Red, White & Blue Jello Shots (with Non-Alcoholic Option)

Brighten your summer holiday celebrations with a tray of Red, White & Blue Jello Shots. These tri-colored treats are perfect for summer gatherings like Memorial Day and the Fourth of July. You can make them boozy for the 21+ or you can make them non-alcoholic — I’ll show you both ways.

Layered desserts in clear cups, featuring blue, white, and red gelatin topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles, are arranged on a marble surface.

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About this Patriotic Jello Shots recipe

Summer is here, which means it’s time to make plans for all the summer parties. And July Fourth will be here before we know it, and you’re going to need all the red, white and blue cocktails and foods to celebrate.

These Red, White & Blue Jello Shots are the patriotic treat that’s here to make your Independence Day parties even more festive and sparkly.

This recipe is essentially a combination of my classic jello shots in red and blue, plus my recipe for jello shots with unflavored gelatin. For the latter, you’ll make the white layer with sweetened condensed milk and unflavored gelatin. (I’ve never seen white jello, but if you ever do, you can use that!)

Making these is a little more complicated than making regular jello shots, but not by much. They will take a little more time, as well, so be sure to plan ahead. Let’s get into what you’ll need, substitutions and how to make them!

More jello shot recipes: Mojito Jello Shots • Moscow Mule Jello Shots • Fireball Jello Shots

A group of layered red, white, and blue dessert cups topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles on a marble surface, with star-shaped decorations in the background.

Why you’ll love this recipe

This Red, White & Blue Jello Shots recipe is so festive and fun for patriotic holidays and events! Everyone will have so much fun with them.

  • They have a berries-and-cream flavor that can’t be beat.
  • Jello shots are relatively easy to make, especially because two of the layers use boxed mix.
  • Red, white and blue layers will make any event more festive.
  • Once you know how to make layered jello shots, you can create your own with other color and flavor combinations.
Ten small dessert cups with layers of blue, white, and red gelatin, topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles, arranged on a wooden board.

Tools & equipment

To make jello shots, you’ll need a few things from your kitchen.

  • 1 ounce shot glasses* — I like plastic shot glasses for making them en masse for a party. Here are my favorite jello shot cups.
  • Mixing bowl
  • Stirring utensil (spoon or whisk)
  • Measuring cups
  • Kettle or pot (for boiling water)
  • Pouring tool — Totally optional for more precise layering. You could use a turkey baster or funnel with a measuring cup.
  • Small spoon or piping bag, for whipped cream dollops if you are using homemade whipped cream.

*Using 1-ounce glasses or 1½-ounce ones is best. Bigger ones will have more booze, though, and you’ll make fewer shots. You can also make these jiggler-style in a greased baking pan — cut them into cubes or with a star cookie cutter.

Best cups for jello shots

Jello shots are most often served in disposable plastic cups for individual enjoyment.

Jello shot cups with lids are great for storing a lot in the fridge (they stack!) and for transporting (their smooth tops are protected!)

If you don’t have enough of the small shot glasses, you can use ice cube trays or even a muffin tin.

You can also make jello shots jigglers-style (remember those?) by pouring the mixture into a lightly-greased baking dish, then cutting them into squares.

Ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need to snag at the grocery store to make this recipe:

  • Blue gelatin mix: Something like berry blue or blue raspberry will work well.
  • Red gelatin mix: Get something bright red that goes with the blue flavor, like cherry or strawberry. Black cherry jello has a darker red color.
  • Unflavored gelatin: The brand I use is Knox. You’ll need 2 packets worth.
  • Water: You’ll need some boiling to make the jello, and some more water will be cold.
  • Sweetened condensed milk: This is what makes the white layer. Make sure it is not flavored. (You could use a box of pina colada flavored jello if you prefer — it has a pale color.)
  • Vodka: I suggest an 80-proof vodka for jello shots that don’t taste too boozy.

Garnishes

Garnishes are optional — these will be super festive all on their own. But why not dress them up a little for a festive twist?

  • Whipped cream: Whipped cream on top of these shots is optional, but it makes them extra festive and they will look more like a fun dessert. You could have fun with boozy whipped cream for an extra punch, but for a big recipe like this the stuff from the can is totally fine.
  • Red, white and blue sprinkles: Add a little extra pizzazz to the whipped cream layer with some sprinkles! Hundreds-and-thousands or jimmies will work, or you could also use silver stars.

Best vodka for jello shots

There are a number of vodka brands on the market, and it can be confusing to decide which one.

