4th of July Jello Shots

Cue the fireworks, parades, and of course, the 4th of July Jello Shots, made with 3 flavors of yummy Jello and of course, vodka. These festive little cocktails in Jello-form are perfect for every party or gathering on Independence Day! The red, white, and blue layers are easy as pie to make, and they taste like coconut and fruity heaven.

4th of july jello shots on a marble background and red and white napkin

Layered Jello shots might seem complicated to make, but they aren’t at all. Making these red, white, and blue Jello shots is as easy as making Jello. You just have to wait a little before pouring each layer.

For your evening cookout, camping trip with friends, or neighborhood block party, you’ll be the hero when you show up with everyone’s favorite adult treat.

What are Jell-O Shots?

Jello shots are essentially alcohol-infused, bite-size portions of Jello. You replace some of the water you’d normally use to make Jello with vodka (or another favorite alcohol) and portion the mix into condiment cups for a spiked mini treat that packs a serious punch of both flavor and spirits.

close up view and red, white, and blue jello shots with a dollop of whipped cream on a white plate

What alcohol is best for Jello Shots?

The alcohol you use for Jello Shots will be dependent on the flavor of Jello you use and your personal preference when it comes to the flavor of the alcohol. Common options are vodka, flavored vodka, white rum, and coconut rum, but tequila, whiskey, gin, and other spirits are also commonly used.

To decide which is right for you, I recommend considering what flavors of Jello you choose, and what you feel would taste the best. When in doubt, choose vodka or white rum, since they go with just about anything, and have the mildest flavor, so they blend nicely with the Jello and don’t make the alcohol-flavor overwhelming.

multiple 4th of july jello shots with whipped cream

Types of Alcohol for Jello Shots:

Try any of these spirits in your Jello shots:

  • Vodka
  • Flavored vodka like cotton candy, lemon, ruby red, peach, etc.
  • White rum
  • Coconut rum like Malibu
  • Peach Crown Royal
  • Whiskey
  • Gin
  • Tequila

Will Jello Shots make me drunk?

Jello shots can make you drunk! However, this depends on your tolerance and how often you tend to drink alcohol. When you consume alcoholic drinks or shots of any kind, it’s best to start slowly and not consume too much at the start.

As a general rule, Jello shots have about 1/3 of a shot of alcohol per container, so they tend to have less alcohol in them than a traditional drink would.

Processo Popsicles
Halloween Jello Shots

Tips and Recipe Notes

  • After pouring each layer, allow it to fully set before adding the next layer. This will help prevent the colors from mixing and gives you those pretty clean lines between the layers.
  • Before pouring a new layer on top, make sure the previous layer has cooled to room temperature or is slightly cold. This stops the layers from melting or blending together.
  • Use a turkey baster or syringe to fill the cups with each layer. This gives you better control of how much goes into each cup.
  • Be patient, and take your time! These are so pretty and festive when done correctly.

How do I store Jello Shots?

Jello shots should be kept in the fridge for best results. When you’re serving, you can remove them from the fridge for a few hours, but any leftovers should be returned to the fridge as soon as possible.

It’s helpful to store Jello shots with a lid on them. This helps keep them clean and intact, and stops them from picking up other flavors from your fridge.

You can make Jello shots ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for 2-3 days.

Can I freeze Jello Shots?

Technically, yes, you can freeze Jello shots, but it’s not recommended. The Jello can easily get freezer-burnt, but more importantly, your layers will likely be ruined as your Jello thaws. The texture and flavor of the Jello shots might not end up the same as before.

red white and blue jello shots with stacked on each other on a blue lined white plate


Can I make 4th of July Jello shots without alcohol?

Yes, you can make non-alcoholic 4th of July Jello shots by using fruit juice or flavored syrups instead of alcohol.

Can I make 4th of July Jello shots in advance?

Yes, you can make 4th of July Jello shots in advance. It’s best to store them in the refrigerator and consume them within a few days for optimal taste and texture.

