Mexican Candy Jello Shots

These sweet and spicy Mexican candy jello shots are easy to make with simple ingredients like watermelon jello and tequila!

Inspired by the Mexican candy lollipops Rebanaditas, these paleta jello shots have a sweet, spicy chili flavor with a touch of tartness from the lime juice — yum!

Chile coated pieces of candy called dulces enchilados (meaning candy covered in chili) are a beloved Mexican staple, but the exotic flavor contrast gets mixed reviews on first try.

Will you love it or not? This is an easy and affordable recipe to make and find out!


Gathered ingredients for Mexican candy jello shots.
  • Watermelon jello, one 3-ounce box
  • 1 cup of boiling water + 1/2 cup of cold water
  • White tequila, 1/2 cup
  • Lime juice, 1 tablespoon
  • Hot sauce (like Cholula or Tabasco) – a couple dashes, to taste
  • Tajín chili lime seasoning – to rim the glasses

Tequila: I chose white tequila (also called silver or blanco tequila) for its fresh and crisp taste, the perfect match for watermelon and lime juice!

You can substitute tequila with vodka if you like it better! Either plain vodka or tamarind vodka tastes great in these Mexican jello shots.

How to make

Here’s how to make the jellojoy watermelon shots in 4 easy steps (with pictures!)

Dissolve jello in hot water.

1. In a heat-resistant bowl, sprinkle watermelon jello over 1 cup of boiling water and mix well until it’s completely dissolved.

Add remaining ingredients.

2. Add 1/2 cup of cold water, 1/2 cup of silver tequila, 1 tablespoon of lime juice and a dash or two of hot sauce (as you like).

Divide jello in shot glasses.

3. Set 8 2-ounce shot glasses (or plastic condiment cups) on a cookie sheet for easier transport to the fridge. Fill the glasses and refrigerate until the jello is firm, it takes about 2 hours. Can’t wait? Check out my jello shot quick-set tip!

Rim glasses with Tajín.

4. To rim the glasses with Tajín, first either swipe the rim of the glasses with a lime wedge or dip the glass briefly into a saucer with a little bit of lime juice. Then, dip the rim of the glass on a saucer with some Tajín.

The seasoning might not stick if you use plastic cups, though — I haven’t had luck with that. In this case, you could use Chamoy Rim Dip instead, it’s super sticky!

Mexican candy paleta jello shots with Tajin rim.

Recipe variations

Sugar-free, low-calorie jello shots

Use sugar-free jello to make these jello shots almost calorie-free (there will be just the calories from the tequila and lime juice)!

More fruit flavors

These tequila shooters are also great with mango jello (another Mexican lollipop classic flavor!), strawberry jello, and peach jello.

Or you can use a mix of flavors, just double the recipe! (There’s an automatic recipe scaling button in the recipe card below to help you calculate).

Add watermelon schnapps

There’s a delicious Mexican Candy Shot Cocktail made with tequila and watermelon schnapps. If you have some like DeKuyper Watermelon Pucker, you can mix it into these jello shots as well!

Simply add 1/4 cup of schnapps, replacing part of the cold water in the recipe.

Chamoy rim dip

Do you feel the chile lime rim is too hot or too salty? You can make it less spicy and sweeter tasting instead with Chamoy Rim Dip.

It’s a super flavorful tamarind paste that’s sweet, sour, and tangy at the same time! It makes it a great match for these Mexican candy shots!

Mexican candy watermelon jello and tequila shots.

FAQ and tips

How to make jello shots fast

To get the jello shots to set faster in the fridge, use my favorite quick-set method:

  1. Prepare ice water: Fill a measuring cup with ice cubes and complete it with water to reach 1 cup. Set aside to cool the water.
  2. Dissolve the jello in half the amount (1/2 cup) of boiling water, instead of one full cup. You’ll need to mix for a bit longer to ensure the powder it’s fully dissolved!
  3. Use a spoon to transfer the ice cubes into the bowl with the hot jello. Stir until dissolved, then add remaining cold water from the cup.
  4. Add any other ingredients as directed and refrigerate the jello shots.

