The Jell-O shot has a colorful (and tasty) history
Tom Lehrer is an accomplished human being. Best known for writing a comedy song about a venereal disease being spread around among his friends, he can also list satirist, pianist and mathematician on his resume. However, the single accomplishment which stands out and (for some) makes his other life achievements appear insignificant is that this intellectual giant is also supposedly the inventor of the Jell-O shot.
According to urban legend, the thought for this widely popular party favor came from Lehrer’s insistence on sneaking alcohol onto his U.S naval base for a Christmas party. Coming up with an idea that would make MacGyver tremble with jealousy, Lehrer cooked up orange-flavored Jell-O and just added vodka. The dessert tasted good, the party was a success and thus a national sensation was born.
While most people associate this chewable cocktail with frat parties and spring break, the creation of the perfect Jell-O shot is actually an art form with many different areas of experimentation. Thanks to Jell-O’s wide variety of flavors, the ability to mix and match colors can produce beautiful and imaginative Jell-0 shots. Pinterest boards, blogs and hashtags have been created for drinkers and artists all over the world to display their creative Jell-O shot concoction.The continued popularity of Jell-O shots has been noticed, and various club and bar owners have capitalized on the shot’s success by adding the dessert drink to their menu. Alan Gold’s, a club on McCallie Avenue, sells them for a dollar each, and they have become a very hot item.
“They are inexpensive, easy to make, and the kids love them,” said Howard Haven, a bartender at Alan Gold’s. “All it takes is one cup of vodka, one cup of hot water and one package of Jell-O.”
A major aspect of the Jell-O shot’s popularity is the communal partaking of the shot. Jell-0 shots are not for loners; they are best enjoyed with a group of friends on a wild and celebratory night. They are not meant for everyday consumption, however—the taking of the Jell-O shot should be seen as an event.
At its best, the shot will lift your night from a mundane time on the town to an unforgettable party, and at its worst, the combination of gelatin and alcohol will make you smile and laugh as you tongue the bottom of the soufflé cup trying to consume the last remnants of the flavorful treat.
Lehrer would be proud.