We started preparing for Gasparilla last week after making the Cannonball Cool-arrr, which I can't confirm or deny was named after a good friend who did a cannonball (belly flop?) off the boat after a full day of pirate festivities. Not on purpose, of course.
With your cocktails covered, it's time to talk jello shots. With these two Gasparilla necessities, you'll be admitted into any party, plus meet tons of new friends.
Many of us have been to gatherings with jello, or brand name Jell-O, shots. I can't exactly pinpoint why, but they're fun! Maybe they just take us back to our childhood while we get a buzz on. It's a win, win.
The jiggly, spiked friend-makers take a lot of work, though, for something that tastes like overly sweetened fake fruit. (I'm looking at you, Grape.) So forget those Kool-Aid packets with gelatin mixed in. We can do better than that.
Liquid Apple Pie, which I also incorporated into another drink, is something that started out as an old-fashioned, straight-from-a-shot-glass shot. My brother made it for a tailgate, and before we knew it, we were passing them out left and right. After word spread, two gallons of Liquid Apple Pie were history.
This weekend, you'll see what I'm talking about.
Apple Pie Jello Shots
Makes about 125
1 bottle grain alcohol (I used Everclear)
1 quart (32 ounces) apple juice
1 gallon apple cider
4 cinnamon sticks
2 cups sugar
4 ounces unflavored gelatin (about 16 Knox packets)
Whipped cream, for garnish (optional)
Put Everclear in the freezer for at least an hour.
Add apple juice, apple cider, cinnamon sticks (you can snag a Badia pouch for 85 cents), and sugar to a large pot over high heat just until boiling, then reduce to simmer. Allow mixture to simmer for 45 to 60 minutes.
A) In a pitcher, pour in 3 cups of the mixture and sprinkle 4 packets of gelatin on top. Stir immediately until fully dissolved. B) Add 1 cup of Everclear and stir. C) Distribute into plastic shot cups about 2/3 full.
Continue steps A through C until the mixture is gone. If there's any mixture remaining but no Everclear, use some extra vodka you have on hand to make more shots, or mix it with bourbon and reward yourself with a cocktail.
Let cups sit in the refrigerator uncovered overnight. Finish with a whipped cream topping and seal lids.
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