Monday, January 2, 2012

Margarita Lime Jello Cubes (Shots)


Years ago, when I was hip and young, staying home on New Years Eve was "totally not cool".  For my more mature self in 2012, however, a nice quite night home with the kids was just what the doctor ordered.  Snuggled on the couch with puppies on our laps we rang in the New Year watching the classic It's a Wonderful Life and finding gratitude in the Life we "Liv". 

Our last minute change in plans however, left us with a gorgeous batch of Margarita Lime Jell-O shots... a use my dad probably had not envisioned when he brought over a Trader Joe's sized bag of limes from his tree, though a use he is probably wishing he had been a part of.

Tart and potent, these jiggly cubes of margarita go down easy, especially when dipped into a sweet lime sugar that brings a definite "Pow" to the senses when popped into your mouth.  Unflavored Knox Original Gelatin allows true margarita flavors to shine through uninhibited by the usual flavored Jell-O.

Combined with fresh squeezed lime and lemon juices, a touch of sugar and a splash of Grand Marnier, these little guys can become somewhat addicting.  Note to self:  when photo shooting said Margarita Shots in the morning, perhaps one should not eat all the scraps from trying to make perfectly shaped cubes...

Pouring the prepared gelatin into a prepared baking dish and then cutting eases the prep and cost of those little plastic shot cups, and a simple topping of a tiny lime wedge sure catches the eye.  Sugar mixed with grated lime peel adds an attractive and sparkly addition to your serving plate with its pretty green flecks contrasting with the golden hues of the cubes as it brings an additional layer of flavor to the shot.




Margarita Lime Jello Cubes (Shots)
A Tequila Girl since my 20's, I have come to enjoy the pure, strong flavors of Margarita... sans sugar.  Hence, I personally loved these shots with very little sugar (I used only 2 Tbs).  My husband however, found them too tart ("puckery" was his description!) for his tastes and preferred his with about 4 Tbs of sugar.  As such, be sure to taste the liquid before chilling and adjust the amount of sugar to your tart/sweet preference.  I've seen other recipes using limeade concentrate.  Again, I prefer the fresh flavors of a good tart lime, however the concentrate would most likely bring additional sweetness to the mix and I'm guessing it would be a good substitute.

The Lime Sugar adds a wonderful punch to the shots with a blast of sweetness and and an additional shot of lime.

In addition, as the gelatin is flavorless, I would recommend using a good quality tequila as the margarita flavors in these cubes truly shine. 


6 oz. good quality tequila (3/4 of a cup)
1/2 cup fresh squeezed lime juice
2 Tbs fresh squeezed lemon juice
2-4 (or more!) Tbs sugar
2 envelopes  Knox Original Gelatin, Unflavored,
6 Tbs Water
1-2 Tbs Grand Marnier
pinch of salt

In a medium bowl add tequila and fresh squeezed juices.  Sprinkle geletin over the top.  Heat water in a microwave until boiling, add sugar and whisk a few times.  Pour hot sugar water into the tequila and add Grand Marnier and a small pinch of salt.

Whisk the mixture until geletin dissolves (I whisked for about 3 minutes).  If gelatin is not dissolving, heat briefly (start at 30 seconds) in the microwave, being careful not to allow mixture to boil and continue whisking.  The sugar will also dissolve.

Pour into a prepared baking dish (I sprayed a glass 9x6 inch dish with cooking spray) and chill until set, at least 3 hours.

Remove from refrigerator and cut into desired shapes... we did simple squares, but diagonal cuts could create fancier diamonds or triangles.  Or how about a cutter for circles?

Place on a serving dish, garnish as desired and serve with Lime Sugar. 

Liv Life Note:  While I used white granulated sugar in the shots this time, I'm somewhat curious to see how agave would work as a substitute and will give that a go next time.  I will report back after our next version!

Liv Live Note 2:  While we used a 9x6 inch dish, a smaller dish would create taller shots, etc.  Experiment with your favorite shape!

Lime Sugar
The perfect foil to Margarita Lime Jello Shots, or wonderful used as a sprinkle on Citrus Cookies or in any baked good where lime flavors would be welcomed.

Serving the Margarita Shots, I simply placed small spoonfuls of the sugar around the plate.  A small dish or bowl in the center of your serving plate would work as well.

