Mint Julep Jell-O Shots

Ahh, Jell-O shots. What’s the first thing that comes to mind when you hear Jell-O shots? High school parties while parents were out of town? Dorm-room or frat-house parties in college? Probably not a high-falutin’ event like the Kentucky Derby, right? Here’s the thing about Jell-O shots… they seem to be making a resurgence among Generation X. Instead of serving cocktails at parties, Jell-O shots are being whipped up with complex flavor combinations and impeccably styled garnishes. They look like a piece of art, but taste just like their cocktail equivalents. With that in mind, I thought it would be fun to give the mint julep a Jell-O shot spin for the Kentucky Derby, which is taking place tomorrow.

Mint juleps are the Kentucky Derby drink of choice. Traditionally, it consists of bourbon, mint, sugar, and water, although there are also many variations that include lime. I, for one, love the addition of lime, as it reminds me of a mojito, so I chose to go the lime route when making these Jell-O shots. However, if you prefer your Mint Juleps without it, I provide a link below for a non-lime Mint Julep Jell-O shot.

The Kentucky Derby, also known as “The Run for the Roses” for the blanket of roses draped over the winner, is all about high-class, big hats, and drinks served in fancy silver cups. Grab a silver platter, a rose, and some mini cupcake liners, and suddenly your Jell-O shots have been transformed from frat house grunge to shabby chic.

Don’t forget to wash them down with some dessert! A piece of this Chocolate Bourbon Walnut Pie would be perfect!

One year ago: Margarita Cupcakes
Two years ago: Homemade Taco Seasoning Mix

Mint Julep Jell-O Shots

Yield: 48 Jell-O shots

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes


2½ cups water
½ cup (heaping) mint leaves, packed
3 (6-ounce) packages lime Jell-O
1 cup bourbon
2 tablespoons lime juice


1. Line a 9x9-inch square baking dish with plastic wrap, letting it hang over the sides of the pan; set aside.

2. Combine the water and mint leaves in a small saucepan and bring to a simmer. Remove from heat, cover, and let steep for 15 minutes.

3. Using a slotted spoon, remove the mint leaves from the saucepan and discard. Bring the water to a boil. Meanwhile, empty the Jell-O packets into a large bowl.

4. When the water comes to a boil, pour it over the Jell-O in the bowl. Stir with a wooden spoon until it has completely dissolved. Stir in the bourbon and lime juice. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and refrigerate until set, 1 to 2 hours.

5. Using the plastic wrap "handles", lift the square of Jell-O out of the pan. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to slice into squares. Garnish with mint leaves, if desired. Refrigerate leftovers.

Note: If you prefer a Mint Julep Jell-O shot that does not include lime, check out the recipe at The Friday Football Foodie.

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24 Responses to “Mint Julep Jell-O Shots”

  1. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes on May 4, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Ooo these look so fun!!


  2. Mikaela Cowles on May 4, 2012 at 12:56 am

    Honestly, I don’t know if jello shots will ever make me think of anything other than a raucous party. We used to mix them into cheap champagne and pretend like we were sophisticated because we couldn’t afford to buy good stuff (of much of anything) and somehow putting the two together was so much better.

    But, it certainly seems like you’ve put lass back into jello. Maybe my opinion should be swayed…


  3. Natalie on May 4, 2012 at 1:11 am

    Total fun! I love the pics :)



  4. ambel on May 4, 2012 at 2:13 am

    wow, I’ve never heard of these b4, Igotta try it!!!! Thank you :)


  5. Nancy @ CouponClippingCook on May 4, 2012 at 3:25 am

    What beautiful colors in these pictures! And what a fun and tasty recipe too.


  6. Kiri W. on May 4, 2012 at 6:13 am

    Wow, these must be the most elegantly presented jello shots I’ve ever seen!


  7. Lori on May 4, 2012 at 6:49 am

    Leave it to you! I must try these right away!


  8. Katrina on May 4, 2012 at 7:50 am

    What a neat idea! This sounds yummy!


  9. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables on May 4, 2012 at 8:45 am

    love this idea!! who says jell-o shots aren’t for grown-ups?! :)


  10. Marina on May 4, 2012 at 9:00 am

    They look very limy! :)


  11. Jennifer @ Peanut Butter and Pepper on May 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    I have never had a jello shot! How sad is that? Now Ihave an excuse! This is a fantastic recipe!!


  12. Laura on May 4, 2012 at 9:39 am

    GENIUS! Classy and nostalgic at the same time. They look great!


  13. Jaclyn on May 4, 2012 at 9:50 am

    LOL! what a great idea!


  14. Paula on May 4, 2012 at 9:52 am

    I’ve never had a Jello shot either. Looks like I missed out on some fun times in my youth :)


  15. Rose on May 4, 2012 at 9:57 am

    Awesome!! Jello shots bring back some memories but I’ve never seen jello shots this classy before.


  16. Emmyw @ Kitchen Goddess in training! on May 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    What a fun idea!!! I love the thought of making these classy again! (Wait…were they ever?) Haha! I have to admit though I’ve always had trouble getting alcoholic jelly to set :S where am I going wrong! I’ll have to give these a go and see how it pans out :)


  17. RavieNomNoms on May 4, 2012 at 2:32 pm

    So much fun! Nice idea!


  18. Katharine on May 4, 2012 at 6:26 pm

    Love this idea! I bought some bourbon, mint and lime jello today at the store and it’s chilling in the fridge now! They’ll go great with my margarita and seven-layer dip tomorrow 😉 Plus, my favorite color is green, so the color is right up my alley!


  19. CJ at Food Stories on May 4, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Excellent pics … These are so bright and colorful :-)


  20. Ali @ Gimme Some Oven on May 5, 2012 at 12:31 am

    Those are adorable!!! I was just playing around with making mint popsicles today. May have to try jello shots next – so fun!!


  21. Debra Kapellakis on May 5, 2012 at 11:20 am

    Those photo’s are wonderful. The last one made me think of Christmas. Such intense red and green would make any Christmas table even prettier.


  22. RisaG on May 7, 2012 at 12:37 pm

    These are the cutest Jell-O shots I have ever seen. I bet they were amazing.


  23. Beth on May 29, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Thanks, these were pretty tasty! Everyone was a little surprised when I offered them as a “starter” before a grillout this weekend but they were quickly devoured.


  24. sandy on May 2, 2015 at 8:35 pm

    if I use rum they would be “mojito shooter”? Thanks this is so cool.


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