Remember that stores stock the cheap stuff on the bottom shelf and premium brands will be at eye-level to catch your attention. The best bargains will be somewhere in the middle.

If you are only making one or two batches of jello shots (this recipe makes 40-50 but only uses 1 cup vodka), you can get away with a smaller bottle. But if you’d like to have more leftover for vodka cocktails, grab a bigger bottle — perhaps with more quality as well.

Cheap doesn’t always mean bad, though. If you plan to stick to 80-proof vodka (my recommendation for flavorful jello shots that don’t taste too boozy), then look for one of these brands in the $10-$20 range:

  • New Amsterdam
  • Pinnacle
  • Seagrams
  • Smirnoff
  • Svedka

If you have a bigger budget, say the $20 range, try one of these 80-proof vodkas:

  • Absolut
  • Deep Eddy
  • Finlandia
  • Prairie
  • Skyy
  • Stolichnaya
  • Tito’s
  • Three Olives

Substitutions & variations

There are a number of ways to make these jello shots!

Other alcohol: As far as alcohol, I typically use vodka, but you have options! You can use rum or tequila too. You don’t really need to use a flavored rum or vodka (like coconut or pineapple) because the jello is so flavorful, but you could.

Non-alcoholic: Yes, you can make jello shots without alcohol! I’ll show you in the “Non-alcoholic jello shots” section below.

Customize the color layers: Combine boxed gelatin flavors to create new colors. Blue jello with a smidge of purple would create a darker blue. Black cherry plus regular cherry would make a darker red.

Other color combos: You can use this recipe to make other tri-color combinations. These are extra fun for game day parties or tailgates in your team colors. They could also work for graduation parties in your school colors. You can also use the colors to represent other countries’ flags. Or make them red, white and green for Christmas!

Shapes: You can make these layered jello shots in a baking pan to make them like jigglers. Py pouring the mixture into a lightly-greased baking dish, then cut them into squares or use a star-shaped cookie cutter.

Instructions

To make these red, white and blue jello shots, here’s exactly what to do, step by step! We’ll start with the blue layer, then white, then red.

Before you start: Start by greasing your cups and set aside. (If using 1-ounce cups, you’ll be able to make about 40-50.) I find it easiest to place the cups on a baking sheet to catch spills and to make it easier to transport the shots in and out of the fridge after you add each layer.

A white bowl containing blue powder surrounded by three smaller empty white bowls on a marble surface.
A white bowl filled with blue liquid is placed above two empty white bowls on a white, marbled surface.

Blue layer: Blue goes first. Dissolve the blue jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Mix in ½ cup vodka and ½ cup cold water.

A white bowl filled with a vibrant blue liquid with a silver spoon in it, placed on a white surface.
Twelve small clear bowls containing blue liquid arranged in a 4x3 grid on a white marble surface.

Pour the mixture into your 1 oz shot glasses, filling up to one-third of the way. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 2-3 hours.

Four bowls containing different ingredients on a marble countertop. The bowls hold varying amounts of water, granulated sugar, and a yellow liquid, possibly egg yolk or a custard mixture.
Three bowls on a white marble surface. The largest bowl contains a light yellow mixture with sugar on top; a small bowl holds water; the third bowl has a thick yellow substance.

White layer: Once the blue layer is set, we’ll make the white layer. Sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup cold water. Add 1 cup boiling water, stir to dissolve.

A bowl of clear broth with a spoon and a smaller bowl of a yellowish creamy liquid on a white marble surface.
A white bowl filled with creamy soup, placed on a white marble surface. A metal spoon rests in the bowl.

Mix in the sweetened condensed milk and cool to room temperature. (This is important, because we don’t want to melt the blue layer!)

Twelve glass bowls filled with a white mixture arranged in rows, with the first two containing a blue liquid, placed on a marble surface.

Pour over the set blue layer, filling another third of the cup. Place the cups back in the refrigerator and let set for another 2-3 hours.

Three empty white bowls and one white bowl containing brown powder are arranged on a white marble surface.
A white bowl filled with red liquid next to two small empty white bowls on a white marble surface.

Red layer: Almost done! Finally, we will make the red, top layer. Once the white layer is set, dissolve the red jello in 1 cup of boiling water. Mix in ½ cup vodka and ½ cup cold water.

A white bowl filled with a dark red liquid, featuring a silver spoon submerged in the liquid, placed on a white marble surface.
Rows of red gelatin in cups arranged on a marble surface with three cups of white liquid placed above.