The jello shots will set very quickly since they are already cold going in the fridge. It will take about 20 minutes to solidify the jello (compared to 2 hours with the regular method)!

How to make stronger jello shots

Substitute up to 1/2 cup of cold water added for more tequila (or vodka if using). Do not add more than 1 cup of alcohol (per recipe) or the jello won’t set properly.

Watermelon paleta Mexican jello shots.

Why the rim doesn’t stick on the cup

Are you using plastic cups? Most of the condiment cups commonly used for jello shots are made of a type of plastic that makes it really difficult to get the Tajin (or salt / sugar) to stick to the rim, even when first dipped in citrus juice. I’ve tried enough and gave up.

The best solution is using a proper glass or crystal cup. You could also try dipping the plastic cup in a stickier liquid, like simple syrup, or even some liquid jello.

More garnish ideas

These watermelon jello shots look awesome with just the Tajín rim! But here are a few suggestions to make them look even cooler for your Cinco de Mayo or summer party:

  • Lime or lemon wedges
  • Fresh watermelon pieces sprinkled with Tajin
  • Fresh watermelon pieces drizzled with chamoy sauce
  • Mexican lollipops (Paletas de Sandia) with chili

If you make these candy shots with another jello flavor (like mango, strawberry, or peach), add some of the same fresh fruit on top of the shots as garnish (as I suggested with fresh watermelon).

Mexican candy paleta jello shots with Tajin rim.
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5 from 2 votes

Mexican Candy Jello Shots

Sweet & spicy Mexican Candy Cocktail jello shots with watermelon jello, tequila and Tajin are the best tasty treat for 5 de Mayo and summer parties!
Prep Time5 minutes
Cook Time0 minutes
Chill Time2 hours
Total Time2 hours 5 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: Mexican
Servings: 8
Calories: 76kcal
Author: Pris Frank


  • 3 ounces watermelon gelatin 1 4-serving box
  • 1 cup boiling water
  • ½ cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice plus more to rim the glasses
  • ½ cup tequila white / silver is best
  • 1 to 2 dash hot sauce to taste
  • chili lime seasoning (optional) for the rim, or Chamoy Rim Dip if you prefer sweet


  • Dissolve 3 ounces watermelon gelatin in 1 cup boiling water
  • Add 1/2 cup cold water, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1/2 cup tequila and 1 to 2 dash hot sauce (as you like).
  • Place 8 shot glasses or plastic jello shot cups on a sheet pan. Divide the watermelon jello shot mix among the glasses, then refrigerate until fully set (about 2 hours).
  • To rim the shot glasses: wipe the rim of each glass with a lime wedge OR dip the glass briefly into a saucer with a little lime juice. Then dip the rim of each glass into a saucer with Tajin chili lime seasoning. If you prefer a sweeter rim, skip the lime juice and Tajin and dip the glass into Chamoy Rim Dip instead.


Recipe Variations
Low-calorie jello shots: Use sugar-free jello to make these jello shots almost calorie free (there will be just the calories from the tequila and lime juice)!
Different jello flavors: Mango jello, strawberry jello and peach jello are also great here. Or you can use a mix of flavors, just double the recipe! (Use the automatic recipe scaling button above to help you calculate).
Stronger jello shots: Substitute up to 1/2 cup of cold water added for more tequila. Do not add more than 1 cup of tequila (per recipe) or the jello won’t set properly.
Watermelon schnapps: Mix it to these jello shots for a punch of Mexican Candy Cocktail flavor! Add 1/4 cup, replacing part of the cold water in the recipe.


Serving: 1 | Calories: 76kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.001g | Sodium: 50mg | Potassium: 3mg | Fiber: 0.01g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.02mg

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