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 much of that. Friends are sharing their recipes, and it's fun trying these fantastic 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. 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 and scale it however you like, but about 1 oz is suitable 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. Like the ice dilution, the water used to dissolve the gelatin powder helps soften the drink. This drink still uses 69% ABV rum (excellent), so it's got a fun little kick in there for you. 

Jell-O shots should taste like Jell-O and not just be a drink given consistency from gelatin sheets. 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, nostalgic and silly. They can be delicious, too, but they must be kind of fake to give the guests what they want when ordering a Jell-O shot. Just an opinion.

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