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How Long Are Jello Shots Good For And How To Store Them?

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I have been an adult for a long time now, unfortunately (kidding). But I do go to parties from time to time. 

Although there have been a lot of interesting beverages and cocktails served along the way, one classic has become a tradition – jello shots. I like to call them “alcohol for adults”.

Good old jello shots always awaken that deep “inner child” in me, while the alcohol reminds me that I am an adult. The best combination really. 

So, I also decided to set up a party recently, and of course, to make some jello shots as well. But how long are jello shots good for? This is what I was wondering in order to know when to make them. 

If you too are interested, you are at the right place because I covered it all in detail in this article. 

Understanding Jello Shots To Understand Their Shelf Life

red white and blue Jello Shots

What are jello shots in the first place? You already know that it is a type of alcoholic beverage, but did you know that they only need a few ingredients to make? 

As the name suggests, the main ingredient is gelatin, that you can also use for many other recipes, including jello cakes, slushies, or aiyu jelly dessert

However, unlike in these recipes, there is also some type of alcohol, a bit of lemon or lime juice, and some kind of sweetener (in most cases, sugar).

The most frequent type of alcohol used is definitely vodka  because of its neutral taste. However, some other types, such as gin, rum, tequila, or flavored liqueurs, can be considered too. 

If you don’t buy pre-made jello shot mix from the grocery store, you can always make your own at home. I won’t go into too many details, but let me just briefly explain how that works. 

First, flavored gelatine powder is dissolved in hot water according to the instructions on the package. After that, the preferred alcohol is added, and the amount of will also vary depending on the personal preferences. 

Everything is mixed well so that the alcohol is evenly distributed, and the mixture is transferred into small individual molds or shot glasses, which are then put into the fridge to chill. 

How Long Does It Take For Them To Set?

Once you make jello shots, you can not just start enjoying them right away. They need to chill in the fridge for a few hours.

My advice is to refrigerate them for 3 hours for best results. In general, you can leave them anywhere between 2 and 4 hours, but I am suggesting this from my own experience. 

Some people can’t wait that long, so they tend to put them in the freezer to accelerate the process. I wouldn’t suggest that because the quality will most likely deteriorate, so it is best to stick to the fridge. 

How Long Are Jello Shots Good For?

cute Jello Shots

First, if you buy the package of jello shots and keep it sealed, it will stay good for up to 2-3 months. Here, I have to emphasize that the type of container also plays an important role. 

Compared to plastic containers, jello shots will last longer if stored in airtight glass containers. This is mainly because the heat travels slowly in airtight glass containers compared to plastic ones, which can slow down the spoilage. 

It is a different story once you open the package because you automatically expose it to outside invaders, like microbes. So, once opened, jello shots can not be left refrigerated for more than 3-5 days. 

If you made your own jello shots for the party, you must know that the maximum number of days that you can let them stay in the fridge is 7-10 days. However, already on the eighth day, jello shots will start to lose their taste. 

So, if you are wondering how far in advance you can make your jello shots, I would suggest that you do that 4 days in advance, as that is the maximum time frame. 

When it comes to the minimum time frame, my suggestion is to make them the night before the party and store them in the fridge. This way, you will achieve the best flavor.

Do Jello Shots Really Go Bad?

green Jello Shots

Well, this type of question can be viewed from different angles. Since the environment doesn’t have ideal conditions, practically any type of food can get spoiled in certain situations. 

Although it contains alcohol, jello shots are not ordinary alcoholic beverages, like vermouth, for example, that you can keep on your shelf practically as long as you want. 

They do contain alcohol and it is true that a higher alcohol content contributes to a longer shelf life of jello shots, but it can not preserve them indefinitely. 

Gelatin, as the main ingredient, is an animal-derived product, and no alcohol can stop it from breaking down. 

I also have to emphasize that many people tend to think that jello shots are just like packaged Jello or Jello powder. These types of products, when unopened and stored properly, can last for years. 

