Cookbook author Michelle Palm is reinventing our notion of the Jell-O shot with a new cookbook that explores the joy of consuming classic cocktails that wiggle. After friends and family were wowed by Palm's gelatin prowess at a backyard barbecue, she started up a blog, the Jelly Shot Test Kitchen, which contains a wealth of creative jelly-shot recipes (for those who can't get enough Potter-mania, check out one of her newest, the "Polyjuice Potion" shot). Infamy arrived quickly, Dolce & Gabbana came calling, so Palm created a jelly-shot based on the floral dresses in their campaign.
Now she's a cookbook author, able to jell "classic cocktails, one drink at a time." The Jelly Shot Test Kitchen rates recipes as "easy" to "advanced," from a Tom Collins to a Tequila Sunrise, this goes way beyond the Dixie cup you downed in college.
Tune in tomorrow for an exclusive recipe, based on a drink served at one of our own -- popular sushi spot Doraku on Lincoln Road.
New Times: Do you have a culinary background?
Michelle Palm: I work in finance, strangely enough, I don't have a culinary or cocktail background . . . just greatly enjoy both and entertaining in general.
So, how did your original fascination with jelly shots begin?
I wanted a fun addition to a backyard barbecue. I thought Jell-O shots would be fun, but given the attendees, I knew I had to amp it up a bit from the traditional flavored gelatin and vodka. I searched the internet for jello shot recipes made with real cocktail ingredients, came up empty handed, and proceeded to concoct my own recipes for that party, Cosmopolitan and Piña Colada. Both were huge hits with my friends, and they spurred me on to translate other cocktails into gelatin. Shortly thereafter, I started the JSTK blog, just to keep friends and family updated on new jelly shot creations.
Are you trying to rehab the Jell-O shot phenomenon?
My aim was simply to take a fun, pop-culture thing and make it fit for foodies. Oh, I suppose that is a definition of rehab, isn't it?
Do you think this falls under the newish heading of molecular gastronomy?
I would blush at the thought of calling my jelly shots molecular gastronomy! It's just good clean, alcohol infused fun with a couple envelopes of Knox added!
Do you have some tips that you have learned along the way when it comes to working with gelatin, for those of us making these at home?
Gelatin is very easy to work with, but I do have a few tips and serving techniques on the JSTK blog. (click here for those tips!)
Where do you get those fabulous molds?
My favorite mold supplier is Kerekes at BakeDeco.com. Good value, and huge variety!
What is your favorite jelly shot?
So many favorites! I have the classics from the book, the Negroni, the Pimms Cup, the Pina Colada, but there are always new jelly shots and seasonal favorites, too, like Blow Pop Martini and Bramble! Every new jelly shot gets its 15 minutes of fame in my sentiments.
What celebrity related shots have you created for special events?
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SHOW ME HOW
I created an Elderflower Mojito Jelly Shot for Dolce & Gabanna's Swide magazine. I was inspired by their gorgeous spring campaign, featuring the long, flowing sheer dresses. The jelly shot was painted with organic food coloring to create the effect of a printed floral pattern on the jelly shot.
Don't forget, tomorrow we bring you the most Miami of all jelly shots - the "Fire Breathing Dragon."
Buy the book at Barnes & Noble by clicking here.