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Champagne Rhubarb Jelly Shots

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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).

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

Tags: DIY Home, Champagne, Rhubarb, Entertaining, Party, Summer, Burnt Toast Dinner Brigade, DIY Food, How-To & Diy