Jello Shocks: Caffeinated Jello Shots

It had been planned for a while now, at least a week and a half or so, if not longer, that the Gamer Club 4th of July party that was to be hosted at Kara and Matt’s apartment this past weekend would have Jello shots.  I’d offered my experience with this particular creation some time ago, and thusly I was going to help party prep with these lovely bits of delayed-effect intoxication bliss.  Then, Friday afternoon, I receive this text from Kara:

“Mountain dew and everclear jello. Figure out how to make it happen.”

Easy.  I’d already read about Everclear jello shots thanks to the lovely and useful My Science Project (check out their informative and entertaining site, with multiple pages documenting their jello shot experiments) – and the Jell-O packages themselves make it clear that you can use soda instead of cold water.  After some texting and chatting, the plan evolved a bit more, to make the jello shots even more potent, not using merely Mountain Dew, but Rockstar energy drinks.  Caffeinated Jello Shots, for a party in which a bunch of geeks/gamers would be getting together on a holiday.  Yes, the potential for chaos was great indeed.  After polling the attendees of the party for ideas for a good name for these caffeinated, strong Jell-O shots, the one that stuck was: Jello Shocks.

After some more communication and plotting planning, ingredients were acquired and assembled – Kara’s cat Oscar indicated he wanted to be helpful – or at least involved.

Another shot of the assembled ingredients – slightly less blurry than the one with the cuter cat above:

If you’re wondering about the variety of ingredients there, we decided to make some jello shots that should just be rather tasty, without as much concern on alcoholic potency.  That’s where the Amaretto and Rum come in.  No Oscars were harmed in the making of these liquored-up delicacies, though many laps were furred.

So, let’s get to the making of some jello shots.  First, we nuke a cup of water for 3 minutes to get it boiling hot, and carefully and slowly stir in the sugar-free Jell-O (sugar-free used for a couple of reasons – less chance of nasty hangovery aftereffects is a nice bonus, but mostly because sugar-free Jell-O requires less water to completely dissolve, and can thus more easily hold larger amounts of alcohol gelled).

Mischief-making at the ready.  Here, I’m adding Everclear to Sugar-free Rockstar Energy Drink.

Now, Everclear is 190 proof grain alcohol – 95% pure ethanol.  We used (for most of the shocks, the peach ended up more potent) 1/2 cup of Everclear per batch, right at about 1/4 of the contents of each shock.  Some quick and dirty rough math makes each Everclear shot 47.5 proof.  The plastic cups we used for the shots are 2 oz cups, and most of the shots were about 1.5 to 1.75 ounces, giving each one roughly the potency of a 1 oz shot of vodka.  The Peach shocks had less water, less Rockstar, and more Everclear, and were, at a guess, around 60 proof each.

Many of those 2 oz plastic cups arranged and ready:

While several of these pics are out of actual chronological order, they’re more or less accurate to show the steps (with some gaps – we got caught up in the fun of making the things, and forgot to take as many pics as I’d intended) involved in the event.  However, I did catch the very first pour of the first shock (strawberry jello, rockstar, and everclear):

Kara putting lids on the second batch (lime jello, rockstar, and everclear) while I prep the next couple of batches:

After the third batch of Everclear shocks (peach jello, rockstar, and everclear – the highest alcohol content of any of the shocks, but interestingly the most pleasant tasting of the three everclear varieties), we began working on our two “let’s make some that just taste good” batches.  The first of which, we dubbed the “Pirate Shocks” – Orange Jell-O, Captain Morgan’s Rum, and Mountain Dew.

The final batch, which was probably the most popular and all-around agreed upon as best-tasting of the shocks, was composed of Amaretto Liqueur, Sugar-free Rockstar, and Orange Jell-O.

Pouring the hot, dissolved jello/water mix into the alcohol/energy drink mixture resulted in some very cool patterns as the two liquids met each other in the pyrex cup, before they were stirred to be more uniformly mixed.  This proved the be pretty difficult to take pictures of with a point and shoot camera – the flash reflecting off the pyrex made most of the images useless, but I did get one decent one out of it:

The Amaretto/Orange and Spiced Rum/Orange shocks, by the way, smelled incredibly good.

I thought it would be amusing to give Kara’s little kitchen soldier a suitably themed hill of shocks to be shown as the king of.  Note that no alcohol had been consumed yet.

All 75 Jello Shocks, stacked up, ready to go back into the fridge for a few hours to chill and set:

Here they are in the fridge.  Aren’t these just things of beauty?

The two masterminds, showing off their creations:

So, how did they end up?

We probably didn’t mix the first two batches – the lime and strawberry – sufficiently.  Some of the shots were mildish on alcohol content, and some were considerably stronger.  We corrected that for the final 3 batches, which were all pretty uniform in strength.  The lime shocks were the least popular – perhaps due to someone saying that they tasted kind of like nyquil.  They had probably the most potent, burning everclear taste.  The strawberry shocks were also, for the most part, pretty strong tasting as well.  The peach seemed to either just mix wonderfully with the everclear, or masked the flavor better than the other two.  This is remarkable, because the peach shots were in fact the ones with the most alcohol content.

Here’s a pic of Kara’s cousin Tiff, before being consuming:

Next, Tiff as she had the honor of being our guinea pig consuming the first jello shock of the evening:

Tiff made a couple of really amazing faces of surprise and alarm, as the shock, as she termed it, burned its way down her throat.  Sadly, I didn’t manage to capture those on camera.

What I did get, however, is a bit of the aftermath . . .

My fingernails, after Kara and I had both had several jello shocks:

They’re still like that, now on Monday afternoon (though starting to wear and chip a bit).  I don’t typically keep nail polish remover handy, being a single straight guy.

The Army Shocks (Orange/Amaretto/Rockstar) were the single most popular.  They just tasted yummy.  A close second were the Pirate Shocks, and were my personal favorite.  Both versions were far easier to consume than any of the Everclear ones.  I’m of the mind that next time we create a bunch of Jello Shots, or even Jello Shocks, we’ll focus on making ones that just taste awesome, rather than trying for maximum impact on caffeine and alcohol content.


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