1/3 cup sugar
zest from one lime

Place sugar and zest of a lime into a small food processor or blender.  Process for about 10 pulses, or until zest in very fine.  

38 comments:

  1. What a GREAT idea! Tequila is my fav! :D

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  2. Note to Kim: Next time you're cutting scraps for perfectly shaped squares, invite me over! These are fantastic.

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  3. I love this Kim, it looks so refreshing and beautifully shot! Hey.. I sent you an email.. hope you get it!
    Happy New Year!!

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  4. Amazing!!!! Do I have to say anything else:)))) Love your photos are this recipe is must try when I have friends over!
    Wish you my friend very Happy and Healthy New Year!!!!

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  5. I know that these must have some amazing taste! Also, the presentation is so elegant and eye catching-hard for anyone to pass up. The next celebration will be cubes instead of drinks at my house. Happy new Year!

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  6. How cute are these, they look amazing! Happy New Year! xoxo

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  7. these are gorgeous!

    and just saw them on tasteologie. congrats!

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  8. I cannot tell you how much I want to have these! That lime sugar definitely puts them over the top. Great festive idea for a party!
    Happy New Year!

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  9. These would be great this summer on the patio. Until then, I will just have to dream about them. Great photos!

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  10. Knox blocks completely remind me of being a kid - however these are not your kid kind of knox treats - these are better! Like you, staying home on New Years Eve is so much better as we get older and more fun. I am going to pin these treats! Hope 2012 is a wonderful year for you!!!

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  11. Oh, I adore margaritas!!! And these jello sound sound amazing...as well as being plain gorgeous!!

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  12. Wath a great Shots and gorgeus pictures,Love it :)
    Ridwan

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  13. I am so trying this! I can't imagine it was easy to cut those perfect squares, great job!

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  14. I am loving this! These are some of the prettiest jello shots I have seen and they sound delicious!

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  15. I have made a version of these - but your recipe sounds even better and these photos are just stunning. Thank you so much for sharing and I can't wait for warmer margarita season to enjoy these tasty treats!

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  16. Love tequila and margaritas and these look so fun! Happy New Year, my friend!

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  17. Prettiest Jell-O shots ever! You've managed to elevate the frat boy staple to something extremely elegant. ;)

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  18. Wow Kim! Your pictures are absolutely breathtaking! You do such a nice job with them

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  19. These are just fantastic!
    Happy New Year!

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  20. This is great for party and I know my friends will love it!!

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  21. I definitely wouldn't be able to resist having just one of these babies! Sounds amazing, and will definitely make an appearance at my next dinner party =)

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  22. Oh these shots are amazing! AMAZING! I can't wait to try them for my next get together. Can't wait - It's next week and I'm literally vibrating with excitement!
    And um... I totally ate a bowl of ice cream at 10 AM just so I can get a shot of an empty ice cream bowl. I could have just dumped it in the sink, but I really didn't think about it till after... Besides, why waste perfectly good ice cream?

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  23. Hey Kim!! Thank you so much for your kind words!! I have so much to learn from your page! I will be a regular here from now on!

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  24. Perfectly shaped squares! Looks fantastic!

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  25. Oh wow! These look sooooo good, Kim. And I'm not even much of an alcohol person. But I can imagine these being as addictive as you say.

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  26. Um, I need one of these right now- gorgeous photos! I was on the couch with a cold this New Years but it was kind of nice having a good excuse to stay in : )

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  27. AMAZING!!!
    Happy New Year!
    I just found and loved your blog!
    Visit me at: my-greek-cooking.blogspot.com

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  28. Kim,
    Your Margarita Lime Jello cubes are pure perfection in both pics, and taste. I have to try these. These are a great way to start off 2012! Can't wait to see what else you ahve in store;)

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  29. I love getting together with friends and having a potluck of sorts because I try foods I normally wouldn't make. Since we can't get together in person on a regular basis, blogs are the next best thing and this is quite a find! I never would have thought to try this and it would never have gotten my attention if I had just seen it in a recipe book. I need to try these I have some people who will be drooling over this...

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  30. I want to try this for a girls getaway next month! I'm sure it would be a big hit:)

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  31. I'm making these for a work event, any tips on making them non-alcoholic?

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