These Jello Shots Will Take You Back To College - Without The Everclear

These Jello Shots Will Take You Back To College - Without The Everclear

For those of you under the impression that jello shots are best left in college alongside the rest of those nostalgic, yet not-so-mature beverage choices (we’re here for you, Natural Light lovers, we’re here for you) - well, you’re wrong.  Just kidding, we can leave the Natty Light back in 2009. But why, WHY should we leave those fun, colorful, jiggly, gelatin days behind us?  We’re grown up now. We’re adults. And we deserve to have some fun.

Now, before you race to find a your favorite jello mix and your lowest of low shelf vodka...don’t. We’re not talking about the same old cherry-flavored, too-sweet and also too-boozy jello shots we know and (only kind of) love.  We’re talking the classics.

Our jello shots look a little more like this: those old school cocktails that not-so-recently made their way back into the mainstream and onto menus in just about every non-chain restaurant...and yes, even some of those, too.  Those once-lost cocktails that have come back into fashion like a pair of 1980’s mom jeans. You know the ones. These are the cocktails after which our version of jello shots are modeled.

 Patrick Halloran, Henrietta Red Bar Manager, posing with the Twentieth Century jello shot

Patrick Halloran, Henrietta Red Bar Manager, posing with the Twentieth Century jello shot

All of which brings us to Henrietta Red - the neighborhood gem in the heart of Germantown. Patrick Halloran, Henrietta Red’s talented bar manager and The Patterson House veteran, is concocting these jiggly nostalgia-inducing gems on a weekly basis.  These creations (and he’s made 87 different varieties at this point) vary from the bittersweet Negroni (pictured below left) to the refreshing rum swizzle called the Queen’s Park Swizzle (pictured below right). His favorite? The Twentieth Century - and he’s kind enough to share the recipe with us.  Thanks to Pat, your cocktail parties just got way more fun.


Pssst - did you know the Twentieth Century is named after a passenger train called the Twentieth Century Limited, which operated for a 65-year run between Chicago and New York?  Passengers could enjoy the luxuries of a library, barbershop, in-house maids and sleeping berths while on their 958 mile (16-hour) trek.  Best of all - they’d walk a crimson carpet to board the train, thus introducing the infamous phrase “red carpet treatment”. The TCL line was so loved that a gentleman from Britain created this cocktail in its honor. The first time it appeared in print was in 1937 in the Café Royal Cookbook.

Need some tips on how to correctly line your loaf pan for wrinkle-free jello shots? Pat is here to help!

Twentieth Century from Henrietta Red
(makes 15 jello shots)

5.25 oz Dry Gin
2 oz Lemon Juice
2 oz Cocchi Americano
2 oz Creme de Cacao (here I use Marie Brizard)
5 oz Cold Water Water
16g Powdered Gelatin

Method:

1. Line a loaf pan like you would for a terrine mold - wet the interior, and then pull plastic wrap over it. (Make sure that the plastic wrap is both longer and wider than the pan's dimensions.

 Twentieth Century jello shot at HR

Twentieth Century jello shot at HR

2. Gently press the plastic wrap in to the pan, then fill with water. This will help push air bubbles out of the pan. If you see air bubbles/pockets, and you will, gently press down to push the air out. When you are content that the plastic wrap is as smooth and flat as possible, gently dump the water and set aside.

3. Mix the gin, lemon, creme de cacao, and Cocchi Americano and set aside.

4. Bloom the gelatin in cold water in a saucepan.

Don’t worry, we didn’t know what blooming was either! Just sprinkle the gelatin into the cold water and let it sit for about 5-10 minutes. This is super important because it ensures the jello comes out nice and smooth! When you heat the gelatin, it’ll dissolve evenly. Whew - no. big. deal!

5. Let rest for 5-10 minutes.

6. Stir the gelatin over a medium-low heat, stirring gently, until it is totally dissolved.

7. Run the water/melted gelatin through a fine mesh strainer in to the cocktail batch, and gently stir to combine.

8. Pour into the lined loaf pan and let chill eight hours (or overnight).

9. Cut into desired shapes when set.

10. Microplane some chocolate and lemon peel over each jello shot, and sprinkle a small amount of Maldon/flaky salt on top to garnish.

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