Striped firecracker jello shots for July 4th


Easy Patriotic Drinks and Desserts for Your 4th of July Bash

July 03, 2018 - 2:58 pm

By Mark G. McLaughlin

What Fourth of July party or picnic would be complete without drinks and desserts in red, white and blue? There are many ways to showcase these patriotic colors in your Fourth of July fare with red and blue juices and strawberries, cherries, raspberries and blueberries served with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream. Here are two tricolor drink recipes – either of which can be alcoholic or not – and one patriotic pie.

Red, White and Blue Jello Shots (alcoholic or not)

Few things are more quintessentially American than Jello. As the ad campaign goes, “There's always room for Jello,” and that is especially true at a Fourth of July celebration. Jello has long been popular as a different way to imbibe alcohol, and as it already comes in red and blue, all that is needed to make it worthy of a patriotic celebration is to add the white – which in this case comes from mixing Knox gelatin with coconut milk. As for the alcoholic content, vodka is the booze of choice for this celebratory drink.

For those who want a virgin version, suitable for all ages, substitute a clear soda, seltzer or juice (Seven-Up, Lemon-Lime or clear Gatorade) for the vodka.


  • 1 package of red jello (the typical 3-ounce box)
  • 1 package of blue jello
  • 2 packets of Knox gelatin
  • 1 cup of coconut milk
  • ½  cup of sugar
  • 3 cups of (flavored) vodka (or, three cups of vodka mixed with cold water for less potency)
  • Jello shot cups
  • Boiling water (3 cups, once for each layer)


This is a two-step, two-day process. On the first day, you will make the bottom (blue) layer. On the second day you’ll make the other two layers, starting with the white layer, as it will need time to set before topping it off with the final, red layer.

For the blue layer (the bottom):

  • Pour the contents of the blue jello package into a metal bowl
  • Add 1 cup of boiling water; stir until fully dissolved
  • Pour in 1 cup of flavored vodka (or other clear alcohol of choice) and stir
  • Pour into jello shot cups but only enough so as to fill the bottom third of each
  • Chill in the refrigerator overnight (to ensure they are solid and firm)

For the white layer (the middle):

  • Pour 1 cup of coconut milk into a saucepan
  • Add 1 cup of water
  • Add the 2 packets of Knox gelatin
  • Add in ½  cup of sugar
  • Heat and stir until fully dissolved
  • Pour in 1 cup of flavored vodka
  • Set in refrigerator to chill while preparing the red layer

For the red layer (the top):

  • Pour the contents of the red jello package into a metal bowl
  • Add 1 cup of boiling water; stir until fully dissolved
  • Pour in 1 cup of flavored vodka (or other clear alcohol of choice) and stir
  • Allow to cool and set aside

These colors don't run!

  • The final step is to combine the three colors. The blue MUST be solid and firm and the white layer cool before adding it to the blue base. Spoon in the white to fill the second third of each cup.
  • Refrigerate until solid
  • Once the white is solid – and ONLY then – spoon in the red layer. If the red starts to mix in with the mix to turn it pink STOP and put the cups with the blue and white back into the refrigerator. Otherwise, top off each cup.
  • Refrigerate until ready to serve

Sparkling Fourth of July Virgin (or not) Punch

This simple punch can, of course, be made much more potent by spiking it with clear rum or vodka (flavored or unflavored) or even a white wine to taste. Here, however, is the non-alcoholic base, which is suitable for all ages as well as for those who prefer their punch without a kick.


Equal parts

  • Blueberry Gatorade
  • Cranberry Juice
  • Clear Mandarin Orange (or Clear Lemon) Gatorade/American Zero
  • Clear soda or seltzer (Sprite, Seven-Up, lemon-lime etc.)
  • Blueberries, raspberries and sliced strawberries
  • Ice cubes
  • A tray of tall clear glasses or Mason Jars (as this is made IN individual servings)


  • Prepare each glass, jar or serving separately as follows:
  • Into the bottom third of each glass pour a layer of Cranberry Juice
  • Add a handful of ice cubes
  • Pour in equal measures of Blueberry and Mandarin Orange until the glass is two-thirds full
  • Add in 1 or more scoops of fruit
  • Finish off with clear soda

Place the tray of glasses in a refrigerator to chill; this also allows the colors to better separate (those with the most sugar will settle to the bottom).

Patriot's Pie

This is a simple and quick way to show off the red, white and blue in tasty dessert, and one that is also easy to prepare and transport to a Fourth of July picnic or tailgate party.


  • Pie crust (either your own recipe or a refrigerated/frozen pie crust that has been set aside to thaw); make sure there is enough crust for both the pie pan and for use as a top.
  • Star-shaped cookie cutters
  • 3 pounds of strawberries
  • ½  pound of blueberries
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • 2 Tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 box (3 ounces) strawberry-flavored gelatin
  • 1 ½  cups of water


  • Heat oven to 450°F
  • Place bottom pie crust (in glass pie dish or metal pie pan) into the oven and bake
  • Roll out the top layer and cut into stars
  • Place stars on a greased cookie sheet and place in the oven beside the pie crust
  • Bake until light brown, then remove from oven and set aside to cool
  • Wash, slice and dry strawberries and blueberries.
  • Place the strawberries in the pie shell
  • Place the blueberries in between the strawberries (or in the top corner to simulate the blue field of a flag)
  • Combine sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan; add water, stir and heat to a boil.
  • Stir in gelatin and set aside to cool for at least 20 minutes to half an hour
  • When cool, pour mixture either as to create white stripes or just overall.
  • Chill in a refrigerator overnight
  • Top with the star-shaped crust pieces and serve.