Tuesday, March 12, 2013

The Lucky-Tini, Repaired

All right, I've got to straighten something out. I did some research and I found a pretty good source that fell short on a couple points, so I'm going to post a correction.

My workplace is pretty awesome. We had a nice Christmas party dinner at a retro steak club; we had a pajama party; we have a delightful happy hour each Friday, right in our own kitchen, featuring the best of craft beer and scotch. Tomorrow we're having a St. Paddy's Day all-green potluck lunch. (I don't know why it's on the 13th instead of the workday closest to the weekend, Friday the 15th, but so it is.) The office was given a list of items to sign up for, and I chose Jell-o® shots. I'm sure they hate being associated with party booze mixes, but what can you do? Money is money, and an all-sugar product can't pretend to be concerned with health issues.

I wanted to look up a really special recipe for Jell-o® shots, and I found one: the Lucky-Tini at "Jelly Shot Test Kitchen." I found that site by searching for "jello shot recipe" and probably throwing in "St. Patrick's Day green" for good measure, and Google coughed up a slew of Pinterest accounts, so I switched to Google Images and picked the nicest-looking Jell-o® shot.

Now, the image I've posted here is available on many websites, and not all of them feature the same recipe (or the same spelling: "Lucki-tini" is a popular alternate). The recipe I chose is "featured on the Royal Caribbean cruise line's cocktail menu", ostensibly, which means it's going to be complex and tastier than the knock-offs (Taste for Adventure, par exemple, only lists a simplified version). Here's what we're looking at:
  • ¾ C pear-flavored vodka (I used Grey Goose® La Poire)
  • ½ C Midori® melon liqueur
  • ½ C Diet Sprite®/Diet 7-Up®
  • ½ C lemon syrup (see below)
  • 2 envelopes Knox® gelatine
They recommend diet soda because it's supposed to be more flavorful than the regular stuff. I ended up using Sierra Mist Natural® lemon/lime soda because I didn't want to serve artificial sweetener to my coworkers. Call me crazy.

Also, Jelly Shot Test Kitchen was nice enough to include the recipe for lemon syrup. They say you can use a 50/50 mix of lemonade concentrate and water, but again, I didn't want to ladle out high-fructose corn syrup right into their pancreases, so I bothered to make the actual lemon syrup recipe:
  • 2 lemons, cut into wedges
  • ½ C sugar
  • ¾ C water
Now, the Test Kitchen's recipe never mentions peeling the lemons, so maybe I did that part wrong. I did not use the site's recommendation for edible gold; instead, I zested the lemons, saved the zest in a sealed glass bowl (for serving), then peeled the lemons and sliced the fruit up into eighths. The recipe instructs one to "muddle" the lemons, and I don't know what that means, so I put the segments into a mesh sieve, placed it over a saucepan, and ground all the juice out with a stone pestle.
  1. Simmer the lemon juice, water and sugar over low heat, stirring until the sugar crystals have dissolved.
  2. Add the ½ cup of lemon/lime soda and stir in the two packets of gelatine, over low heat. (The Test Kitchen recipe does not mention this, which is irresponsible and inconvenient.) Stir until the gelatine is completely dissolved.
  3. Remove from heat. Add ¾ cup pear-flavored vodka and ½ cup Midori®; mix well.
  4. Pour into casserole or baking pan.
  5. Refrigerate overnight.
The baking pan doesn't have to be very large: the recipe serves 18−24 shots, which means cutting it up 6x3 or 6x4, but in the little casserole I'm using, they're going to have to be really small shots to spread them out thinly among 40 coworkers, so, a 6x6 tray and then I'll sprinkle them with lemon zest prior to serving. That's the best I can do without doubling the recipe.

I would recommend doubling the recipe. More to go around, more generous cubes, served from a large glass casserole.

Also: as Jelly Shot Test Kitchen states, this is a "booze-tastic" recipe. To tame it down, they recommend swapping out certain proportions:
  • ½ C pear-flavored vodka
  • ¾ C lemon/lime soda
That's what I did. After all, it's for lunch on a Wednesday. No reason to incapacitate hard-working people just trying to get by and make a difference in the world.

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