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not so irish, but definitely green

Recipe: margarita jello

At the party we threw last weekend I was all prepared to serve up margaritas to our guests because that sounded like a good way to wash down those shredded beef and carne adovada tacos. As luck would have it, only one person asked for a margarita and so I was stuck with a bag of limes after the party was over.

what to do with juicy limes…

I shouldn’t say stuck with the limes, because there’s always something good to make with limes. I should say stuck with tequila because neither of us drinks tequila. Then I recalled a mojito jello that Helen had posted last summer and wondered if I might try something similar with the margarita. I had a good recipe in hand after researching all over the web for the *best* margarita cocktail. It goes something like 2 parts 100% agave tequila (silver, I don’t know what silver means, but basically don’t buy shitty tequila), 1 part Grand Marnier, and 1 part fresh lime juice. I guess I’m a serious lightweight because that was kinda strong for me. I preferred it with simple syrup, more lime juice, less booze.

sprinkle gelatin over the water to soften

fresh squozen is best

I guessed at the proportions of ingredients for the jello. It wasn’t an entirely uneducated guess, but… When I tasted the mixture, it seemed a tad weak to me, so I added more booze. Then it tasted a little strong, so I added more lime juice. Jeremy was no help at all because he doesn’t like margaritas.

pouring lime juice into the heated gelatin and sugar

tequila, you little devil, you

I poured the liquid jello into four small juice glasses, with enough leftover to fill two vodka shot glasses. It took about 5 hours for the jello to set, perhaps because I had too much booze in the recipe?

divvying up the jello

The jello tasted tart and strong. Isn’t that what margaritas are supposed to be? I wasn’t sure. I had my friend, Beth taste test one since she’s had margaritas aplenty. She puckered her lips and squinted her eyes. Beth said it was “good” but perhaps too much lime and “whoa! that’s kinda strong, JenJen.” Huh. I didn’t mean for people to get drunk off of the jello, just to enjoy a jiggly margarita. I’ve reduced the amount of booze and lime juice in the recipe below, but if you try this and find a perfect tweak – leave me a comment and let me know :)

potent little buggers

Margarita Jello
[print recipe]

1 tbsp powdered gelatin
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1/4 cup tequila (100% agave)
1/4 cup Grand Marnier

In a small saucepan, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of water and allow to soften for 5 minutes. Add the rest of the water and the sugar to the saucepan and stir over medium-high heat until sugar and gelatin are dissolved. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir in the lime juice, tequila, and Grand Marnier (taste it and adjust ingredients accordingly). Pour the jello liquid into a mold or small serving glasses and refrigerate for several hours until set. Serve cold.

41 nibbles at “not so irish, but definitely green”

  1. Rosa says:

    This Margarita jello looks wonderful and so refreshing! I like anything tart or strong ;-P!



  2. Katie Z says:

    I love the gorgeous shot of the lime slice! The segments look like butterfly wings. I’ll probably have to save the drinking for the weekend but that looks like it’d hit the spot!

  3. Mrs Ergül says:

    I love the last two shots. They are SO good!! Jaw-dropping good!! I think it is a refreshing change from the wooden background we have grown accustomed to on your blog! And I don’t mean it in a bad way at all!

    Getting drunk over jello! Gotta be a first-time for many!

  4. Culinarywannabe says:

    I’ve never put Grand Marnier in my margarita before – usually just simple syrup, lots of fresh lime juice and tequilla. These sound like a really fun party favor!

  5. Desiree says:

    Silver refers to the color. There is silver tequila which is clear and gold tequila which is the kind you’re used to seeing. The silver tends to have a slightly (really slightly) less strong flavor. Once upon a time Tequila era mi amigo. :) I was buddies with Jose Cuervo in college. And I have to say that I LOVE all of your beautiful photos!!

  6. Phoo-D says:

    What fun! I love the photos and this would be an interesting twist for a summer party.

