Saturday, September 5, 2020

Philadelphia Fish House Punch Jell-O Shots

 So, during quarantine, I found myself missing the dive bars most of all. I can make all kinds of craft cocktails at home and have been doing a lot of that. Friends are sharing their recipes and it's fun trying these cool ideas, but the atmosphere is what I miss. I miss the silliness, the laughs, the community, everything. My regular bar, Garage Bar North, always had Jell-O shots made up behind the bar. I'd probably have an average of at least one a week. That and Pickle Backs. So, I decided to make some Jell-O shots at home. Yes, there's the standard spec of a pack of Jell-O with half water and half vodka, but let's improve on that. 

3.5 oz Plantation O.F.T.D. Rum
2.5 oz Remy Martin VSOP Cognac
2 oz Fresh Lemon Juice, strained
0.25 oz Simple Syrup (1:1)
1 pack Peach Jell-O
8 oz Water

Boil water and add the pack of Jell-O. Stir until dissolved and uniform. Add the remaining ingredients and stir again. Pour into serving cups. Chill in the fridge overnight. My baking tray holds 15 2 oz cups perfectly, so that's how I divide it, at just a bit over 1 oz per shot. Feel free to divide it and scale it however you like, but about 1 oz is good for a Jell-O shot. 

This really is a pretty good representation of the classic punch recipe. The cocktail typically had peach brandy and crushed ice. I upped the ratio of brandy to accommodate and the peach flavor from the Jell-O is an adequate substitute. The water used to dissolve the gelatin powder helps soften the drink just like the ice dilution. That being said, this drink still uses 69% ABV rum (nice), so it's got a fun little kick in there for you. 

I firmly believe that Jell-O shots should taste like Jell-O and not just be a drink given consistency from sheets of gelatin. Plenty of experts and chefs might disagree. But I've had calvados gelee and the like at some great restaurants as a side to a dessert which is good but I'd never order a cube of that when I'm bellied up to the bar. Jell-O shots are fun, and fake, and nostalgic, and silly. They can be delicious too, but they need to be kinda fake to give the guest what they want when they order a Jell-O shot. Just an opinion.

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