You don't need boring old Jello to make Jello shots! Here's how to use agar agar to make delicious vegan jello shots!
Gelatin is not vegan. It's not even vegetarian! Conventional gelatin is made from ground up bones and tendons. YUM! Some folks have told me that Kosher gelatin is vegan, but from what I've read it's derived from dead fish.
Luckily, you don't need powered bones to make a jelly dessert. You can just grab some agar agar and get to it!
Confession: I am not a big booze-drinker. At most parties, I'd much rather stick to beer or wine. The way to get me to do the booze thing is to hide it in desserts, so when my friend Kip said that she wanted to make grown-up vegan jello shots for her birthday party, I was all in!
We made root beer shoots and cosmopolitan ones, and we learned some lessons. For the cosmo shots, we used exactly the amount of agar that the recipe called for. For the root beer ones, we doubled it. The cosmo ones came out OK, but they were a little bit soft. The root beer ones....I think I'm still chewing the root beer one that I tried. The lesson: use one and a half times the amount of agar agar! Here are the recipes we used (adapted from Jelly Shot Test Kitchen), adjusted accordingly.
Vegan Cosmopolitan Jello Shots
- 1 cup cranberry juice - the 100% juice blend kind
- 1 cup orange vodka
- ¼ cup lime juice
- ¼ cup orange liqueur
- 1 ¾ teaspoons agar agar powder
- lime zest
- In a small saucepan, heat half of the cranberry juice and lime juice with the agar agar, until it’s simmering. Stir for a few minutes, until the agar agar is fully dissolved.
- Quickly add the rest of the juices, stir, then add your booze.
- Pour the mixture into a square pan and chill for a few hours, until everything is gelatinized.
- Flip your jello shots onto a flat surface, like a cutting board, and slice them into cubes. Grate some lime zest over them, and you’re ready to serve!