Classic Cocktails Wanna Have Fun Too: Negroni Jello Shots

by Pamela

classic cocktails, negroni, jello shot recipe, jello shots, jelly shots

Negroni shots lead to confession time…

I can’t make Jell-O.  Quit laughing…I’m serious.  It either turns out all grainy or runny.  I’ve made Jell-O only one time where it turned out like it was supposed to.  All nice and clear, smooth and jiggly (my brain just went to a very bad place – as it’s known to do).  I don’t know why this skill has eluded me all these years.  Maybe it’s a genetic defect that skips a generation or something (my mom can make Jell-O, no problem).  I also have no skill set that involves making pancakes…but that’s for another time.

Hey, don’t judge me because I can’t make Jell-O!  I’ve got lots of other talents dammit!  Some of which I can talk about and some….well, let’s just say it wouldn’t be polite to discuss.  Unless I’ve had a bottle of wine, a few shots of tequila and/or a few cocktails.  Then, of course, discussions become limitless (much to Craig’s chagrin).  I have finally decided that I am not afraid to admit my Jell-O failings and am proudly going to proclaim it to the world.

Hey, nobody’s perfect.

That being  said, let’s move on to today’s post: Negroni Jelly Shots (aka Jell-O shots).  I fully admit that this is a total bastardization of one of the most treasured classic cocktails.  But you know what?  I really don’t care.

I brought my sucky Jell-O making skills to this recipe big time.  Yes, I have posted more than one Jell-O shot recipe on this site.  In fact, all of the Jell-O shots I’ve posted here were classic cocktails.  But Jell-O shots/jelly shots are a little different than straight up Jell-O.  In fact, they usually don’t contain any of the kid stuff.  These Jell-O shot recipes are made with flavorless, sturdier gelatin…hence the name jelly shots.

But this Negroni jello shot recipe doesn’t contain any Jell-O or gelatin.  No, I was out of gelatine so I used agar agar.  Agar agar is a gelling product that is made from seaweed.  It’s the vegan answer to gelatin and is used mostly in Asian recipes.  I use it in some panna cotta recipes that I make.

Negroni Jello Shots

Here is where my confession comes into play.  These taste fantastic…but they didn’t last as long as my standard gelatine made jelly shots do.  They were also much more delicate and during the unmolding process, many were lost.  I re-made the  batch twice and added more agar agar the second time, but still not enough to make them really be shelf stable like a regular jelly shot.  Agar agar tends to be much stiffer than gelatin, so if you add too much you get an odd consistency.

I suppose I should have waited to post this recipe so that it was perfect, but I thought you might like to see that recipe developers have failures too before they get it right.

These are really quite delicious, and serving them on a spoon, rather than as finger food works fine.  You also don’t want to leave them sitting out, or you’ll have Negroni spoon drinks.

The recipe notes will have the measurements for making them with gelatin.  They will work because the ratio of liquid to gelatin is 2 packets of gelatin to 2 cups of liquid.

CHEERS!  Oh and if you click on the t-shirt picture, you too can proclaim that you have “other talents.”

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Recipe: Negroni Jello Shots


  • 1/2 Cup Water
  • 1/2 Cup Orange Juice (I used blood orange juice)
  • 4 Teaspoons Agar Agar
  • 1/3 Cup Campari
  • 1/3 Cup Gin
  • 1/3 Cup Sweet Vermouth (the red stuff)


  1. Pour water and orange juice into a small saucepan and then stir in the agar agar.
  2. Heat mixture over medium high heat just until it comes to a boil, then take it off the heat.
  3. Add the Campari, gin and sweet vermouth to the agar agar mixture and stir to combine.
  4. Pour into molds or 8″x8″ square pan.
  5. Place in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours.
  6. Remove from molds or cut into shapes.
  7. Top with grated orange rind (no pith).
  8. Serve immediately.

Quick notes

To make these stiffer, use 5 teaspoons agar agar.

To make them more able to stand at room temperature, use 2 packets unflavored gelatin instead of the agar agar.


You can omit the orange juice and just use plain water.

Preparation time: 5 minute(s)

Cooking time: 10 minute(s)

Diet type: Vegan

Diet tags: Gluten free

Number of servings (yield): 1

Culinary tradition: USA (General)


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