  7. Lezel Safi says:

    Ohhhh doggies….I can’t wait to give this a whirl this summer out by the pool or at the beach….you are so darn inventive (is that the right word?!) Jen, it’s just not fair!

  8. Brian says:

    These look great! I’ll have to pull these out at an early summer BBQ. Thanks for sharing.

  9. song-i says:

    “squozen” is not a word.

  10. rita. says:

    Ahh, so refreshing , I love that it is sqozen,( I just love that word) yummy.
    As usual, your pictures tell the story. Fabulous.

  11. joanne at frutto della passione says:

    Those look great! Yummy, I’ll have to experiment!

  12. NAOmni says:



  13. peabody says:

    Now those are fun!

  14. Laura [What I Like] says:

    You’re getting me excited for warm weather!

  15. Andrea says:

    Now that’s my kind of jello! Tart and a little potent. :-)

  16. Caitlin says:

    It’s like a classy flashback to my college experience – love it! And if it weren’t for an unfortunate tequila experience, I would totally make these…

  17. Fiona says:

    SQUOZEN! I think there needs to be a “squozen” post once a month. Esp. now that we’re entering the fruity time of the year.

  18. kickpleat says:

    I’m not a fan of jello, but I think I can get myself a shot or two of these!!! So great.

  19. Steph says:

    Doesn’t adding grand marnier make it a Cadillac?

  20. says:

    I adore limes. One of my weaknesses is limeade (lemonade made with limes). Incredibly refreshing.

    And I never met a key lime pie I didn’t like.


  21. barbara says:

    I love Margaritas. Must try the jelly ones.

  22. Kristin says:

    Can I borrow “squozen” & add it to our family vocabulary? I love it!

  23. Tony says:

    exquisite photos, Jen! two questions… in my college days I *vaguely* remember having to literally squeeze the spiked jello out of the paper cups, thereby destroying said cups. Do these slide out more easily since they’re in glass?
    two… what are the flecks under the shot glasses in the last two photos? is that rice? I absolutely love the icy/glassy/modern effect it adds, but couldn’t figure out what it was :)

  24. Diana Banana says:

    wow. no. this would be a big no-no for me. i like my margaritas on the rocks, because the ice gets in the way of the liquid going straight to my tummy. these look like i could eat them in 4 bites with a spoon, and then i’d probably move on to another, and another, and another, and then i’d be on the floor slobbering next to your dog, staunchly defending the legitimacy of the word “squozen.”

  25. charlane says:

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm, love the thought of these – will definitely have to try them.

  26. Tartelette says:

    Oh yeah, I remember those :)
    I love the blue in the last pictures..perfect against the yellow. If that blue were edible, I’d be all over it…Gosh Jen, I can’t take my eyes off of it!! I am squozing on it :)

  27. Mollie says:

    Too much booze – downfall of jello shots everywhere! I have a story for you sometime about jello shots… lol

    These look soooo tasty. I love me some margaritas! mmmmmmmm And I love that lime slice picture!!

  28. allison says:

    Great shot of that lime! And adult jello shots – incredible!

  29. Aran says:


  30. cindy says:

    now, that is a fun jello shot :) i’m not much for tequila either, i usually end up hugging the toilet all night, which is not where anyone wants to be.

  31. Margie says:



  32. Whitney says:


  33. jenyu says:

    Rosa – oh, then you might really dig these ;)

    Katie – I only took a few spoonfuls and wowie! very strong! So yes, wait for the weekend if you’re a lightweight.

    Mrs. E – oh, well I actually used that background because the jello was such a close color to the table that I couldn’t really distinguish one from the other ;) ha ha ha

    Culinarywannabe – me? I’m a total idiot when it comes to cocktails and booze, so I looked up a gazillion recipes for margaritas. The majority of the best sources said lime juice, tequila, and an orange liqueur like Triple Sec or Cointreau, but they said Grand Marnier was the best.

