I have mentioned, oh, once or twice at least, my obsession with boozy Jello. These little summery beauties mixed that obsession with my love for party food and determination to try one of the many things I’ve pinned on Pinterest (I accomplish this about once a blue moon).
Since party food tastes better with company, I invited some girlfriends over for a Bubbles & BBQ party on Saturday. We had a serious spread of goodies — numerous cheeses, pasta salad, homemade pickles, Caprese salad and even a bowl of larb with butter lettuce. There were also some crazy good bacon-wrapped, shrimp-and-cheese stuffed jalapeños. Yeah, my friends can throw down when it comes to eating!
While there was good food galore, I like to think the watermelon jellies were the most adorable offering of the day. Which is a good thing because they were a total pain to make. I’m always pleased when overly fussy projects turn out as cute as desired!
Not to deter you from trying these — because even made without alcohol they really do make quite the impression. Just give yourself plenty of time to put them together. And maybe drink a cocktail while you do it.
Start by cutting the limes in half from top to bottom and juicing them, then get to work on hollowing them out. This was harder than I expected. I’ve heard (and can imagine) that lemons and oranges are much easier but limes are pretty stubborn. I thought I’d be smart and try blanching the lime shells to get the flesh out easier. All this did was turn the rind from a bright green to a dull green (boo!). Luckily it was fairly unnoticeable when they were sliced. The best thing to do would be to invest in a grapefruit spoon to scrape as much of the pulp out as possible.
Once the limes are scraped clean, rinse them and pat them dry. Put them cut side up in a muffin tin and then carefully pour the Jello mixture into the shells and let them chill until set, preferably overnight.
Then enjoy the cuteness you have created — oh, and beware. These little Jello-y jewels pack a punch!
Boozy Watermelon Slices
- 1 small seedless watermelon — pureed and passed through a sieve (should get 2 cups of juice)
- 1/4 cup sugar (or to taste depending on the sweetness of the melon)
- 2 packets of unflavored gelatin
- squeeze of lime (optional)
- 2/3 cup vodka (I used Smirnoff Watermelon Vodka)
- 3-4 limes, halved, juiced and scraped clean of flesh
- 1 TB untoasted black sesame seeds
Put 2/3 cup of watermelon juice into a small saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Allow to bloom for a few minutes.
Add sugar and heat mixture over very low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin and sugar dissolve, about 3-4 minutes. Add in vodka, squeeze of lime and another 2/3 cup of watermelon juice.
* a note about the added sugar — the lime pith does impart a touch of bitterness to the shots so the sugar is a nice addition. However, it’s not necessary.
Pour into lime “molds” and chill until set. Slice each lime half into thirds and sprinkle slices with sesame seeds.