Carefully add the red layer on top, filling up the final third, right to the top of the glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours or overnight for best results.

Overhead view of twelve cups filled with red gelatin, with six topped with whipped cream, arranged on a marble surface.
Twelve cups of red gelatin topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles are arranged in a grid pattern on a marble surface.

Just before serving, garnish each jello shot with a small dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle red, white and blue sprinkles on top for a festive finish!

To eat, use your finger to scoop out the jello shot. If you greased the containers ahead of time, it should release from the cup much easier.

If you love these jiggly treats, don’t miss our best jello shot recipes to serve up all year long.

Non-alcoholic jello shots

You can easily make non-alcoholic jello shots! You will just use water instead of alcohol. These are a great kid-friendly option — they will want to get in on the fun too!

Non-alcoholic jello shot ingredients

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • 1 box blue gelatin mix
  • 1 box red gelatin mix
  • 2 packets unflavored gelatin
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 6 cups water, divided
  • Whipped cream
  • Red, white, blue sprinkles

How to make non-alcoholic jello shots

Here are the step-by-step instructions for kid-friendly jello shots:

  1. Before you begin: Grease your jello shot cups.
  2. Blue layer: Dissolve blue jello in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 cup cold water. Pour into 1-ounce cups, filling one-third of the way. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
  3. White layer: Bloom gelatin in ½ cup cold water. Add 1 cup boiling water and stir to dissolve. Mix in condensed milk and cool to room temperature. Pour over set blue layer, filling another one-third. Refrigerate 2-3 hours.
  4. Red Layer: Dissolve red jello in 1 cup boiling water. Add 1 cup cold water. Cool completely. Pour over the set white layer, filling the final one-third to the top of the cup. Refrigerate 2-3 hours or overnight.
  5. Garnish: Top with whipped cream and sprinkles before serving.
Eight small cups layered with blue, white, and red gelatin topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles are shown on a rectangular wooden tray.

Tips & tricks

Here are some tips and tricks for making this recipe:

  • Greasing your containers is always a good idea, and one of my top jello shot tips. Simply spritz cooking spray around the interior of your jello shot containers, and use a paper towel to spread it around so that all that’s left is a light coating.
  • Wait until each layer is completely set before starting the next layer. You will need about 2-3 hours in between each layer, so plan accordingly.
  • Let the white and red mixtures cool to the touch before pouring them over the blue and white layers, respectively. You don’t want to melt the already-set layers.

Storage tips

Jello shots taste best fresh, so make them the day of your event or up to 2 days before. Technically, you can make them more in advance, but they tend to shrivel and shrink after a week in the fridge. Don’t serve them if they are more than a week old.

However, jello shots do not freeze well. You can make them a couple days ahead of your event, however.

This recipe makes approximately 40-50 shots when using 1-ounce shot glasses, so put them on a baking sheet so they are easy to transfer in and out of the fridge.

Small dessert cups featuring layers of blue, red, and white topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, arranged on a marble surface with star-shaped decorations in the background.

Food pairings

Enjoy these with your favorite red, white and blue foods and drinks. Red, white and blue mojitos are a festive cocktail companion for patriotic holidays.

Red foods & drinks: Chocolate covered strawberries for dessert, pizza pinwheels or burrata caprese salad for an easy appetizer and rosé sangria and strawberry lemonade to drink

White foods & drinks: Whipped feta dip or patriotic bruschetta for an appetizer. For dessert, madeleines with powdered sugar, lemon drop cookies (hold the zest) and iced sugar cookies, plus some creamy white russians to drink.

Blue food & drinks: Blueberry wings for an appetizer, some blue margaritas and blueberry lemonade to drink, and slices of blueberry cheesecake and fluffy blueberry muffins for dessert

When to serve them

American events: These Red, White & Blue Jello Shots are ideal for all kinds of celebrations, especially American holidays and events, such as:

  • Memorial Day (last Monday in May)
  • Flag Day (June 14)
  • Independence Day (July 4)
  • Christmas in July, with green jello instead of blue (July 25)
  • Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  • Election Day (First Tuesday in November)

State events: Some states have red, white and blue flags as well, including my home state of North Carolina, as well as Arkansas, Georgia, Hawaii, Mississippi, Missouri, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas and Wyoming.

International events: You can also serve them at non-American celebrations, such as France’s Bastille Day, as there are many other countries with red, white and blue flags. These would be especially fun for Olympics parties!

