Margarita Jello Shots

Margarita jello shots are so much fun for everything from taco night to game day! These fun treats taste just like mini margs and will be a huge hit at your next party.

A lot of things have gotten better since college, haven’t they? Jello shots, for one. Margaritas, for another.

Adult jello shots can be made with pure gelatin and just about any flavor — without the neon box mix.

Adult margaritas can be made without store-bought margarita mix and improved with top-shelf liquor. And we can graduate from sugar rims to salty ones, too.

And together? Margarita jello shots are unstoppable. These little jello treats made with real tequila are so much fun for a party.

Love tequila? Try making paloma jello shots too! Love lime? Try mojito jello shots.

Margarita Jello Shots recipe

Make these delicious lime margarita jello shots for Cinco de Mayo, taco night, girls’ night, poker night, bachelorette/bachelor parties, pool parties, beach days — honestly whenever you have friends together who’d enjoy them!

Tequila, of course, is the main ingredient. I also like to add triple sec for a hint of orange flavor and a bit of top-shelf class.

One way to make them is by making classic jello shots with a lime box mix, but you can also make them with pure gelatin and real lime juice.

The latter is my preferred way because they are so much tastier. The fresh lime juice gives them that sour taste that a box of lime jello just doesn’t have.

Plus, I love that mine don’t have a lot of food coloring and look like miniature classic margaritas in jello shot form! And they have that classic margarita flavor, too.

I know you (and your party guests) will love this margarita jello shot recipe, so let’s talk about what goes into them.

Ingredients

This easy recipe calls for only a handful of simple ingredients. Here’s what you need to grab at the store to make margarita jello shots:

Sugar

For the subtly, clear golden color, you’ll need to use cane sugar or granulated sugar. If you use brown sugar, it will give the shots a much darker, caramel color that won’t be as pretty or margarita-like.

Lime Juice

For a fresher taste with a bit more of that sour bite, use freshly-squeezed lime juice from fresh limes. However, the store-bought concentrate works just fine.

Unflavored Gelatin

Plain gelatin is great for making all kinds of jello shots that don’t come from a colorful mix. I use it in my champagne jello shots.

I buy Knox unflavored gelatin for all of my jello shots. I prefer to buy the packets which are shelf-stable in my pantry until I’m ready to use them.

Tequila

Use your favorite tequila in these, or the best one you can afford. However, there are a few types of tequila that I detail in my Tequila 101. Here’s a quick recap of your options:

  • I prefer a blanco, or silver tequila for these jello shots. It is clear and colorless and works really well in most margarita recipes and these jello shots. You don’t need anything super fancy — they’re still jello shots, after all!
  • A reposado tequila is aged tequila has been rested in oak barrels between two months and one year, and gets its natural caramel coloring from the oak. Its flavor is more complex, but you can either mix with it or sip it straight.
  • Gold tequila has added caramel color to make it seem aged, so I don’t usually go for that one.
  • Añejo and extra añejo are premium tequilas that have been aged for more than a year (extra is more than three!). They get their name from the word for ‘aged’ in Spanish. Like a fine cognac, it is meant to be sipped straight, so I’d stay away from this one.
  • Infused tequila, like this Spicy Jalapeño Tequila, is another way you can experiment with tequila for this cocktail.

My favorite tequila brands right now are Sauza, El Jimador and Lunazul.

Orange liqueur

You can add 1 ounce of Grand Marnier, Cointreau or triple sec for a little bit of orange flavor, just like the best bars do when you order a good margarita.

But if you want to keep things simple, feel free to skip this step and add more tequila instead.

Garnish

I used these lime gummy candies to garnish these jello shots, but you can just as easily use small wedges of fresh lime. Or you don’t have to have a garnish at all! Up to you.

Best cups for jello shots

I prefer to use jello shot cups with lids when I am making a lot because they stack well in the fridge. The lids also protect the smooth tops when transporting them. (These are essentially the 2-ounce plastic cups for condiments, which you can find at restaurant supply stores as well.)

These plastic shot glasses, which I use in these glow-in-the-dark jello shots, are great if you don’t need lids. They also work well for shots that will look like a miniature classic cocktail.

Margarita jello shots would also be super cute served in a lime shell. Halve 6 limes and hollow out the fruit so you’re left with the shells. Use these as your jello cups. Once set, you can slice them into lime wedges!

Jello shots can also be made jiggler-style (remember those?). Pour the mixture into a lightly greased baking dish or jelly roll pan, then cut them into squares or shapes with a cookie cutter.

