the Jellomaniac's Manual

Volume 1

C.M.J. Boston Baden, the Jell-O Maven, hazelweb at boston-baden.com

Rev. 02-Feb-2004

Welcome, Playboy readers. The February 2004 Playboy Advisor column has a typo in the Margarita Jell-O Recipe. It should call for 1 large box of Lime Jell-O, not 4 cups of Lime Jell-O! (The large box is the 4-cup size.) Also I now recommend using 1 cup of cold water, not 1 1/4 cup, because that gives you a little wiggle room for adding extra ingredients (like with the strawberry variation.)

Introduction | A-E | F-P | Q-Z | Non-alc. | Other Recipes | Pudding | Tips | FAQ | History | Flavors | Want Ads | Links | Gallery | Index | liquor | misc. ingredients

Jell-O, as in Jell-O Brand Gelatine Dessert, is a trademark of Kraft General Foods (800-431-1001).

Table of contents

What's New at the Jellophile

May 1997
Last major addition to website.
January 2004
The February 2004 issue of Playboy is out, and they mention the website. We haven't seen a big spike in the website's traffic yet - we usually get about 900 to 1900 hits a day on an average day, 9000 hits a day during peak periods (such as December 30 and 31, when everyone's mixing up desserts for New Year's Eve), and it hasn't gone up yet. But I expect it will.. (Neepery note: "Hit" is defined as grep -c "GET /hazel/Jello" /var/log/httpd/access_log -- but if that doesn't mean anything to you, don't worry about it.)
The February 2004 Playboy Advisor column has a typo in the Margarita Jell-O Recipe. It should call for 1 large box of Lime Jell-O, not 4 cups of Lime Jell-O! (The large box is the 4-cup size.) Also I now recommend using 1 cup of cold water, not 1 1/4 cup, because that gives you a little wiggle room for adding extra ingredients (like with the strawberry variation.)
The JELLO mailing list is back up, after (mumble) years of being out of order. Send a blank message to jello-subscribe@bostonbaden.com to sign up. You'll get a confirming message which you'll need to reply to, and then you'll be on the list.
Cleaned up som bit rot. That is, I updated the URLs for: "Boat Drinks"; Jimmy Buffett Web Page (soasoas.com is dead, but Dave April recommends the "Church of Buffett, Orthodox").
Party Shots A friend (Thomas Benson) gave me a copy of "Party Shots" by Mittie Hellmich. It's full of Jell-O shot recipes. They're generally stronger, and more complicated, than my recipes. For example the Margarita recipe (Cactus Quickie, page 14 -- the first recipe in the book) is two and half times stronger than mine, and calls for fresh lime and orange juice in addition to the Lime Jell-O. If you want to buy a copy through Amazon.com, they'll give me a few cents which we'll apply to the maintenance of this server...
Another book I found on Amazon is Party Shooters: Jell'd Shots with Spirit by Janis Marie Gasparovic. It says it has 102 recipes for Jell-O shooters.
Jell-O A Biography We're mentioned in Jell-O, A Biography by Carolyn Wyman. She's a little snarky, but what the hell...
Website traffic is up a little, but not as big as holiday traffic. The table here has our Jell-O related hits (see 15-Jan-2004 entry) rounded down to hundreds. So for example 1499 hits would be listed as 1400.
week MonTueWedThuFriSatSunnotes
15-21 Dec 1300 1400 1200 2000 2100 2200 1200  
22-28 Dec 1700 2600 2000 900 1400 1700 1900 2000 hits on Christmas eve, only 900 on Christmas Day.
29 Dec - 04 Jan 4100 9600 9500 900 1000 900 700 Look at that spike ending New Year's Eve!
05-11 Jan 600 600 800 1000 1400 1300 800 Playboy hit the stands, with our URL.
12-18 Jan 1000 1300 1200 1500 2000 1800 1000
19-25 Jan 10009001200120015001700900  
26 Jan - 01 Feb 1000 1300 1300 1700 2200 3200 1200 The Super Bowl was on Sunday the 1st of February.
02-08 Feb 700              

Statement of Ownership

This document is owned by C.M.J. (Chaz) Boston Baden, hazelweb at boston-baden.com, also known as "Hazel." I have compiled it myself from several sources: my own research; other jello fans mostly on EAT-L, FOODWINE, alt.fan.jimmy-buffett, and BUFFETT; and recipes I've created based on others' suggestions and feedback.

