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Jiggly jelly cocktails

Michele Borboa, MS is a freelance writer and editor specializing in health, fitness, food, lifestyle, and pets. Michele is a health and wellness expert, personal chef, cookbook author, and pet-lover based in Bozeman, Montana. She is also...

Fun, fruity solid cocktails

Now that the heavy holiday dessert cocktails are out of season, and bikini and shorts season is on the way, refreshing fruity cocktails are in order. Jiggly jelly cocktails -- also known as solid cocktails -- are a fun addition to a spring fling get-together. Going beyond the Jell-O shots of your college days, the following jelly cocktails are delicious, elegant and worthy of nibbling. Solid cocktails can be served as an impressively unique after-dinner dessert or arranged on the bar or appetizer buffet at your next cocktail or garden party.

Jell-O Mousse-tini

Wild Hibiscus Champagne Jellies

Makes 6

Wild hibiscus flowers in syrup make gorgeous cocktails and desserts. The bright red flowers are especially eye-catching in this solid cocktail recipe, courtesy of WildHibiscus.com.

Ingredients:
1-2/3 cups Champagne or sparkling wine
1 jar wild hibiscus flowers in syrup
1/2 cup water
5 gelatin leaves or 3 teaspoons gelatin powder
Whipped cream, dark chocolate curls and maraschino cherries for garnishing

Directions:
1. Add Champagne or sparkling wine to a mixing bowl. Pour 1/2 cup of the hibiscus syrup (no flowers) into the wine.

2. In a small saucepan over low heat, warm water and dissolve gelatin. Do not boil. Pour water mixture into the wine through a sieve and stir.

3. Place one wild hibiscus flower into each of six champagne flutes or fancy glasses. Pour jelly mixture into the glasses until they are 2/3 full.

4. Refrigerate overnight to set. When ready to serve, top each cocktail with a small swirl of whipped cream, a few dark chocolate curls and a maraschino cherry.

Jell-O Mousse-tini

Makes 8

Watch it wiggle, see it jiggle! This solid cocktail is courtesy of JelloLounge.com. To make this a virgin cocktail, simply substitute water for the vodka.

Ingredients:
2 (3-ounce) packages Jell-O Gelatin, any flavor, divided
2-1/2 cups boiling water
1 (8-ounce) tub Cool Whip Whipped Topping, frozen or thawed
1/2 cup vodka
1 tablespoon lime juice

Directions:
1. Spread 1 package of gelatin onto a large plate. Dip rims of 8 (6-ounce) dessert glasses in cold water, then in dry gelatin mix. Set aside.

2. Pour unused gelatin mix from plate into medium bowl. Add remaining gelatin mix.

3. Gradually add boiling water, stirring for 2 minutes with a whisk until gelatin is completely dissolved. Stir in remaining ingredients.

4. Pour gelatin mixture into prepared glasses and refrigerate for 2 hours or until firm.

Sangria Party Cups

Makes 6

Perfect for a spring or summer soiree outside in the garden or by the pool, these sangria party cups are fun and fruity.

Ingredients:
1-1/2 cups boiling water
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O Strawberry Flavor Gelatin
1 (3-ounce) package Jell-O Lemon Flavor Gelatin
Ice cubes
1 cup dry red wine (or grape juice)
8 fresh strawberries, quartered
1 (11-ounce) can mandarin orange segments, drained
1 cup seedless red grapes, halved

Directions:
1. Add boiling water to combined gelatin mixes in a medium bowl. Stir at least 2 minutes or until completely dissolved.

2. In a glass measuring cup, add enough ice cubes to wine to measure 1-1/2 cups.

3. Add wine to gelatin, and stir until slightly thickened. Remove any unmelted ice.

4. Spoon fruit evenly into six clear dessert dishes and cover with gelatin mixture.

5. Refrigerate for 4 hours or until firm.

Lemon Ginger Fizz

Serves a crowd

A bar edible from the Ritz Carlton, this zesty jelly cocktail will add zip to your party's cocktail menu.

Ingredients:
18 gelatin sheets
12 fluid ounces simple syrup
1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh ginger
12 fluid ounces Ketel One Citroen Vodka
1-1/2 tablespoons finely minced lemon zest
20 fluid ounces soda water

Directions:
1. Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl, cover with cool water and soften for 5 minutes.

2. Heat the simple syrup and ginger in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to just a boil.

3. Remove from the heat. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and place in the simple syrup, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, combine the vodka, lemon zest and soda water, mixing to combine. Add the gelatin-simple syrup mixture and stir briefly to combine.

5. Pour the mixture into a plastic wrap-lined extra large straight-sided pan (or two, if you don't have an extra large pan) and cover. (A hotel pan with 2-1/2-inch sides is ideal.)

6. Place in the refrigerator to allow the gelatin to completely set, preferably overnight.

7. To serve, unmold the gelée onto a parchment-lined half sheet pan, remove the plastic wrap and cut into desired shapes.

Melon Citrus Twist

This is another bar edible courtesy of the Ritz Carlton.

Ingredients:
18 gelatin sheets
8 fluid ounces simple syrup
12 fluid ounces Ketel One Vodka
2 fluid ounces Midori liqueur
12 fluid ounces 7-Up or lemon-lime soda
6 fluid ounces fresh lime juice

Directions:
1. Place the gelatin sheets in a bowl, cover with cool water and soften for 5 minutes.

2. Heat the simple syrup in a small saucepan over medium-high heat to just a boil. Remove from the heat.

3. Squeeze the water from the gelatin sheets and place in the simple syrup, stirring to dissolve the gelatin. Set aside.

4. In a large bowl, mix the vodka, liqueur, soda and lime juice. Add the gelatin-simple syrup mixture and stir briefly to combine.

5. Pour the mixture into a plastic wrap-lined extra-large straight-sided pan (or a hotel pan with 2-1/2-inch sides) and cover. Refrigerate to allow the gelatin to completely set, preferably overnight.

6. To serve, unmold the gelée onto a parchment lined half-sheet pan, remove the plastic wrap and cut into desired shapes.

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