Red White and Blue Jello Shots

Lend a patriotic vibe to your 4th of July or Memorial Day party with these layered red, white, and blue jello shots with vodka!

They’re super festive with American flag-colored layers of red and blue jello, plus a strip of creamy white jello made with condensed milk. These adult-only summer treats are deliciously sweet and boozy!

Looking for more easy, no-bake red, white and blue desserts to brighten up your summer gatherings? Check out my no-bake patriotic star American pie and my strawberry jelly trifle recipe!

Red white and blue jello shots ingredients

These are the ingredients you’ll need to make these layered jello shots. With few changes (see here), you can make them low-calorie / sugar-free or non-alcoholic.

  • Blue jello, berry blue or another blue flavor, 1 small box (3 ounces)
  • Red jello, 1 small box (3 ounces) – Cherry jello has the best “American-flag red” shade. Feel free to swap it for strawberry or raspberry jello if you prefer the taste.
  • Unflavored gelatin (Knox), one 0.25-ounce envelope
  • Sweetened condensed milk, 1/2 can (7 ounces)
  • Vodka (or white rum / tequila), 1 1/2 cups
  • Water – 2 1/2 cups boiling water, and 1 cup cold water
  • Maraschino cherries (Optional) to top the jello shots!

Alcohol options: Vodka, white rum and white tequila all work great here, so chose your favorite spirit to spike your recipe!

If you have flavor-infused vodka, you can use it too.

Fruity vodka flavors are the best and most refreshing for summer, like watermelon vodka, cranberry vodka and citrus / lemon vodka.

Layered American flag jello shot in hand.

What else you’ll need

Jello shot glasses: You can use either the usual 2-ounce plastic condiment cups (jello shot cups) or shot glasses like I did here. This recipe fills 24 2-ounce glasses.

If you are having the holiday party outdoors, you might prefer the plastic cups. There’s no washing up to do, and they are easier to transport in an icebox to your barbecue or picnic (they come with lids).

If serving the 4th of July jello shots from glasses instead of soft plastic cups, offer your guests small spoons to eat them. It’s impossible to squeeze the jello out of the glasses, and tongues only go so far ;-P

Something to help fill the glasses: I used a mini measurement cup with a spout to fill the cups. You could also choose a small funnel or a turkey baster.

I actually tried just to pour from the bowl I mixed the jello in (it has a spout too), but I made a mess. It’s very hard to pour the exact amount.

Red, white and blue layered jello shots.

How to make

Preparing blue jello.

Step 1. Dissolve 1 small (4-serving) box of berry blue jello in 1 cup of boiling water, and stir until the jello is completely dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of vodka.

Filling shot cups with blue jello.

Step 2. Arrange the jello shot cups in a baking pan or tray so it’s easier to transport them to and from the fridge. Using a mini pour cup or turkey baster, fill cups one-third of the way full with blue jello. Refrigerate until set.

Preparing white jello.

Step 3. Prepare the white jello: Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over one envelope of unflavored gelatin, mixing briskly until all gelatin granules are fully melted. Stir in 1/2 can (7 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of vodka, and mix well. Let it cool down.

Filling shot cups with white jello.

Step 4. When the blue jello layer is firm, gently pour the condensed milk jello to fill the glasses two-thirds full.

Return the jello shots to fridge to set.

Preparing cherry jello.

Step 5. Dissolve 1 small (4-serving) box of red jello (cherry or your favorite flavor) in 1 cup of boiling water, and stir until the jello is completely dissolved.

Stir in 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of vodka. Let the mixture cool down completely.

Filling shot glasses with red jello.

Step 6. When the white jello is fully set, if you wish, add a maraschino cherry or cocktail cherry to each glass.

After the liquid red jello mixture is no longer warm, fill the remaining space in the glasses with red jello.

Return the jello shots to the fridge to let the final layer firm up before serving. Careful to take these to the fridge without spilling!

Recipe variations

Stronger jello shots

Instead of adding 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of vodka to the red and blue layers, ditch the 1/2 cup of cold water and add 1 full cup of vodka instead. The jello shots will pack a punch!

Do not go over 1 cup of alcohol per box of jello, or the shots won’t set properly.

Low-cal jello shots

Use sugar-free red and blue jello instead of regular, and for the white jello layer substitute the condensed milk with 2% or skim milk.

Sweeten the milk to taste with a calorie-free sweetener (like Splenda or stevia).

The low-calorie white jello layer made with plain milk won’t be creamy like the condensed milk one, but the jello shots will be nearly calorie-free. Might be a good trade-off!

Alcohol-free jello shots

To make these jello shots without alcohol, simply substitute the vodka for an equal measure of water.

