I like to think I haven't changed much over the years, but one area that does take exception to this rule would be my drinking preferences. Over the past decade, Long Islands, Jägerbombs, and lemon drops have been replaced by Sazeracs, gin martinis, and my standby, the old-fashioned. But there is one thing I've been loathe to give up: Jell-O shots.
There's something irreplaceably interactive about Jell-O shots, which is why they've made their way onto New Year's Eve soirées in years past, or why I even enjoyed a few at a party at this year's Aspen Food & Wine Classic. But by far the coolest rendition I've ever encountered comes from Donatella Arpaia, who envisioned a classier shot made with ice wine and topped with half-frozen grapes.
For a greater departure from the world of red party cups and paper Jell-O shot holders, I offered shot "squares" at my last party in ceramic spoons topped with half-frozen Champagne grapes. Want to do the same? Then keep reading.
2 teaspoons powdered unflavored gelatin
1 (375-milliliter) bottle of ice wine
Seedless Champagne grapes, for serving
- Sprinkle the gelatin over 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small saucepan. Soak for about 5 minutes, until softened.
- Add 2 tablespoons of ice wine to the gelatin mixture and warm the mixture over low heat, just until the gelatin melts and the mixture is completely smooth. Remove from the heat and transfer to a metal bowl. Add the remaining wine. Cool to room temperature, then ladle into 4 to 6 small glasses. Chill until set, about 2 hours. Alternatively, pour the mixture in a shallow square pan. Chill until set, then cut into 1" cubes.
- About 25 minutes before serving, rinse the grapes with cold water and spread them on a parchment-lined baking sheet without touching one another. Place in the freezer until serving time. Arrange the ice wine shots on a platter (or, as I did, in carefully cut squares on ceramic soup spoons), and surround with the partially frozen grapes.
Serves 4 to 6.
- Other, Drinks