Sunday, January 23, 2011

Root Beer Barrel Jelly Shots

Root Beer Barrel Jelly Shots, popsicle-style with a tiny wooden handle

Hello at long last - have been out with an extended bout with the flu!  So glad to be back!  

There have been a few exciting developments since my last post.  As of Thursday, January 20th, the book is off to press!   Really!  Running Press assures me that the manuscript has indeed been sent off to the printer, where it will be printed and bound.  On actual paper!   The advance copies will arrive in a few months.  (I wonder if I will stop feeling like a phony talking about the book once I actually have a copy in hand? The whole book thing has just seemed kind of surreal and over the top . . . in the nicest way of course.)

The second bit of news is that JSTK gained an intern, Doug Miller!  Welcome Doug to JSTK!  We are so excited to have you!  Doug and his wife Heidi were avid supporters of the JSTK from Day 1, and were part of the original group of jelly shot testers!  

When Doug isn't bettering the world through fun, frolic and cocktails, he is running CAARE, a non-profit organization dedicated to consumer advocacy for fair and equitable real estate practices in the United States.  He is also a brilliant wildlife photographer.  (And, yes, I did nearly fall over when he volunteered to intern for JSTK - Doug is indeed kinda fancy.)

Intern Doug preparing test cocktails for Step 1 of the jelly shot process . . . 

Doug was an excellent intern.  He looks good in an apron, takes direction well and excelled at both the liquid cocktail and the jelly shot portion of testing.  Regarding vodkas, we tested both plain vodka and root beer flavored vodka, and although the jelly shots made with plain vodka were still good, the root beer flavored vodka really makes a difference.  The Sambuca is essential to bring back some of the root-beer-y-ness.   The tests with absinthe, weren't as successful - it wasn't right - too herbal.  

The testing implements . . . 

Jelly Shot recipe follows . . . hope you enjoy!  

P.S.  Check out JSTK's Facebook page for more shots from Intern Doug's first day!

Root Beer Barrel Jelly Shots

Recommended Pan:  Standard Loaf Pan (approximately 8” x 4”), or flexible silicone molds (link to mold I used here)

  • 1 cup root beer
  • 2 envelopes plain gelatin (Knox)
  • 2/3 cup root beer flavored vodka
  • 2 tbsp Sambuca (the clear variety will work best here)
  • Wooden coffee stirrers, for garnish, if desired

If using a flexible silicone mold, prepare the mold by spraying lightly with cooking spray, and then wiping the cavities clean with a paper towel.  This will result in a very slight residue which will help unmold the jelly shots without affecting their taste or appearance.  If setting in a pan, no prep is needed!  

Pour root beer into a saucepan and sprinkle with gelatin.  Allow to soak for a few minutes.  Heat on low, stirring constantly, until gelatin is fully dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat. 

Stir in the vodka and Sambuca.  Pour into pan or molds, and chill until set, several hours or overnight.

To serve, cut or unmold the jelly shots.  Cut the wooden coffee stirrers into lengths of about 2 inches.  Insert one  into each jelly shot. 

Makes 18 to 24 shots.

Cheers and XO and more XX because I missed you all so much!