Patriotic jello shots on a star shaped plate.

Expert tips and FAQ

How to make layered jello shots

For perfectly separated layers, each layer must be completely set (firm) before adding the next.

It takes about 1 hour in the fridge for each jello layer to set – slightly longer for the first one, and a bit less for the next ones.

This is because the second and third layers of jello are poured over cold jello, which helps them cool down faster.

The jello for the next layer should be fully cooled (no longer hot or warm) before pouring it on top of the previous layer to prevent the colors from mixing.

Even jello layers

Crouch down a bit to view the glasses from the side while pouring the liquid jello to help making the layers with similar height.

It’s hard to estimate how much you need to pour into the glass to make it one-third full with each jello color just by looking at it from the top.

Red, white, and blue firecracker jello shots with cherries on top.

Add decorations

Cherries with stems: Stemmed maraschino cherries look much cooler on these jello shots – leave the stem out to make them look like firecrackers!

Unfortunately, I couldn’t get any before taking these pictures 🙁 But regular cherries are nice, too.

Whipped topping: Add a dollop of Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream before serving.

It’s better if you use wider glasses / jello shot cups. With tall slim shot glasses like the ones I used here adding Cool Whip on top can pose a challenge.

Patriotic sprinkles: Add red, white and blue jimmies or star sprinkles to make them even more festive! As with the whipped cream, add sprinkles just before serving so they don’t melt.

How long do they keep in the fridge

Refrigerate the jello shots covered (with the plastic cup lids or with cling wrap) for up to one week.


Red, white and blue layered jello shots.
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Red, White and Blue Jello Shots

Layered red, white and blue jello shots are the coolest patriotic treats to serve this summer!
Prep Time10 minutes
Chill Time3 hours
Total Time3 hours 10 minutes
Course: Drinks
Cuisine: American
Servings: 24
Calories: 98kcal
Author: Pris Frank

Ingredients

Instructions

Blue layer

  • Dissolve 1 small (3-ounce) box blue jello in 1 cup boiling water and stir until jello powder is completely dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup vodka.
  • Arrange 24 2-ounce cups in a baking pan or tray so it's easier to transport them and from the fridge. Use a small cup with spout or a turkey baster to to help fill cups one-third of the way full with blue jello. Refrigerate until set.

White layer

  • Pour 1/2 cup of boiling water over one envelope (0.25-oz) of unflavored gelatin, mixing briskly until all gelatin crystals are fully melted. Stir in 1/2 can (7 ounces) of sweetened condensed milk and 1/2 cup of vodka, and mix well. Let cool down.
  • After blue layer is firm, gently pour condensed milk jello to fill glasses two-thirds full. Return shots to fridge to set.

Red layer

  • Dissolve 1 small (3-ounce) box red jello in 1 cup boiling water and stir until jello powder is completely dissolved. Stir in 1/2 cup cold water and 1/2 cup vodka. Let the mixture cool down.
  • After the white layer is set, if you wish, add a maraschino cherry to each glass. Then, fill the remaining space in the glasses with red jello. Return the jello shots to the fridge to let the final layer firm up before serving.

Notes

Each layer must be completely set (firm) before adding the next layer, which will take about 1 hour in the fridge. The jello for the next layer should be fully cooled down (not hot or warm anymore) before pouring on top of the previous layer to prevent the colors from mixing.
If you serve the 4th of July jello shots in glasses instead of soft plastic cups, offer your guests small spoons.
Recipe variations
  • Non-alcoholic jello sots: Simple replace the vodka with cold water.
  • Low-calorie jello shots: Use sugar-free red and blue jello instead of regular, and for the white jello layer substitute the condensed milk for 2% or skim milk. It won’t be creamy, but it has almost no calories! Sweeten the skim milk to taste with a calorie-free sweetener (like Splenda or stevia).
  • Stronger jello shots: Instead of adding 1/2 cup of cold water and 1/2 cup of vodka to the red and blue jello layers, ditch the 1/2 cup of cold water and add 1 full cup of vodka instead. Do not go over 1 cup of vodka per box of jello, or the shots won’t set properly.
Topping ideas: Just before serving, add a dollop of Cool Whip or homemade whipped cream, patriotic sprinkles or jimmies. You can also stick some toothpick American flags!
Keep the jello shots refrigerated, covered, for up to one week.

Nutrition

Serving: 1 | Calories: 98kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 0.5g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g | Cholesterol: 3mg | Sodium: 46mg | Potassium: 32mg | Fiber: 0.2g | Sugar: 13g | Vitamin A: 24IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 28mg | Iron: 0.1mg

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