If you make them to represent another red-white-and-blue country, be sure to do the layers of the jello shots in the correct order. Some flags are red-white-blue but many others follow other patterns, like blue-red-white, blue-white-red, red-blue-white, white-blue-red or white-red-blue.

Some flags may have other colors in them, like a yellow emblem, and you could always bring another color in with sprinkles on top of the whipped cream.

Small patriotic-themed dessert cups layered with blue, white, and red gelatin topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles on a white marble surface.

FAQ

How long do jello shots take to set?

Typically, 3 to 4 hours in the fridge is enough time for a single-color jello shot. For layered jello shots, you’ll need to plan ahead so that each layer has time to set before adding the next one. Set time can vary depending on the container. Jello shots in small plastic cups will set faster than jiggler-style jello shots. Jello shots can set at room temperature, but they may take a little longer to set.

How do you make jello shots not stick?

The trick to getting jello shots not to stick is to lightly grease your containers. A light spritz of cooking spray will help them to release faster. Use a paper towel to collect any that concentrates at the bottom, then wipe it around the interior of the cup to help spread the spray around. What you are going for is a very light coating.

How many jello shots equal one shot?

Roughly 4 jello shots equal about 1 ounce of alcohol. Most cocktails contain 2 ounces of alcohol, so you’d need to enjoy quite a few jello shots to feel the effects of alcohol.

Do you have more jello shot questions? I probably answered them in this jello shot FAQ article, but if I didn’t, please leave a comment and I’ll try to help!

More jello shot recipes

— Did you make this recipe? —

Please leave a ★★★★★ review or comment below.

Small cups filled with layered red, white, and blue gelatin dessert topped with whipped cream and red, white, and blue sprinkles. The cups are arranged on a wooden board.

Red, White and Blue Jello Shots

Yield: 50 shots (1 ounce each)
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 0 minutes
Total Time: 6 hours 30 minutes
These layered Red, White & Blue Jello Shots offer a fun, patriotic twist on the classic gelatin dessert. Sweet, fruity and creamy flavors abound and both kids and adults will love them at any summer holiday celebration — you can make them with and without alcohol. Makes 4050 1-ounce jello shots.
5 from 1 vote
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ingredients

👇 ALCOHOLIC VERSION

    Blue Layer (Bottom)

    • 6 ounces blue gelatin dessert mix e.g. berry blue or blue raspberry
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • ½ cup cold water
    • ½ cup vodka

    White Layer (Middle)

    • 14 grams unflavored gelatin (2 packets)
    • ½ cup cold water for blooming the gelatin
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

    Red Layer (Top)

    • 6 ounces red gelatin dessert mix e.g. cherry or strawberry
    • 1 cup boiling water
    • ½ cup cold water
    • ½ cup vodka

    For Garnish

    • 1 can whipped cream
    • ¼ cup sprinkles red, white and blue

    👇 NON-ALCOHOLIC VERSION

      Blue Layer (Bottom)

      • 6 ounces blue gelatin dessert mix e.g., berry blue
      • 1 cup boiling water
      • 1 cup cold water

      White Layer (Middle)

      • 14 grams unflavored gelatin (2 packets)
      • ½ cup cold water for blooming the gelatin
      • 1 cup boiling water
      • 14 ounces sweetened condensed milk

      Red Layer (Top)

      • 6 ounces red gelatin dessert mix e.g., cherry or strawberry
      • 1 cup boiling water
      • 1 cup cold water

      For Garnish

      • 1 can whipped cream
      • ¼ cup sprinkles red, white and blue

      instructions

      👇 ALCOHOLIC VERSION

      • Grease cups: Lightly spritz the cups with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to collect any that concentrates at the bottom, then wipe it around the interior of the cup to help spread the spray around. What you are going for is a very light coating, which will help the jello shots release from the cups better.
      • Blue layer (bottom): Dissolve the blue Jell-O in 1 cup of boiling water.
      • Mix in ½ cup vodka and ½ cup cold water.
      • Pour the mixture into your 1 oz shot glasses, filling up to one-third of the way. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 2-3 hours.
      • White layer (middle): Sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup of cold water. Let it sit for a few minutes to "bloom."
      • Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
      • Stir in the sweetened condensed milk until well mixed. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
      • Once the blue layer is set, gently pour the white gelatin mixture over it to fill another third of the glasses. Return to the refrigerator and let set for another 2-3 hours.
      • Red layer (top): Dissolve the red Jell-O in 1 cup of boiling water.
      • Mix in ½ cup vodka and ½ cup cold water. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
      • Once the white layer is set, carefully add the red layer on top, filling up to the top of the shot glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours or overnight for best results.
      • Garnish: Just before serving, top each Jell-O shot with a small dollop of whipped cream. Top with red, white and blue sprinkles for a festive finish.
      • To eat: Use your finger to loosen the edges of the jello shot, then toss it back. If you greased the containers ahead of time, it should release from the cup much easier.