I am also indebted to Toby Gibson, toby-g at uic.edu, for his reference book "Boat Drinks," and David April, april at igcom.net, who first asked permission to put the Margarita Jell-O recipe recipe on the Parrot(t)heads' Jimmy Buffett Web Page.

The participants on the EAT-L and FOODWINE mailing list have been tolerant of my unusual hobby, and have dubbed me the Jell-O Maven. The Parrottheads on alt.fan.jimmy-buffet and the BUFFETT mailing list have taken to Margarita Jell-O like a duck to water, and have been advertising the recipe far and wide...

Thanks also to Pat Larson (nee Pat Lawrence), for reasons she'd know best. (Ahh, why be coy about it. She was my most enthusiastic taste-tester, before she got married and moved away.)

JELLO Mailing List

"JELLO - a mailing list to discuss all aspects of and recipes using gelatine, Quick Jelly, Knox Unflavored Gelatine, and (of course) General Foods Jell-O Brand Gelatine Dessert."

Topics for discussion on the JELLO mailing list include Jell-O, Nabisco Royal, other brands of gelatine, Knox Unflavored Gelatine, Instant Jelly or Quick Jelly (the overseas equivalents), recipes, product announcements, questions... Anything you like.

To join, send email to jello-subscribe@bostonbaden.com with a "Subject:" line that says SUBSCRIBE.

Alcoholic Jell-O Recipes

I'd like to welcome all the readers of Yahoo Internet Life to my site. Come on in!

Basic Tiddly Jell-O (alcoholic jell-o) instructions

All-Purpose Alcoholic Jell-O Recipe

Here's the basics for alcoholic "Tiddly Jell-O." The principle is to substitute liquor for an equivalent volume of part of the water. The trick is not to overdo it.

I recommend making this substitution for 1/8 to 1/4 of the liquid volume. For a large box of Jell-O (4 cups liquid) that means substituting between 1/2 cup and 1 cup of water with liquor. I use 1/2 cup for 40-proof booze, 1/4 cup for 80-proof. For metric jelly packets that make 400 ml of dessert, substitute 100 ml of 40 proof (20% alc.) liqueur, *or* 50 ml of (80 proof) 40% alc. liquors such as gin.

The "recipe" part comes into play by judicious choices of the Jell-O flavor and the liquor or liqueur. For example, we have found that Orange (or Cherry) Jell-O and Brandy works well. And Peach Jell-O and Bourbon (such as Rebel Yell or Jack Daniels) is good. And Watermelon Jell-O and Midori Melon Liqueur (my "meloncoholic" version), and Raspberry Jell-O with Raspberry Schnapps. Get the idea?

I stumbled onto the discovery that the Sugar Free jell-o is a lot easier to work with, because there's less powder to mix up and dissolve. (The regular Jell-O has ten times as much!)

March 1994, Chaz Boston Baden, P.O. Box 17522, Anaheim CA 92817-7522

Additional notes and proportion info

Tiddly Jell-O Notes (Baden)

If you are using a special kind of booze (Everclear, for example) calculate the water substitution like this: Divide the proof by 10 (or divide the alcohol percentage value by 5%); then divide the total volume of water (in cups or ml) called for in the jell-o directions, by this number. Round off the arithmetic; this is bartending, not nuclear chemistry. This gives you the volume (in cups or ml) of booze to use, and how much to decrease the water by. (If using American-style Jell-O, reduce the cold water by the appropriate fraction of the total amount of water; for other jelly packets, just decrease the boiling water and mix in the booze after you've dissolved the jelly powder.)

The figures shown are for a small metric (400 ml) and for large american (4 cups: 8 servings) sizes; alcohol percentages and proofs are shown, and how much of the water should be exchanged for booze. If you have a small american box, take the large figures (in cups) and divide by two; or, use two boxes.

