Champagne Rhubarb Jelly Shots

June 11, 2014

Every other week, Anna Hezel talks about the innovations, decorations, and other quiet touches that make a party memorable.

Today: Jelly shots grow up with rhubarb and Champagne (and gin).

Shop the Story

I know what you're thinking. Jell-O shots? Don't those belong at a sorority party, stuffed stickily inside a fleet of wilting Dixie cups, on a tray resting haphazardly on a beer pong table?

Don't worry, I thought the same thing, and I wasn't an easy convert. When a friend recently mentioned that jelly shots were his go-to summer party crowd pleaser, I imagined artificial cherry flavoring tinged with acrid vodka. "No," he said, "they're fancy jelly shots. I read about them in the New York Times."

As it turns out, a few years ago, Toby Cecchini from the Times did his own bout of research on converting classic cocktails into jellied versions and created the Bramble Jelly Shot -- his jelly shot version of a gin bramble.

Inspired by Toby, I developed my own early summer jelly shot: a sparkly Champagne base spiked with gin and lemon juice, topped with a sweet, tart, perfectly pink rhubarb float. No artificial colors or flavors -- just fruit, sugar, gelatin, and alcohol. The result was refreshing little bright jewels of juicy flavor, with just a touch of alcohol -- a novel and unexpected treat. 

Champagne Rhubarb Jelly Shots

Makes about 30 squares

For the rhubarb syrup:

1 pound rhubarb, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup lemon juice
1 cup water
2 cups sugar

For the jelly:

2 cups of rhubarb syrup, divided
8 packets powdered gelatin, like Knox
1 cup lemon juice
1/2 cup gin
1/4 cup sugar
3 cups Champagne

See the full recipe (and save and print it) here.

Photos by Anna Hezel

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

  • amy
  • Deanna
  • Kimberly
  • Marian Bull
    Marian Bull
  • Nelly
Anna Hezel

Written by: Anna Hezel


amy June 13, 2015
I made this for a party last year and it was a big hit. Plan on making it again for a party in a couple weeks. I was asked at the farmers market what I was going to make with the rhubarb I was buying. They thought it was pretty funny when I told them jello shots.
Deanna June 13, 2014
I literally gasped when I read this because it combines so many of my favorite things -- Rhubarb, champagne, gin and jello shots all in one thing! (well Jello shots were a fav in college but not as much right now -ha!).

I happen to have two cups of Rhubarb syrup in my fridge at this moment. I'm making these for a party next week. What an amazing amazing idea!
Anna H. June 19, 2014
Thanks, and good luck with your party!
Kimberly June 12, 2014
I think these are gorgeous! But how do you serve them? Do people just grab them with their fingers?
Anna H. June 12, 2014
Yes, or you could also serve them with toothpicks! The photo from Toby Cecchini's Times article shows a shot skewered with a blackberry and a slice of candied lime. These ones would look great skewered with a little strawberry on top.
Marian B. June 11, 2014
This is awesome. On a similar note, I used to make rummy bears in college (gummy bears soaked in booze, which when eaten with your hands make your fingers all sticky). Wondering if there is an artisanal alternative, please send help.
Anna H. June 12, 2014
I think what you just described sounds pretty artisanal to me, but, hmm, maybe just sprinkle them with some Maldon sea salt and hope for the best?
Nelly June 11, 2014
do you think other berries/fruit can be used instead of rhubarb? any suggestions for substitutes?
Anna H. June 12, 2014
Oh definitely. You could make a beautiful red syrup from strawberries, or a great purple-y syrup from blackberries later in the summer!
amymm June 11, 2014
These are beauties. I'll take a shot of two. Sorority sissies and bros stay back. These are not for you.
Sarahrah June 11, 2014
I want a necklace made out of these! They are beautiful!
Anna H. June 12, 2014
Thank you!
rizzle June 11, 2014
Also, do you think that these could be made sans alcohol? Maybe with sparkling water instead of the champagne and...maybe juice in place of the gin?
Anna H. June 11, 2014
Yup, you could definitely substitute 3 1/2 cups of soda water in for the alcohol. I would just recommend upping the sugar to 1/2 cup instead of 1/4 cup to make up for the little bit of lost sweetness from the champagne!
rizzle June 11, 2014
Totally genius. And gorgeous.