      👇 NON-ALCOHOLIC VERSION

      • Grease cups: Lightly spritz the cups with cooking spray. Use a paper towel to collect any that concentrates at the bottom, then wipe it around the interior of the cup to help spread the spray around. What you are going for is a very light coating, which will help the jello shots release from the cups better.
      • Blue layer (bottom): Dissolve the blue Jell-O in 1 cup of boiling water.
      • Mix in 1 cup cold water.
      • Pour the mixture into your 1 oz shot glasses, filling up to one-third of the way. Place in the refrigerator to set, about 2-3 hours.
      • White layer (middle): Sprinkle 2 packets of unflavored gelatin over ½ cup of cold water. Let it sit for a few minutes to "bloom."
      • Add 1 cup boiling water and stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved.
      • Stir in the sweetened condensed milk until well mixed. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
      • Once the blue layer is set, gently pour the white gelatin mixture over it to fill another third of the glasses. Return to the refrigerator and let set for another 2-3 hours.
      • Red layer (top): Dissolve the red Jell-O in 1 cup of boiling water.
      • Mix in 1 cup cold water. Allow the mixture to cool to room temperature.
      • Once the white layer is set, carefully add the red layer on top, filling up to the top of the glasses. Refrigerate until set, about 2-3 hours or overnight for best results.
      • Garnish: Just before serving, top each Jell-O shot with a small dollop of whipped cream. Top with red, white and blue sprinkles for a festive finish.
      • To eat: Use your finger to loosen the edges of the jello shot, then toss it back. If you greased the containers ahead of time, it should release from the cup much easier.

      notes

      Prevent sticking: The trick to getting jello shots not to stick is to lightly grease your containers. A light spritz of cooking spray will help them to release faster. Use a paper towel to collect any that concentrates at the bottom, then wipe it around the interior of the cup to help spread the spray around. What you are going for is a very light coating. 
      Best vodka: An 80-proof vodka is my recommendation for flavorful jello shots that don’t taste overly boozy.
      Alcohol content: Roughly 4 jello shots equal about 1 ounce of alcohol. Most cocktails contain 2 ounces of alcohol, so you’d need to enjoy quite a few jello shots to feel the effects of alcohol.
      Set time: Typically, 3 to 4 hours in the fridge is enough time for a single-color jello shot. For layered jello shots, you’ll need to plan ahead so that each layer has time to set before adding the next one. They don’t need quite as much time between each layer, more like 2 to 3 hours, because the layers are thinner. Be sure to cool the next layer so it doesn’t melt the layer below and mix up the colors. 
      Also, set time can vary depending on the container. Jello shots in small plastic cups will set faster than jiggler-style jello shots. Jello shots can set at room temperature, but they may take a little longer to set.
      Storage tips: Jello shots taste best fresh, so make them the day of your event or up to 2 days before. Technically, you can make them more in advance, but they tend to shrivel and shrink after a week in the fridge. Don’t serve them if they are more than a week old. However, jello shots do not freeze well
      This recipe makes approximately 40-50 shots when using 1-ounce shot glasses, so put them on a baking sheet so they are easy to transfer in and out of the fridge.
      “Jigglers” style: You can make these layered jello shots in a baking pan to make them like jigglers. Pour the mixture into a lightly-greased baking dish, then cut them into squares or use a star-shaped cookie cutter. 

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      nutrition information

      Yield: 50 shots (1 ounce each)

      amount per serving:

      Serving: 1ounce Calories: 67kcal Carbohydrates: 11g Protein: 1g Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0.5g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.03g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g Trans Fat: 1.0E-5g Cholesterol: 3mg Sodium: 43mg Potassium: 30mg Fiber: 1.0E-5g Sugar: 11g Vitamin A: 21IU Vitamin C: 0.2mg Calcium: 24mg Iron: 0.03mg
      did you make this recipe?Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Instagram with the hashtag #feastandwestrecipes!
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