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Vegan Champagne Jello Shots

March 8, 2018 by Ginger Hultin MS RDN

I was at a party recently and someone told me that they’d never had a jello shot…..in their whole life! If you’re not familiar, jello shots are small servings of jello mixed with vodka and taken either from a little plastic cup or served in squares or cutout shapes. You have to be really careful with them because they’re sweet and easy to eat too many. It’s hard to even tase the alcohol so it can catch up with you pretty quickly. In other words, do not eat jello shots like you eat regular non-alcoholic jello. The alcohol content in this recipe is for adults 21 years and older. Jello shots are super fun and I wanted a lightened-up version so I created these vegan champagne jello shots for you.

Vegan Champagne Jello Shots

What I LOVE about this recipe

Jello shots are quite a joy but there’s a few problems with them. First, they’re sugar bombs. They often have artificial food coloring (that electric blue is coming from somewhere…and it’s not blueberries). Second, gelatin isn’t vegan friendly….it’s made of animal hide and bone. So when I was thinking of making my own recipe I wanted to change two things: the sugar and the gelatin.

My vegan champagne jello shots are SO much better than buying the packets of jello at the grocery store because I use 100% fruit juice for both the color and the flavoring. Today when I made them, I used peach juice but you could really use any type of juice to get a variety of different colors and flavors – blueberry, cherry, cranberry, orange, apple, coconut – you get the idea! Be sure to read the label of the juice you purchase. Often times juice is also sweetened with corn syrup and sugar. Look for a label that actually says contains 100% fruit juice. Don’t be mistaken, juice totally contains sugar too and as a dietitian I always recommend eating a whole fruit rather than a cup of juice, but you are getting some added vitamins by using juice in your jello shots. One fruit juice serving is 4-ounces; that’s a 1/2 cup. I view it as a sometimes treat – just like cocktails or alcoholic drinks are.

Now for the thickener, have you ever heard of agar (some people call it agar-agar)? It’s a plant-based thickener that comes from red algae. When boiled and cooled, it becomes thick, gelatinous, and firm. Seaweed products has some interesting properties both in the kitchen and for general health. Sea vegetables like agar have tons of bioactive compounds and even fiber! If you love learning all the things about topics like this, I recently wrote a massive piece for Today’s’ Dietitian about the health benefits of sea vegetables.

If you don’t use a plant-based thickener like agar, you’re generally using gelatin which is very similar to collagen. A note about collagen…because it’s super popular right now! If you ever go to the supplements aisle you are bound to see collagen products lining the aisles. Collagen gets a lot of advertisement for healthy skin and nails, heart health, muscle gain, and weight loss. So what is collagen exactly? Collagen is a structural protein found in connective tissues of humans and animals. Our bodies actually make collagen and it decreases as we age (that’s part of the reason we get wrinkles and less flexible joints). To make collagen our bodies take amino acids from protein-rich foods and it also requires micronutrients like vitamin C. The reason we make less collagen with aging is that our bodies cannot absorb nutrients as well and synthesize them into collagen. This where a collagen supplement might actually be beneficial for some people. There’s still a lot of research that needs to happen before we deem collagen the wonder supplement of youth. And it doesn’t work at all for those of us who don’t eat animal-derived products like that.

Ready to go! Pack these up and take them with you to your next party

Tips for the Perfect Vegan Champagne Jello Shots

Making this recipe is actually super simple. I used a large 4-cup pyrex measuring cup to combine the juice and agar. Then put the mixture in the microwave for 4 minutes – the mixture should be pretty hot when you take it out. Transfer to the fridge to cool to room temperature before adding the alcohol. This step is so important – if you add the alcohol when the mixture is hot then it burns off the alcohol (and you basically have a non-alcoholic version). Once the mixture has cooled to lukewarm temperature add the champagne (or vodka if that’s what you’re using) and whisk. The agar will have already started thickening but the whisk breaks it up nicely. I suggest using a whisk because sometimes the agar starts clumping up very early and you don’t want lumps in your shots. Pour them into a baking sheet if you plan to cut into squares or instead, use small plastic cups. I found these super awesome 2 ounce plastic cups that are perfect for portioning as well. Keep in mind that that isn’t the best for the environment so it just depends on how transportable you need them to be.

When making these Vegan Champagne Jello Shots, I noticed that it started thickening on its own right away. Don’t expect jello shots exactly like you’re used to – these ones are thicker and have a bit of a different texture. The more or less you cook them, the strength of your microwave and probably even the agar you use can alter this recipe. You’ll need to just go with the flow and adapt as needed.

Other Cocktail Ideas

I’m all about posting my recipes for healthier cocktails and beverages. If you’re into that, too, and you like recipes such as my Vegan Champagne Jello Shots, don’t miss some of my other favorites on the Champagne Nutrition blog:

Gin Ginger Beet Cocktail with Thyme

SoCoNut Cocktail for Summer

A Healthier Margarita

Carrot Ginger Turmeric Mimosa 

Apple Cider Wine Spritzer 

These vegan champagne jello shots contain their own natural color and flavor and they don’t contain any animal byproducts for those of you who want to transport back in time to your undergraduate years to have a sweet treat but in a more grown-up kind of way.

Vegan Champagne Jello Shots

These jello shots are vegan-friendly and are free from artificial colors and flavors. Enjoy!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage, cocktail
Cuisine: Americana
Keyword: jello shot, vegan cocktail
Servings: 8
Calories:
Author: Ginger Hultin

Ingredients

  • 2 cups juice
  • 1 tablespoon agar
  • 1 cup champagne
  • 2 teaspoon agave nectar

Instructions

  • In a microwave safe bowl, combine the juice and agar and whisk until incorporated. Microwave for about 3 minutes, until boiling. Place in the refrigerator until lukewarm.
  • When cooled, add the champagne and agave, then whisk to combine.
  • Pour the mixture into individual 2-ounce shot portions or onto a lined baking pan. Chill for 8 hours or overnight until firmly set. If using a baking pan, use a pizza cutter to create squares and lift with a spatula. Store on parchment paper. Shots stay good for about a week so these work well to make in advance.

Notes

If you are using agar-agar flakes, the amount to add may be different so read the label to assess.
Tried this recipe?Mention @champagnenutrition

6 Comments

  1. Stephanie McKercher on May 27, 2020 at 9:57 am

    I’ve had my fair share of jello shots lol, but never with champagne! This sounds so, so amazing, Ginger!! Definitely bookmarking this for a friend’s bachelorette.

    • Ginger Hultin on May 31, 2020 at 12:35 pm

      Yay! These ones are so much better than the ‘typical’ jello shots for sure

  2. Jing Huei on November 12, 2020 at 3:47 am

    Hi! Can we use other liquors? If so, what would you recommend? 🙂

    • Ginger Hultin on November 17, 2020 at 8:05 pm

      You can! Vodka is the most neutral but alternatively, you could try gin or rum – let me know how it goes!

  3. LRae on January 31, 2021 at 11:59 am

    you have agave nectar listed in the ingredients list, but you don’t mention it anywhere in the instructions – when are you supposed to add it?

    • Ginger Hultin on January 31, 2021 at 3:42 pm

      Just updated! Thanks for pointing that out 🙂 Enjoy!

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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

An award-winning, nationally recognized nutrition expert and media spokesperson.

Thanks for visiting! If you’re like me: obsessed with eating, wine, going out and traveling, you’re in the right place. Champagne Nutrition® LLC is a Registered Dietitian-run concierge virtual practice helping clients look and feel better. On this blog, you’ll find cocktails, mocktails, and plant-based recipes that are easy to make quickly at home and pack for leftovers on your adventures.

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