Sunday, March 27, 2011

Last night we threw one of my best friends, Brooke, a surprise 30th birthday party. There was champagne and party hats. We set up a makeshift photo booth with cheap junk from the 99 cent store. It was the best night.
Before I begin, I can’t make this post without bringing up the issue of gelatin. In general I shy away from it, not because it’s a animal byproduct, but because I hate the texture. I blame this on my appendix surgery in first grade, when I remember eating nothing but lemon jello and chicken broth while in the hospital. Gross. Anyway, the vegan alternative is agar agar powder, which I hear is available in fancy grocery stores like Whole Foods.
I decided to make “adult” jello shots – as in not some gross vodka and cherry jello in a dixi cup. Since our theme was champagne, I made jello versions of the classic French 75 cocktail: Champagne, gin, lemon juice and sugar. They were a hit.


The French 75 (via Jelly Shot Test Kitchen)

Recommended Pan:  Standard Loaf Pan (I used mini muffin tins)

1/3 cup lemonade concentrate (strained to remove solids) 1/3 cup water2 envelopes Knox gelatin 2/3 cup gin 2/3 cup flat champagne granulated sugar Lemon zest garnish, (optional)

Combine lemonade concentrate and water in saucepan (and sugar if using).  Sprinkle with gelatin and allow to soak for a minute or two.  Heat over very low heat, stirring constantly, until gelatin is fully dissolved (approximately 5 minutes).  Remove from heat, and stir in the gin and champagne.  Pour into pan and chill until fully set, several hours or overnight.  To serve, cut into desired shapes.  Garnish with lemon zest.  Makes 18 to 24 shots. (I rolled them in sugar to balance the tartness of the lemon.)
 Some selections from the party…

Last night was one of those nights that reminded me of how lucky I am to have such wonderful friends.

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