Home » Cocktails » How to Make Cranberry Jello Shots Recipe

How to Make Cranberry Jello Shots Recipe

THIS POST MAY CONTAIN AFFILIATE LINKS. SEE THE PRIVACY POLICY LINKED IN MY FOOTER.

This easy Cranberry Jello Shots recipe will take your party from mellow to merry. With just 3 ingredients, this make-ahead boozy treat is perfect for any fall or winter gathering. Make sure these festive vodka shots, perfectly topped with sugared cranberries, end up on your holiday table this year.

Cranberry Jello shots topped with sugared cranberries on a blue towel next to a bowl of cranberries.
Let’s make these easy Cranberry Jello Shots with Vodka.

Why you’ll love these Jello shots

A Cranberry Jello Shot has a little vodka and a lot of flavor. I think these would make great holiday Jello shots thanks to their seasonal cranberry flavor and deep rich color. A simple garnish of fresh cranberries makes them even more fun and festive.

Made with cranberry Jello and your favorite vodka, the recipe is quick, simple and almost foolproof. You may not be a “shots” person, but everyone is a Jello Shots person…

Related post: Orange Vodka Jello Shots

Since you have to make these ahead of time, they are a great idea to serve at holiday parties. You’ll stress less knowing these shots will be ready to serve when your guests arrive. I can’t think of a better welcome, can you? 

Cranberry Jello shots are great for Thanksgiving and Christmas, but of course, you can make these any time of year! They’re like a cocktail and dessert in one!

Ingredients

Ingredients to make Cranberry Jello Shots with vodka on a table in white bowls.

For the Cranberry Jello Shots

For the Sugared Cranberries

Using cranberry Jello makes this recipe super simple. I love the tart and sweet flavor and the color is just full of holiday cheer.

You may have some trouble finding cranberry Jello all year round, but you can for sure find it closer to the holidays. It’s a festive flavor used for many desserts and salads.

A quick look online showed it available at Walmart and most of the grocery stores in my area. It was not available on Amazon Fresh but was found on regular Amazon

Vodka is best for these Jello shots. Use your favorite brand or whatever you have on hand. It doesn’t have to cost a lot it just needs to be a taste you enjoy.

The fresh cranberries and sugar are for a cute garnish that makes these great for a winter shindig. But if you don’t want to add another few steps, you can totally skip this. 

See the printable recipe card for quantities and full recipe.

Instructions

A bowl with cranberry jello that has been dissolved in water.

Step 1

Add the cranberry Jello powder to a medium mixing bowl. 

Step 2

Bring the water to a boil, remove from heat, then pour into the bowl with the Jello. Whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved. 

Step 3

Add the vodka and stir.

Vodka cranberry jello shots in little plastic shot cups on a cookie sheet.

Step 4

Pour the Jello mixture into a small measuring cup with a spout on it to make it easier to pour into the small plastic cups without getting all messy. 

Place the Jello shot cups on a tray and begin pouring into the cups, filling almost to the top. 

How to make the sugared cranberry garnish

While the vodka cranberry Jello shots chill make the sugared cranberries.

A sauce pan with sugar and water in it.

Step 1

Place 1/4 water and 1/4 sugar in a shallow saucepan, and bring to a simmer on medium to low heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved.

A sauce pan with sugar syrup and fresh cranberries.

Step 2

Remove from heat and add the cranberries and stir, making sure they are all coated. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Fresh cranberries on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper.

Step 3

Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the parchment paper, making sure to keep them separated. Let dry for 1 hour. 

A bowl of sugar with cranberries in it.

Step 4

The cranberries should be dry and sticky by this point. Combine the 3/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl, add a few cranberries at a time to the bowl and sprinkle sugar on top and roll them around in the sugar.

Place back on clean parchment paper. Repeat until everything has been coated. 

Let dry for another hour or so.

Red jello shots for a winter party made with cranberry jello.

How to Serve

Once the winter Jello shots have set up and you’re ready to serve, place 3 sugar-coated cranberries on top. Serve these Christmas Jello shots and enjoy! 

Variations

  • Citrus – Add a splash of fresh orange or lime juice to add a bright citrusy note to the Jello shots.
  • Spices: Incorporate warm seasonal spices like cinnamon, nutmeg, or cloves.
  • Layered – Create layered Jello shots by making batches of different flavors or colors. Layer a small amount of cranberry Jello in the cups and set, then top with a complementary flavor like lime or orange then let that set.

Top tips

  • Remember, since these have alcohol, they are only for people of legal drinking age. Be sure to label them properly and serve them out of reach of minors if they will be present. 
  • You’ll want to make sure to use a cup that is shorter and wider rather than taller as it can be hard to get the Jello shot out. These are great.
  • If you don’t want them to be taken as shots you can make them in shot glasses and you can set out tiny dessert spoons for those people who aren’t the shots type. 
  • Too much alcohol can keep the Jello shots from setting up correctly so keep that in mind if you really want to get wild with the vodka. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the secret to Jello shots?

