Vegan Chocolate Jello Shots

I’m glad I didn’t know how to make these in my college days; I never cared for the red and green kind of jello shooters at bars and parties, but as a chocolate lover, I’d have found these hard to resist. Made with Chocolate Vodka, or any good vodka, this bracing shot is definitely not for kids. Shoot two and you’ll need a designated driver.


Chocolate Jello Shots from Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan, Photo © Kate Lewis

Chocolate Jello Shots

Note: The gel sets up very quickly, so if it is too firm for your taste, just warm it in a pan briefly with a little more water until liquefied and allow to re-set.

Makes 6 shots


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons / 4 grams agar flakes
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons / 210 ml water, at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup / 64 grams organic granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup / 25 grams Dutch-process cocoa, sifted
  • Pinch fine sea salt
  • 1⁄4 cup / 60 ml Chocolate Vodka (recipe follows), or any premium vodka


  1. Measure the agar flakes into a small saucepan. Pour the water into the pan. Do not stir or heat. Set aside for 10 minutes to allow the agar flakes to soften. This will help the agar dissolve thoroughly and easily.
  2. Bring the agar mixture to a boil over medium heat and reduce the heat to low. Cover the saucepan and cook for 3 minutes, lifting the lid to whisk a few times. Check a spoonful of liquid for specks of agar. There should be none or very little. Cover and simmer longer if necessary, until the agar is completely dissolved.
  3. Add the sugar, cocoa powder, and salt and whisk until dissolved. Remove from the heat and add the vodka.
  4. Pour into six 2-ounce / 60-ml shot glasses and refrigerate until set, about 10 minutes. Serve cold.


Refrigerate the shots for up to three days.


Chocolate Vodka from Vegan Chocolate by Fran Costigan, Photo © Kate Lewis

Chocolate Vodka

This chocolate scented vodka makes a gorgeous holiday gift for friends and family but you’ll want to make some for yourself too. All this takes to make are cacao nibs and some a premium vodka. Simply combine the two, shake the jar a couple of times a day for a week, strain out the nibs, and refrigerate or freeze. Drink an icy shot of the softly sweet and slightly bitter liqueur straight up or use it to make White or Black Russians – dairy free and suitable for vegans, of course!

Makes 2 1/4 cups / 540 ml infused vodka


  • 2 1/2 cups / 600 ml vodka (consider organic)
  • 1/2 cup / 72 grams cacao nibs


  • Combine the vodka and cocoa nibs in a jar. Close the jar tightly and shake.
  • Let stand at room temperature for 1 week, shaking the jar once or twice each day.
  • Strain the vodka through a fine mesh sieve and discard* the nibs. Strain the vodka a second time through an unbleached coffee filter into another clean jar and refrigerate or freeze.

* Late breaking variation: I hate waste. Recently, after straining the nibs out from the vodka, I poured them onto a parchment (or was it silat– here it doesn’t matter) sheet pan. I baked them in a 300F oven until they were dry. I don’t recall how long it took. After the nibs were dry, I sprinkled them with crushed coarse sea salt and tasted a few. I had made an amazing, but boozy bar snack. Try it sometime. 


Drink a shot icy cold or use it as you would any vodka.


The infused vodka can be refrigerated or frozen for up to three months before the flavor starts going a little light.


Recipes reprinted with permission from Vegan Chocolate: Unapologetically Luscious and Decadent Dairy-Free Desserts, by Fran Costigan, (Running Press 2013). Photo credit: © Kate Lewis

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