For Halloween, these syringes for jello shots make for a macabre presentation! (Especially if you serve them next to a bowl of vodka gummy worms.)

How to make Margarita Jello Shots

I’m certain you can make this simple recipe! Here’s how:

  1. Spray 12 cups or molds lightly with cooking spray. (Skip this step if using lime shells.) I store mine on a tray or baking sheet.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the lime juice to a medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top and allow to rest for 5 minutes until gelatin is softened and the liquid’s surface appears slightly wrinkled.
  4. Stir the lime-gelatin mixture into the sugar water. Warm over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the tequila and triple sec.
  5. Distribute the liquid evenly among the molds. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving. If using lime shells, cut in half to create lime wedges before serving.

How to eat jello shots

To eat jello shots, rub your finger around the edge of the gelatin to loosen them from the cup. (If you grease the cups slightly before pouring the mixture in, this will be easier.) Then you can suck the shot out!

If you prefer, you could use a spoon to scoop out the jello. There are no rules!

These plastic jello shot cups are made in an “easy squeeze” design especially for getting out tricky jello shots.

Can you freeze jello shots?

No, jello shots do not freeze well. You can make them a couple of days in advance of your event, however.

Can you get drunk from jello shots?

Technically, yes, but it may take quite a few. There’s actually not that much alcohol in one shot (roughly 4 jello shots = 1 ounce of booze).

Variations and substitutions

Use margarita mix. If you’d prefer to make your margarita shots with margarita mix instead of fresh lime juice, you can! See the “Notes” section below for quantities.

Rim the shot glasses in sugar or salt. If you like, pour your salt or sugar on a small plate. Run a lime around half the edge of the cup and then roll the rim of each shot glass in your favorite mixture.

Use margarita salt or kosher salt (or any coarse salt) for a salty rim. For a sugar rum, use granulated sugar or cane sugar. You can do this step before serving since the jello shots won’t spill!

Make them top-shelf. Use top-shelf tequila as well as Grand Marnier instead of triple sec.

Flavor them. Add 2 tablespoons of flavored simple syrup or fruit puree (such as strawberry) to give these mini margs some color or flavor. A little cranberry juice would be a great addition if you’re making yours like Christmas margaritas.

Make them non-alcoholic. If you wish for that tequila flavor without the alcohol content, use a zero-proof spirit like Ritual tequila alternative (affiliate link). (If you’re making a batch with both alcoholic and non-alcoholic jello shots, make sure you label them because they will look identical.)

Serve them in lime shells. For a fun presentation, halve 6 limes and hollow out the fruit so you’re left with the shells. Use these as your jello cups. Once set, you can slice them into lime wedges!

More jello shot recipes

If you love jello shots, try one of these recipes:

Margarita Jello Shots

Margarita Jello Shots

Yield: 12 jello shots
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Set Time: 4 hours
Total Time: 4 hours 30 minutes

Margarita jello shots will be a hit at any party, from Cinco de Mayo to game day!

Ingredients

  • ½ cup sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ½ cup lime juice
  • 2 envelopes (5 ½ teaspoons) plain gelatin
  • ¾ cup tequila
  • ¼ cup triple sec
  • salt or sugar, for the rim (optional)
  • lime wedges or lime gummy candy (optional)

Instructions

  1. Spray cups or molds lightly with cooking spray. (Skip this step if using lime shells.)
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine sugar and water. Stir until sugar dissolves. Do not boil. Remove from heat.
  3. Add the lime juice to a medium bowl. Sprinkle gelatin over top and allow to rest for 5 minutes until gelatin is softened and the liquid’s surface appears slightly wrinkled.
  4. Stir the lime-gelatin mixture into the sugar water. Warm over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let boil. Remove from heat. Stir in the tequila and triple sec.
  5. Distribute the liquid evenly among the molds. Refrigerate 3 to 4 hours before serving. If using lime shells, cut in half to create lime wedges before serving.

Notes

If you wish to use margarita mix, add 1 ½ cup sour mix to a saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over the top, then wait 5 minutes until the surface is wrinkled. Then warm the mixture for 2-3 minutes until the gelatin has dissolved.

If desired, rim the edges of the shot glasses in sugar or salt. Rub a lime around half the edge of the cup and then roll it in kosher salt or granulated sugar.

For top-shelf margarita jello shots, use top shelf tequila and Grand Marnier instead of triple sec.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 12 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 87Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 53mgCarbohydrates: 14gFiber: 0gSugar: 11gProtein: 1g

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Comments

  1. Julie says

    I always know right where to go when I’m planning a party and these margarita shots will be the life of the party. They’re so easy to make and yuuummmy!

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