done with it.
Lime Cocktail: 1 box lime jello, ¾ cup boiling water, ½ cup citron vodka, ½ cup gin, ¼ cup Rose’s Lime Juice. This one was questionable from the very start. I was eager to see what the lime and gin would do together, and I hoped that the lime juice would hide the alcohol taste. Despite the fact that ¾ cup of water isn’t enough to actually dissolve all the jello crystals, the jello was texturally sound. When I first tasted the jello, I was pleased. The gin and lime were great together, reminiscent of a gin and tonic with lime without reminding me about the time I got fall down drunk on them, making a large number of regrettable decisions in the process. But as I swallowed, I was overwhelmed with the alcohol-y taste. The culprit? Vodka. Vodka will get you drunk fast, that’s for damn sure, but it also tastes like it’s going to get you drunk fast. So I had a sort of good tasting jello shot that was strong as fuck. Naturally, I ate about three shots worth before I figured out that they were stronger than the schnapps based shots.
Cherry Lime-Ade: 1 box lime jello, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup cherry schnapps. I liked this one, but it had some flaws. The lime kind of overtook the cherry, and if you ate too much the slight cherry taste took on a medicinal quality. No one wants to drink lime jello and cherry Robitussin.
Shot of the Tropics: 1 box pineapple jello, 1 cup boiling water, 1 cup coconut rum. This one sort of reminded me of a pina colada, and it went down pretty easily. The pineapple jello is fantastic for masking all nature of alcoholic tastes, but it will not go with everything. The pineapple flavor is so distinctive that you have to be careful what you combine it with. I mean, you CAN combine pineapple jello and gin if you want to, but I certainly won’t eat it.
Wildberry Slammer: 1 box wildberry (or other berry) jello, 1 cup boiling water, ½ cup grape pucker, ½ cup cherry vodka. Tasty, but strong. It didn’t really remind me of any specific cocktail. It did taste like berry Juicy Juice with some vodka. So if you’re looking for a riff on a childhood staple, this is it.
In the coming weeks, I’ll be firing up the frying pan for Joe Blanton’s diabetic-coma inducing breakfast, and I’ll be hauling out the ice cream maker to make some ice cream for Chooch.