    Desiree – omg, thank you for that nugget of info! That would have made these more lime juice colored than brownish (what I think of as piss colored…) Tequila and I have had a momentary history in college. I don’t recall much ;)

    Phoo-D – thanks!

    Lezel – oh, not all that inventive, just someone who screws around in the kitchen… plays with food ;)

    Brian – yup, I think summer BBQ would be ideal!

    Song-i – neither is fanfuckingtastic and I use that too.

    Rita – thanks, sweetie!

    Joanne – :)

    NAOmni – thank you.

    Peabody – in more ways than one ;)

    Laura – yay!

    Andrea – oh hon, I think I should party with you! Then you could finish off the jellos for me cause I am a lightweight when it comes to booze these days ;)

    Caitlin – yes, I hear ya. I think more people than not have had *bad* experiences with tequila.

    Fiona – hee hee. Yes, I love it when people get their panties in a wad over word usage ;)

    Kickpleat – :)

    Steph – that’s it!! Yes, I read that somewhere in my margarita research. I guess it’s a cadillac margarita – they have all these fancy names and who can remember after a jello shot?

    CookingSchoolConfidential – I’m a huge fan of limes too!

    Barbara – these were quite fun!

    Kristin – ha ha, sure thing! My MIL says it :)

    Tony – oh, these don’t slide out at all, they are firmly stuck to the glasses :) Use a spoon (these are non-college shots, let’s just say!) Oh, funny you should ask! Because the jello shots were nearly indistinguishable from my kitchen table (where I normally shoot), I threw some fabric down for better contrast. I just happened to have some upholstery fabric from a previous project (I sew random crafts and have a lot of random fabric). It’s black with little gold and gray specks on it. Jeremy thinks they look like paramecia. ha ha ha. But it’s a cute almost Asianesque effect. Actually, it’s a very pretty fabric, but the closest thing to black I could find in a pinch since my tablecloths were in the wash. :)

    Diana – you are so funny!! that is hilarious – and Kaweah would be licking your face hoping that you’d present her with a dog biscuit or steak or something edible…

    Charlane – :)

    Tartelette – you’re a hoot, lady!

    Mollie – can’t wait to hear the story ;) Jello shots = danger. thanks!

    Allison – hmmm, yes I guess they are “adult” jello shots :) Now if I can make adult gin and tonic jello shots, that would be the bomb.

    Aran – thanks!

    Cindy – nope. yup. that is a sad place to wind up ;)

    Margie – they’re great if you can handle the booze!

    Whitney – thank you :)

  34. Laurel says:

    HI! I am writing just for a tiny bit of clarification about tequila. “Silver” tequila or “Blanco” tequila is the same thing. The terms refer to the ammount of and type of aging it gets before it is bottled. Basically it is aged in stainless steel for fewer than two months so it is the freshest and purest tequila out there. I would argue that it tends to have the sharpest, cleanest, most agave-ey flavor. This is lovely for a margarita in that the margarita is all about lime! However, in your picture, you have a tequila that is labled “Reposado” and it is a light gold color. If a tequila is labled “Reposado” it has been aged anywhere from two months up to one year. It typically is aged in white oak casks or vats – or even barrels – similar to the way bourbon might be. Reposado means calm in spanish and if you can imagine, the oak barrels tend to mellow out the flavors of the tequila a bit and add some caramel, vanilla, maybe a bit of honey and brown baking spice notes. The other grade of tequila is “Anejo” which must be aged at least one year in oak and is more like a cognac and great for sipping! Much richer, etc.
    Anyway, Happy jello-shooting!

  35. jenyu says:

    Laurel – thanks for that clarification and information! That’s awesome :)

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  38. Me says:

    I made these & they did not ‘set’ + found them waaay too potent and I didn’t even use all the marnier.

  39. jenyu says:

    Me – that’s too bad. I can’t really help you if you don’t tell me what you did.

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