Margarita Jello Shots

Margarita Jello Shots

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 20 mins
  • Prep: 20 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Chill: 2 hrs
  • Servings: 16 servings
  • Yields: 16 shots

A tasty, jiggly little shooter, the margarita jello shot is an easy recipe based on the classic cocktail. With the bright green color and sweet lime flavor spiked with tequila, these shots are fun to serve at parties.

This is a basic recipe that's very similar to making regular gelatin. You'll simply use a combination of tequila and triple sec to replace a portion of the water. Fresh lime juice adds a hint of tartness against the sweet gelatin, while water ensures a mellow "drinkable" flavor. One trick to making jello shots is to keep the alcohol in check so the gelatin can set up. If you pour too much tequila, you'll have a sloppy mess.

The recipe makes 16 shots at an ounce each and you can multiply it to make more or to fit bigger cups. Lime is not the only option, either. Just like the lineup margarita cocktails, you can make it any flavor you like by swapping out the gelatin.

Ingredients

  • 3 ounces blanco or silver tequila
  • 1 1/2 ounces triple sec
  • 1/2 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 3 ounces cold water
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • 1 (3-ounce) package lime-flavored gelatin
  • Optional: 1 (1/4-ounce) envelope unflavored gelatin

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. In a small bowl, mix the tequila, triple sec, lime juice, and cold water. Chill in the refrigerator for about 10 minutes.

    Mixing Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 
  3. In a separate bowl, stir the boiling water and lime gelatin together until the gelatin is completely dissolved.

    Making Lime Gelatin for Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. If using, whisk the unflavored gelatin into the chilled tequila mix. Let sit for 1 minute.

    Mixing Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. Combine the warm lime gelatin mix and the tequila mix, and stir well.

    Making Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios 
  6. Pour the liquid into shot glasses, molds, or a shallow baking pan for a sheet of gelatin to cut up once set.

    Pouring Margarita Jello Shots Into Molds
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  7. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours (overnight is best), until the liquid sets completely. Serve cold and enjoy!

    Margarita Jello Shots
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Tips

  • Small plastic shot cups make the easiest jello shots because the drinker can just squeeze the shot into their mouth. Glass shot cups work if you offer guests small spoons to scoop the jello out.
  • Adding more alcohol may prevent the gelatin from setting up. Generally, the total volume of liquor should not exceed four ounces in any jello shot recipe.
  • Don't overdo the lime juice either. Fresh is best and too much of any lime juice can make the shot bitter.
  • The unflavored gelatin helps solidify the mix and is most useful if you plan to unmold the jello shots. Feel free to skip it if you're serving them directly in cups.
  • If you plan to use molds or some fancy presentation, do a test batch before the party. A little experimentation is needed for each type of mold and you'll learn tricks to get the cleanest look. You may need to reduce the liquid or add more unflavored gelatin, for instance. Spray molds with cooking spray before filling so the gelatin is easier to remove.

Recipe Variations

  • This jello shot can take on the flavor of mango, pineapple, raspberry, strawberry, or whatever your heart desires. All you need to do is change out the gelatin.
  • To enhance any fruit flavor, replace the cold water with the cold juice of your choice.
  • Try layered jello shots using two or more flavors. Allow the bottom layer to set before mixing up and adding the next layer.

How Strong Is a Margarita Jello Shot?

Jello shots are often enjoyed as a supplementary party treat, and it's easy to have a few at once. Be careful because these boozy jigglers have an alcohol content around 10 percent ABV (20 proof). Too many can catch you by surprise!