What are some garnish ideas for 4th of July Jello shots?

Garnish ideas for 4th of July Jello shots include whipped cream, fruit slices, edible glitter, or patriotic-themed sprinkles to enhance the visual appeal.

More Yummy Holiday Recipes You’ll Enjoy

If you like this 4th of July Jello Shots recipe, you’ll want to try some of our other easy holiday treats! Try any from the list below.
Patriotic Whoopie Pies
Apple Pie
Rainbow Cake Balls

Yield: 30

4th of July Jello Shots

4th of July Jello Shots

These 4th of July Jello shots make the perfect patriotic party treats!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Additional Time 4 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 5 hours


  • 3.4 ounce blue colored Jell-O (such as berry blue or blue raspberry Starburst flavors)
  • 3.4 ounce red colored Jell-O (such as strawberry, cherry, or original Skittles flavors)
  • 0.25 ounce unflavored gelatin packet
  • 8 ounce sweetened condensed milk
  • 2-3 teaspoons coconut extract or other flavored extract
  • 2.5 cups Absolut Vodka or you can opt for a flavored vodka, divided
  • 2.5 cups hot water, divided
  • Whipped Cream, for garnishment


  1. Line a large baking tray with 2 oz mini plastic cups and set aside.
  2. Start by heating 1 cup of water over the stovetop just until it begins to boil.
  3. In a medium heat safe mixing bowl, combine the blue jello powder and hot water and whisk together until the powder dissolves.
  4. Pour in 1 cup of vodka and stir to incorporate.
  5. Fill each of the cups with the liquid blue jello ⅓ of the way full. You can use a measuring spoon if you want each cup to be filled the same.
  6. Place the tray of jello cups into the refrigerator to chill for 1 ½ hours or until set.
  7. Once the blue layer is set, prepare the white layer by heating ½ cup water over the stovetop.
  8. In a medium heat safe mixing bowl, combine the unflavored gelatin powder with the hot water and whisk together until the powder dissolves.
  9. Pour in ½ cup vodka, 8 oz sweetened condensed milk, and the coconut extract. Stir well to combine.
  10. Fill each of the cups with the white gelatin layer another third of the way full.
  11. Place the tray of jello cups back into the refrigerator to chill for an addition 1 ½ hours or until set.
  12. Once the white layer has set, prepare the red layer by heating 1 cup of water over the stovetop.
  13. In a medium heat safe mixing bowl, combine the red jello powder and hot water and whisk together until the powder dissolves.
  14. Pour in the last cup of vodka and stir to combine.
  15. Fill each of the cups with the liquid red jello the last third of the way full. Leave just a little room at the top if you plan to use the lids later.
  16. Place the tray of jello cups back into the refrigerator to chill for another 1 ½ hours or until fully set. Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.
  17. When ready to serve, you can top with whipped cream if desired. Enjoy!


These jello shots are pretty strong but if you want a weaker shot then just use a little less vodka and replace it with water in the same amounts.

This recipe uses plain vodka but you can use flavored vodka if you wish to give it more flavor. Another option is to use plain vodka and flavor each layer with a different flavored extract.

Make sure to allow each layer to set completely before adding the next layer otherwise the colors may begin to bleed into each other. Also make sure that the next layer being poured in isn’t too hot otherwise it can soften the layer underneath causing the colors to mix as well.

Easily make these alcohol free by removing the alcohol and just adding more water instead, in the same amounts.

Do not add toppings such as whipped cream, sprinkles, or maraschino cherries until ready to serve otherwise the whipped cream will start to melt and the sprinkles and juice from the maraschino cherries can start to bleed into the cream.

Make sure to keep the jello shots refrigerated until ready to serve and also to keep them cool when serving at a party. If it’s too hot, they may begin to liquify again.

These jello shots can be made ahead and stored in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. I recommend not to add any toppings until ready to serve.

Did you make this recipe?

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