These 4th of July Jello Shots are super festive with their red, white, and blue layers. Such a fun twist on the traditional jello shooter, but let’s not forget… When you top them with whipped cream they almost taste like a fun dessert!
Whether you are lounging by the pool or spending the fourth of July holiday with friends you are going to want to have plenty of boozy options on hand if they are a drinking crowd! While everyone loves jello shots recipes, don’t forget about other easy but mesmerizing cocktails like my Tipsy Mermaid and Jolly Rancher Vodka drinks.
If you are like us, you always have tons of kids running around at parties, so you can serve a similar version that doesn’t contain alcohol but tastes just as great. These red, white, and blue jello cups are super cute in footed glasses and can be served for Labor Day and Veteran’s Day because they have the same patriotic colors.
As you are planning your Independence Day party, don’t forget to choose easy recipes. I have a full collection of fourth of July recipes that I revisit every year to make the menu easy, including my 4th of July Poke Cake which is super simple, refreshing, but so delicious!
- red jello mix – cherry jello or strawberry can be used
- blue jello mix – berry blue or blue raspberry are both great options
- boiling water
- Cold water
- clear gelatin
- sweetened condensed milk
Optional garnishes: whipped cream or patriotic sprinkles
How to Make 4th of July Jello Shots
Making these festive treats takes a little patience, but very few ingredients. You will mix up the blue layer with jello, vodka, and water and pour it into shot glasses to fill just 1/3 of the way full. Then we make the white layer with clear, unflavored gelatin and sweetened condensed milk (no vodka in this layer). We pour that over the chilled blue layer. Finally, we mix up the red layer of red jello, vodka, and water. This goes on top of the white layer.
Each layer has to be chilled and completely set before pouring the next (chilled/room temperature) layer on top, so you have some fridge time in between each layer, but you can walk away for an hour (or even longer) and do something else. Mixing each layer only takes a few minutes of active time.
Pro Tip: Place all of your shot glasses onto a cookie sheet (one with edges preferred!) for easy transfer in and out of the refrigerator!!
Tips for Making
- Make sure the white jello mixture is cooled completely before pouring it on the blue layer, or else it will melt together.
- The red jello also needs to be cooled to room temperature before adding on top of the white layer for the same reason.
- Using ½ cup vodka and ½ cup cold water in each of the blue and red layers of jello was my personal favorite as the flavors were able to come through and the vodka was not too strong. ¾ cup vodka and ¼ cup cold water will pack more punch (or you could use a full cup of vodka and no cold water if you wanted), but the vodka flavor is quite strong.
- You should get at least 30 jello shots from this recipe, however, it will depend on the size of the glass or cup you are using.
- Pipe the whipped cream (or Cool Whip) on top or use a can of spray whipped topping.
Use this same recipe for other holidays by changing up the gelatin flavor and color:
Halloween (Candy Corn Shots) – Use orange and yellow gelatin for the vodka layers and follow the same instructions for the white.
Christmas – Use red and green jello, then top with whipped cream and festive sprinkles.
St. Patty’s Day – You could make green and white layered shooters or add a yellow layer for a pot of gold feel.
Most of the time vodka and rum are the best options. Other liquors like tequila or whiskey can be used but they have a tendency to overpower the flavors of the Jello. If you use rum, be sure to choose a white rum (or even Malibu!) so that it is clear and doesn’t tint the colors of the jello.
We recommend keeping them for no more than 3 days.
As long as you use a clear vodka you are good to go! Flavored vodka can be used, but when you mix it with the flavor of the gelatin, sometimes it’s just too much.
Keep them in the refrigerator, covered and ungarnished, for up to 3 days. You can add the whipped cream just before serving.
More Boozy Summer Recipes:
- Starburst Alcohol Drink that is Fruity and Fun
- Orange Lemon Gin Cocktail
- Summer Peach Sangria
- Caribbean Inspired Coconut Rum Cocktail
- Strawberry Sangria
- Classic Rum Mojito Recipe
4th of July Jello Shots
- 1 – 3.4 oz. box red jello mix cherry or strawberry
- 1 – 3.4 oz. box blue jello mix berry blue or blue raspberry
- 3 cups boiling water divided
- 1- 1 ½ cups vodka clear
- 2 – .25 oz. packets clear gelatin
- 14 oz. sweetened, condensed milk
- Heavy cream or whipped cream (optional for topping)
- Red, white, and blue sprinkles (optional for topping)
- Whisk together one package of blue jello and 1 cup of boiling water until the jello is completely dissolved.
- Pour 1/2 cup of vodka into a 2-cup measuring cup (you'll see why in just a minute!) Add 1/2 cup of cold water to the vodka. For a stronger jello shot, you might want to use more vodka. I thought it became too strong with more than 3/4 cup vodka in each layer. Whatever you choose, add cold water to the vodka to make 1 cup TOTAL of clear liquid.
- Carefully transfer the blue jello into the measuring cup with the vodka and water. (Now you have everything in a tidy measuring cup with a spout – perfect for pouring into your shot glasses!)
- Slowly fill the bottom ⅓ of glass or plastic shot glasses. I experimented with a ton of different shaped shot glasses – some plastic, some glass. They all turned out awesome. You should be able to make about 30 jello shots. Just keep filling the glasses 1/3 of the way until you run out of mixture.
- Place the jello shots into the refrigerator to chill for at least 1 hour.
- Once the blue layer of jello has set, it's time to mix up the white layer.
- In a medium mixing bowl, sprinkle two packets of clear, unflavored gelatin over 1 cup of boiling water. Whisk until the gelatin is fully dissolved in the water.
- Add an additional 1 cup of cold water and the sweetened condensed milk.
- Stir until the mixture is combined – it will be white and opaque.
- Chill this white jello mixture in the refrigerator until it is room temperature. Don't chill it too long – you don't want it to start setting! But you also don't want to pour a warm mixture onto the blue layer.
- Pour the white jello over the blue layers until each shot glass is 2/3 of the way full. Chill in the refrigerator until fully set – at least 1 more hour.
- Make the red layer just like you made the blue layer. Stir the red jello powder into boiling water (1 cup). Combine vodka and water to make 1 cup of clear liquid. Stir the jello and vodka solution together.
- Allow the red layer to cool to room temperature – it cannot be warm when pouring over the white layer!!!
- Now fill the shot glasses to the very top with the red jello solution.
- Chill in the refrigerator for 1-2 more hours, or until the jello shots are set.
- Pipe freshly whipped cream on top of the jello shots and add sprinkles, if desired. The whipped cream and sprinkle garnishes should not be added until just before serving.