When’s the last time you did a Jell-O shot? If it’s not within recent memory, it’s time to get your life right. Craveable Hospitality Group's pastry director and TV personality Zac Young loves both brunch cocktails and cold, hard science. As it happens, the two blend magically into jelly shots. Young took his inspiration from the best edible and drinkable parts of brunch to make Maple Bacon Bourbon Jelly Shots (wrapped in crepes, for goodness sakes!), Mimosa Jelly Shots (with white chocolate-covered Pop Rocks for Champagne fizz), and Bloody Mary Jelly Shots (in hollowed-out peppers and cucumbers, for he is a glorious madman).
So, let’s try this again. When’s the last time you did a brunch cocktail-themed edible shot? At Jell-O Shot o’clock, which is roughly six hours from now? Right on time.
Maple Bacon Bourbon Jelly Shots
- Yields: 24 shots
For the bacon infused bourbon:
Cook the bacon in a skillet or oven until golden brown and crispy. Add the hot bacon to the bourbon. Refrigerate overnight. Strain out the large pieces of bacon and then pass the remaining liquid through a coffee filter to remove any remaining fat.
For the maple bacon bourbon jelly:
Pour half of the apple cider and the salt in a microwave-safe dish, sprinkle the gelatin on top. Let sit for two minutes so the gelatin can bloom. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the gelatin is warm and melted, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Gently whisk in the remaining cider, maple syrup, and bacon-infused bourbon. Pour the jelly into a plastic wrap-lined loaf pan or other small baking dish. Chill at least 6 hours or overnight.
For the bacon crepes:
Melt the bacon fat and the butter. Add remaining ingredients to a blender and blend on medium speed for 1 minute until homogenous. With the blender on low, stream in the melted butter and bacon fat. Let the batter rest in the refrigerator for at least an hour. The batter will last one day in the refrigerator.
In a small, nonstick skillet over medium heat, melt enough butter to lightly coat the bottom of the pan. In one motion, pour the batter and swirl the pan to create a thin, even layer. While the batter is still wet on top, sprinkle it with a little of the chopped bacon. Let the crepe cook until the underside is light golden brown, about a minute and a half. Flip the crepe to the other side and cook for another 30 seconds. Repeat with the remaining batter, you should have at least 6 good crepes. Set the crepes aside to cool.
Assembly: Remove the jelly from the refrigerator and place on a cutting board. Cut the jelly into approximately 6 separate 1 ½" by 5" strips. Place the strip on a crepe. Trim the crepe to match the length of the jelly strip. Roll the jelly strip in the crepe like a sushi roll. Cut the finished roll into 4 or 5 pieces. Repeat with the remaining strips and crepes. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Mimosa Jelly Shots
- Yields: 24 wedge-shaped shots
Cut the oranges in half and scoop out the pulp, leaving the peels intact. Remove the membrane surrounding the pulp and break the pulp into small pieces, you will need a generous ½ cup of the pulp.
Place 1 cup of the rosé and the sugar in a microwave-safe bowl and sprinkle the top with the gelatin. Let sit for 2 minutes so the gelatin can bloom. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the gelatin is warm and melted, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Gently stir in the remaining rose, it will foam a bit, but that will subside.
Place the halved clementine peels in a cupcake tin to secure them, or make “nests” out of aluminum foil. Add about a tablespoon of the pulp to each clementine “bowl” Fill with the rosé jelly. Once the bubbles subside, add more jelly to each clementine until they are full to the top. Add the white chocolate-covered pop rocks if desired. Refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. To serve, cut into wedges.
Bloody Mary Jelly Shots
Place 1 cup of the bloody mary mix in a microwave safe bowl and sprinkle the top with the gelatin. Let sit for 2 minutes so the gelatin can bloom. Microwave in 30-second intervals until the gelatin is warm and melted, about 1 minute 30 seconds. Gently stir in the remaining mix and the vodka. Pour into desired vessel and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight. Garnish with assorted cheeses and meats.
Vessels: Get Creative! Hollowed-out tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, celery, or peppadews are all good options. Or set in a dish like the maple bacon bourbon, cut into strips, and wrap in cheese or thinly sliced cold cuts.