Old-fashioned. Moscow Mule. Planter's Punch. Words that bring joy to the palates of cocktail lovers. Jelly shots. Words that bring joy to party animals everywhere. Yes, jelly – OK, Jell-O – shots are a bit sophomoric, but we aren't talking the standard gooey, sweet vodka concoctions of yore. Ludlows Cocktail Company, founded by Freya Estreller, took the idea of the slurpable shooter and upped the cool cocktail factor (high-quality spirits, all-natural ingredients) – but, thank goodness, kept the squishy allure.
After exploring the high-end ice cream sandwich universe as co-founder of Coolhaus, Estreller decided to take the plunge into the cocktail world with Ludlows. Why jelly shots? It was obvious for Estreller, who says, “Prepackaged jelly shots based on actual cocktails just didn't exist and, I thought, 'Why not bring it to the masses?' A big part of Ludlows Cocktail Company's mission is to bring the fun back to cocktail drinking.” The idea isn't lost on bartenders, either. Booze-infused jelly shots have popped up in bars around the country.
Estreller premiered her creations, the first of their kind, at Golden State of Cocktails in late January, offering up tinkered versions of her current offerings, such as Bacon Old-Fashioned, as well as glimpses of what she has in the works: a St. Germain Greyhound (with Pop Rocks) and Smith & Cross Navy-strength rum and Coke (with Fernet Branca foam). “When was the last time that you had Pop Rocks and a jelly shot?” Estreller asks. Probably never, at least until now. File that under party ideas.
Estreller's tongue-in-cheek approach ensures that her product is never taken too seriously (it's still a Jell-O shot at heart.) Because wobbly booze is just plain fun. The shots will be in stores this spring – not at Coolhaus locations, but look for them at Whole Foods and L.A. clubs and bars. Unlike those you might whip up at home, these are shelf-stable, so you can literally pull them out of your bag when the party starts sputtering. See: hostess gift ideas.
Lesley blogs at 12 Bottle Bar, tweets at @12BottleBar and is the author of the book “Gin: A Global History.” Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Want more Squid Ink? Follow us on Twitter or like us on Facebook.