Jelly shots at Thanksgiving? Absolutely! At the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, we believe that there's no occasion where a jiggly, alcoholic aperitif is out of place — including a family gathering with the good china and a serious turkey centerpiece.
As connoisseurs of jelly shots who want our bite-sized jigglers to taste as close to the real thing as possible, we always begin our testing process by mixing liquid cocktails; understanding a drink in its native form is vital for an accurate translation into gelatin. On testing days Amy, my sister/collaborator, and I meet at the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen (a.k.a. my home in Edina, Minnesota), each with a handful of cocktail recipes, a box of booze, and various accoutrements including muddlers, and zesters. We then commence with much cocktail shaking and dirtying of glasses in search of the perfect liquid recipe, and once we have it, we begin the process of adjusting the recipe for its solid form. The process is largely trial and error, adjusting ratios to account for changes in flavor and texture, and after a few renditions at the Test Kitchen, the resulting jelly shot is a true-to-life interpretation of its cocktail inspiration.
For Thanksgiving, we're going to complement our turkey-centric spread with three gourmet jelly shots, in a variety of flavor profiles: the Bourbon Smash is a mix of fresh raspberries and mint, with just a touch of bourbon; the Pear Sour has a sophisticated balance of lemon, pear liqueur, and gin, with a dash of Angostura bitters; and Apple Pie plays straight to tradition: apple juice, Apfelkorn, and Tuaca, a creamsicle-flavored liqueur.
Michelle Palm is the proprietor of the blog Jelly Shot Test Kitchen. Michelle and Amy's book Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, Jell-ing Classic Cocktails, One Drink at a Time will be released by Running Press in May 2011.