Booze            Alc.     Water Subst.   Small: 400 ml     Large: 4 cups
30-proof Liqueur 15% alc.    1/3               133 ml        1 1/3 cup 
40-proof Liqueur 20% alc.    1/4               100 ml          1  cup 
50-proof liqueur 20% alc.    1/4-1/5        80-100 ml          1  cup 
80-proof Liquor  40% alc.    1/8                50 ml         1/2 cup 
90-proof Liquor  45% alc.    1/8-1/10        40-50 ml         1/2 cup 
100-proof Booze  50% alc.    1/10               40 ml         1/3 cup 
150-proof Booze  75% alc.    1/15-1/16          25 ml         1/4 cup 
190-proof Hooch  95% alc.    1/20               20 ml         1.5 oz. (shot)
Find the approximate alcohol level, and substitute the booze for the corresponding amount of water... (cold water with the US Jell-O, or just use less boiling water for jelly packets). Note that if you're using Everclear, you should just put one shot in a large batch of Jell-O.

April 1994

A quick note on making Jell-O Shots

Make them stronger, and chill them in small individual servings. For jell-o shots, substitute booze for 2/3 of the cold water, or in other words 1/3 of the total volume of liquid.

How I got started with the whole Margarita (etc.) Jell-O thing

As for the story of how I got involved...

I was reading an advice column in a magazine. (It was the Playboy Advisor, if you must know.) The reader who wrote in essentially asked "what's the deal with jello shots." The columnist explained that you make your jello but you substitute booze for part of the water -- a high proportion of the water, I might add -- and let it set in individual servings (for example, in an ice cube tray). The end of the reply had the columnist suggesting combining compatible flavors, like orange and Vodka, or Lime and Tequila...

I decided this sounded interesting, and decided to cut back on the percentage of alcohol. I basically tinkered and changed the "shots" to an alcoholic dessert. (Shots get you drunk too quickly and with less enjoyment of the process, in my correct and unbiased opinion.) :)

I tried some basic combinations, somewhat timidly -- Raspberry Schnapps with Raspberry Jell-O, orange brandy (Grand Marnier) with Orange Jell-O, and so forth. I took it to parties, it was well received.

I then decided to tackle the margarita question. Unfortunately, I'm not a margarita drinker and don't care for Tequila, despite having a bottle given to me many years ago on my 21st birthday. I had to research margarita recipes... found out an important ingredient, besides lime juice and Tequila, was the orange liqueur: (Triple Sec, usually, but you could use Cointreau or Conroy's if you want to be autentico). Sources differed on the proportions of Tequila to Triple Sec ... 1:1, 3:1... so I made it 2:1. And didn't make it too strong, and served it up as jello, and took it to a party, and everyone loved it... Voila, ipso facto, q.e.d., Margarita Jell-O was born.

Also: among science fiction fans, "Lime Jell-O" has a special connotation dating back to an incident at a science fiction convention where an author was speculating out loud on things you might be able to do with a bathtub full of lime jello and a partner of the appropriate gender. He got back to his room that night and found his tub, full... finding a partner was presumably his department...

So after a decade or two of this being part of the lore, I thought it high time that someone promote another adults-only way to enjoy Lime Jell-O.

I did not come up with the idea of combining alcohol and gelatine. Unknown unsung college fratboys probably have that distinction, with their experiments in using a gallon of Vodka (or Everclear: 190-proof grain alcohol) and adding jello box after jello box until it sets. Not my style; I just came up with this diluted set of proportions for the margarita flavor.

That's how I got started...

May 1994

Introduction | A-E | F-P | Q-Z | Non-alc. | Other Recipes | Pudding | Tips | FAQ | History | Flavors | Want Ads | Links | Gallery | Index | liquor | misc. ingredients

The Jellophile / C.M.J. (Chaz) "Hazel" Boston Baden / hazelweb at boston-baden.com

Chaz ("Hazel") Boston Baden [Hazel]