A good Jello shot should be balanced in flavor, alcohol, and liquid used. The great thing about this recipe is that using cranberry Jello helps to keep things easy. The flavor is tart but sweet, the water and vodka match the powder ratio perfectly and the amount of vodka won’t make these too powerful or runny.

Should alcohol be cold when adding to the Jello?

It’s best to use cold alcohol when making cranberry gelatin shots. The cold liquid will help the gelatin set a little quicker and more efficiently. 

What kind of alcohol is good in Jello shots?

Vodka is the best liquor to use in Jello Shots in my opinion. It has a pretty neutral flavor so it makes enjoying the boozy bite easy. It also pairs well with just about any Jello flavor. And it is a liquor that most people have in their home bar.

Do Jello shots need to be refrigerated?

Yes, Jello shots should be refrigerated to help the Jello set up properly. Keep them in the fridge until time to serve. They can sit out on a table for a while but I prefer them cold for best texture.

How many Jello shots can you make with a 3 oz. box of Jello?

One box of Jello can make about 10 – 12 normal-sized Jello shots. The actual amount will change based on the size of cups you use and how full you fill them. 

Winter jello shots made with cranberry jello and topped with fresh cranberries on a table.

Cranberry Jello shots are perfect for holiday parties, girl’s nights in or any happy hours in fall and winter. They taste good, look festive and are easy to make ahead of time. They’re the perfect boozy bite! 

Make sure you don’t lose this recipe by saving it for later! Also, for more recipes make sure you’re following me on Pinterest, Instagram and like my page on Facebook. If you make this recipe, be sure to leave a star rating and tag me in your pictures!

More easy cranberry recipes

Cranberry Jello Shots on a blue towel topped with sugar cranberries.

Vodka Cranberry Jello Shots

This easy Cranberry Jello Shots with vodka recipe will take your party from mellow to merry. Make ahead with 3 ingredients, these festive vodka Jello shots are perfect for holiday parties.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate Save
Course: cocktails
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Set Up Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 20 shots
Calories: 116kcal

Equipment

  • 2 oz. plastic shot cups with lids

Ingredients

For the Jello Shots

  • 6 oz cranberry Jello
  • 2.5 cups boiling water
  • 1.5 cups vodka

For Sugared Cranberries

  • 6 oz cranberries, fresh
  • 1/4 cup sugar (for sugar syrup)
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup sugar (for coating cranberries)

Instructions

To make Cranberry Jello Shots

  • Add the Cranberry Jello powder to a medium mixing bowl. Pour in the hot water and whisk until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
  • Add the vodka and stir.
  • Place the plastic shot cups on a tray and pour the cranberry Jello into the cups filling almost to the top.
  • Cover and chill in the fridge for 4 hours or overnight.

Make the Sugared Cranberries

  • Place 1/4 cup of water and 1/4 cup of sugar in a shallow saucepan, bring to a simmer on medium heat stirring until the sugar is dissolved.
  • Remove from the heat and add the cranberries. Stir, making sure they are all coated. Let sit for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Line a tray or baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cranberries to the parchment paper, make sure to keep them separated. Let dry for 1 hour. (The cranberries should be dry and sticky by this point).
  • Put 3/4 cup of sugar into a small bowl. Add a few cranberries at a time to the bowl and toss them around in the sugar.
  • Place back on clean parchment paper. Repeat until everything has been coated.
  • Let dry for another hour or so.
  • Once the jello has formed, place 3 sugar coated cranberries on top. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Remember, since these have alcohol, they are only for people of legal drinking age. Be sure to label them properly and serve them out of reach of minors if they will be present. 
  • You’ll want to make sure to use a cup that is shorter and wider rather than taller as it can be hard to get the Jello shot out. These are great.
  • If you don’t want them to be taken as shots you can make them in shot glasses and you can set out tiny dessert spoons for those people who aren’t the shots type. 
  • Too much alcohol can keep the jello shots from setting up correctly so keep that in mind if you really want to get wild with the vodka. 
Jello shots should be refrigerated to help them set up properly. Keep them in the fridge until time to serve. They can sit out on a table for a while but I prefer them cold for best texture.

Nutrition

Serving: 1shot | Calories: 116kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.04g | Saturated Fat: 0.001g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.004g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.002g | Sodium: 40mg | Potassium: 8mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 18g | Vitamin A: 5IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 0.04mg
Tried this Recipe? Pin it for Later!Mention @CupcakesCutlery or tag #cupcakescutlery!

Click to share!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating