Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Grape Ape Jelly Shots

Despite its unfortunate moniker, the Grape Ape Jelly Shot looks 
darn cute sporting a crisp floral pattern . . . 

Well, Intern Doug has been at it again. He can barely be restrained! Doug's latest fresh-from-the-lab creation is the Grape Ape - a mixture of grape-flavored vodka, tom collins mix, and lemon lime soda, with an optional (but highly recommended) creamy layer. It's true that the cocktail inspiration for this jelly shot has a rather unorthodox name, however
my my hope is that you are taken in by this jelly shot's delicious taste and its subtle lavender hue! It is already one of my favorites!

In testing Doug's recipe, I did take a few liberties with presentation. His original version was a bit abstract, and as you all know by now, I positively freak out when presented with anything outside the boundaries of conformity.
To make the floral pattern, I first prepared the creamy layer and refrigerated it until fully set. Next, I prepared the grape layer, poured it into a loaf pan, and set it on the countertop for about 20 minutes, until it had cooled to room temperature. Using a cookie cutter, I cut 1" diameter flower shapes out of the set creamy layer, and proceeded to cut clovers out of the flower centers with a tiny aspic cutter. (Yes, it was an afternoon in OCD-land, and I found it delightful . . . ) The cut shapes were gently placed into the room-temp grape layer, and the pan was banished to the refrigerator overnight, to give the layers a chance to fully bond (kind of like your last corporate retreat!). This is what the pan looked like when it came out of the fridge. Doesn't it remind you of a hawaiian shirt?

If you lack an anxiety disorder, or just aren't in the mood for an art project, the Grape Ape may be prepared: sans creamy layer; with a separate creamy layer (just pour the room temp grape layer on top of the set creamy layer; or, Intern Doug-style, by dropping spoonfuls of the creamy gelatin mixture into a partially set grape mixture (in this instance, partially set equals about 20 mins in the fridge).

Hope you enjoy!

XO, Michelle

P.S. I neglected to mention previously that the grape vodka I used has a purple coloring, hence the lavender shade of this jelly shot!  I have been informed that many grape vodkas (who knew there were so many!) are clear . . . so if you want purple, use food coloring.  I recommend the purple in McCormick's Neon shades.  

Grape Ape Jelly Shot

Creamy Layer
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • 1 envelope plain Knox gelatin
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vodka
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla

Pour cream into a small saucepan.  Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.  Remove from heat.  Stir in the vodka and vanilla.  Pour into pan and refrigerate until fully set (about an hour).  Prepare grape layer. 

Grape layer
  • 2/3 cup flat lemon-lime soda
  • 2/3 cup Tom Collins mix
  • 2 envelopes plain Knox gelatin
  • 2/3 cup grape flavored vodka

Pour the soda and mix into a small saucepan.  Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until the gelatin is dissolved (about 5 minutes).  Remove from heat.  Stir in the vodka, and pour into pan.  Allow to cool to room temperature. 

Remove the pan with the set creamy layer from the refrigerator.  Cut out desired shapes with small cookie cutters.  Gently place the cut shapes into the grape gelatin mixture, and refrigerate until fully set (ideally overnight, to allow the layers to fully bond). 

To serve, cut into desired shapes.  Makes approximately 16 jelly shots.