This easy Watermelon Jello Shots recipe is so easy and fun to make. Made with watermelon-flavored gelatin and vodka and topped with a cute watermelon sour candy, this is a treat the adults will love all summer long. Make a kid-friendly version without the alcohol so they can join in the fun too.
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Watermelon Vodka Jello Shots
While these Jello shots don’t contain real fruit, they are loaded with watermelon flavor from the gelatin and the vodka. They are so sweet and smooth, whether you slurp them down or eat them with a spoon, they are definitely the best way to get any party started!
The bright red Jello makes these the perfect boozy, adult-only treat to bring to patriotic summer parties and backyard cookouts. If you have guests that don’t drink alcohol, or if you’ll have kids at the party, you can make a separate batch without the vodka and label them at the party, so everyone knows which ones are which.
💓 Why We Love this Recipe
- Super quick and easy jello shot recipes are so tasty but usually only have two ingredients plus water.
- These delicious watermelon Jello shots are a great time saver if you are planning a party because you can make them a day or two in advance.
- They are bursting with watermelon flavor that will automatically make you think of summertime.
- Small saucepan
- Plastic shot cups
- Large measuring Cup
- Whisk or large spoon
- Cookie sheet
What’s Needed to Make these Jell-O Shots
- Watermelon gelatin
- Watermelon vodka – you can also use plain vodka
- Watermelon Sour Patch Kids candies-to garnish each jello shot
- Plastic shot cups
How To Make the Best Watermelon Shots
Step One: Make the Gelatin
- Add plastic cups to a rimmed cookie sheet or a muffin tin so you can move them in and out of the refrigerator.
- In a small sauce pan, bring 1 ½ cup of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk the watermelon gelatin powder into the hot water.
Step Two: Add Alcohol
- Add ¾ cup of vodka and whisk.
Step Three: Add Cold Water
- Stir in ¾ cup of cold water.
Step Four: Pour and Chill the Shots
- Divide the Jello mixture evenly among the shot glasses. Allow them to chill in the fridge.
- Before serving, decorate the top of each one with Sour Patch watermelon slices.
Substitutions and Alternatives
Jell-O: Have you tried Jolly Rancher Brand Jell-O yet? There are some really great flavors that make great Jolly Rancher Jello shots. The watermelon Jolly Rancher gelatin is so tasty and would be wonderful in this recipe. If you are having a hard time finding watermelon Jello, you can try different flavors of gelatin and vodka to make any type of jello shots.
Alcohol: We used a watermelon vodka, but you could also use regular vodka or Malibu watermelon rum. The watermelon flavor will come from the gelatin. If you are using tequila, you can pour the gelatin mixture into lime shells to a resemble watermelon rind to make super cute Margarita Jello shots!
Toppings: Wanting to make them a little extra festive? Top each with a small dollop of cool whip. You can even add a few colorful sprinkles to the top of the whipped topping or some mini chocolate chips to resemble watermelon seeds.
Other add-ins: Add fresh mint leaves as a garnish if you like mint and watermelon for a refreshing alternative to this recipe. For a tart watermelon pucker jello shot, you could replace about a tablespoon of the cold water with the same amount of fresh lime juice!
What Kind of Cups Should I Use?
The type of cups you use should be short and wide, like plastic condiment cups.
You don’t want the ones that are rigid because you’ll want to be able to squeeze the sides to help release the Jello. If you are using acrylic like cups that aren’t flexible, you may want to take a sharp knife and run it around the edges of the cup to help the jello come out.
If you are making these in advance, little cups that come with lids will help keep them fresh.
How to Make Alcohol- Free Jello Shots?
This is easy to make alcohol-free – just replace the vodka with more cold water. You can also substitute juice or ginger ale. A great substitution would be flavored watermelon juice to give it more of that watermelon flavor. If you think about it, alcohol Jello shots are basically just Jello cups!
You could even try the juice of a fresh watermelon by blending it in a high-powered blender or food processor and putting it through a sieve to get any chunks out. Just be sure it’s very pure or you’ll end up with jello shots that look chunky or spotted. We recommend buying a watermelon-flavored juice for the best consistency in a non-alcoholic version.
How Long Do Jello Shots Last?
You can make Jello shots up to three days ahead of time. Just be sure to cover each Jello shot and refrigerate.
More Cocktail Recipes
- 4th of July Jell-O Shots
- Watermelon Margarita
- Red Wine Ice Cream Floats
- Peppermint Martini Recipe
- Lime Jello Shots
Watermelon Jello Shots
- 12 2 oz. plastic shot cups
- 1 3.94 oz. box of watermelon gelatin
- 2 ¼ cups water divided
- ¾ cup watermelon vodka
- 12 watermelon Sour Patch Kids candies
- Add plastic cups to a rimmed baking sheet or a muffin tin so you can move them in and out of the refrigerator.
- In a medium sauce pan, bring 1 ½ cups of water to a boil. Remove from the heat and whisk in watermelon gelatin.
- Stir in ¾ cup cold water and ¾ cup watermelon vodka.
- Divide evenly among plastic cups.
- Move to the refrigerator to chill for 4+ hours.
- Before serving, garnish each shot with a watermelon Sour Patch Kids candy piece.
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