Unfortunately, this is not the case with jello shots, so you should take that into consideration. 

Finally, handling and storage are one of the main factors when it comes to jello shots spoilage and shelf life. No matter how long some type of ingredient can last, if you handle it with dirty utensils or expose it to cross-contamination, it won’t end up good.

The same goes for storage, i.e., proper storage is essential for every type of food or ingredient, and especially for jello shots. 

What Are Some Signs Of Bad Jello Shots?

It is true that jello shots can deteriorate in quality and even go bad, but it is also true that you can learn more about the spoilage signs in order to be prepared for those unwanted situations. 

So, here are a few signs that your jello shots are not at their best: 

• Mold: Mold growth is the most obvious sign that your jello shots have spoiled. In most cases, you will see patches or a layer of mold on the surface. In that case, it is essential to discard them immediately. 

• Off Odor: If there is mold, even if you can not see it immediately, there will also be a bad smell. So, if the jello shots have an unusual or foul odor, they have gone bad and you should throw them out. 

• Discoloration: Fresh jello shots usually have vibrant and uniform colors. However,  the discoloration or change of color can happen, and there are two main causes. 

Darkening or discoloration can be caused by enzymatic breakdown, usually of gelatine, and this doesn’t necessarily mean that the jello shots are unsafe to drink. 

However, the cause can also be bacterial contamination, which can be very dangerous to your health. So, when you see any discoloration, it is best to discard your jello shots. 

• Texture Changes: The texture and consistency of the jelly shots can become harder, which is a sign that they are not at their peak quality. 

Aside from that, despite the alcohol remaining fresh, the gelatine can begin to break down, causing the water to break through it and collect along the sides of the cups or shot glasses. If you notice that, you must toss those jello shots in the trash. 

What Is The Best Way To Store Jello Shots?

cute red Jello Shots

Storing jello shots is quite simple. The most important thing you should know is that the most important factor in this process is keeping them at a low temperature, i.e., the ideal temperature for storing jello shots is between 35°F and 40°F.

Since the average refrigerator temperature is 37°F, this is actually the ideal place for jello shots. However, before you refrigerate your jello shots, it is essential that you put them in some type airtight container. 

Glass containers are ideal, but a plastic container will serve the purpose as well. If you made a large batch of jello shots, it is not a bad idea to portion them into smaller, individual portions before serving. 

Either way, it is best to put your jello shots on the top shelf of the fridge away from other foods to avoid cross-contamination. Also, keep them away from the fridge door because the temperature is not so stable there. 

Finally, I have to emphasize that it is not a good idea to keep them at room temperature for longer, especially for more than 2 hours because the risk of bacterial growth will increase significantly. 

Can You Freeze Them?

Technically speaking, you can freeze jello shots. However, I always try to avoid this or keep it as the last option. 

The main reason for this is the fact that freezing jello shots will not keep them fresh. They can stay in the freezer for about 4 months, but after that time, their quality will be very bad. 

Namely, due to a very low freezing point, the alcohol (especially vodka) can’t freeze. The only thing that you will achieve is cold ice crystals on the outside and liquid on the inside. 

Aside from the alerted texture and consistency, the flavor will probably become bland, even after one month. So, imagine what would happen after those four months. 

Based on all this, I think that it is logical to stick to the fridge. Aside from the fridge, you can also put your jello shots in a cooler to keep their freshness and quality for up to 3-5 days. 

If you choose to do so, my recommendation is to use a Freon cooler rather than dry ice because there is a potential risk that dry ice will partially freeze them. On the other hand, a Freon cooler will keep them at fridge temperature. 


So, how long are jello shots good for?

If you bought a package of jello shots from the grocery store, they will stay good for up to 2-3 months if properly stored in the fridge. 

Once you open the package, you will have to consume those jello shots within 3-5 days. 

If you make your own jello shots at home, you must refrigerate them immediately, and they will stay good in the fridge for up to 7-10 days. However, it is also recommended to consume them within 3-5 days for the best results.