We're usually cautious about new cocktail trends, but we're suckers for the latest innovation from the city's mixologists: edible cocktails. It's their inspired work (and perhaps some nostalgia for Jell-O shots and vodka-soaked watermelon) that's spurred our desire to eat, rather than sip, our drinks.
Eben Freeman—whose "solids" list at Tailor has included a jelled rum and Coke and an absinthe-flavored gummi bear—bolstered the movement. So did Paris-based bartender Thierry Hernandez, who recently revised the cocktail list at Benoit to include toast with strawberry-vodka jam and piña colada fruit fondue. Seasonal shots of liquor-infused gelatin sporadically appear on the bar menu at East Village hot spot The Redhead, and this month, chef Eric Hara debuted a selection of haute Jell-O shots at davidburke & donatella.
But it's Hara's pumpkin pie shot, available through the end of November, that really hooked us. Give our adaptation of his recipe the old college try—your Thanksgiving guests certainly will.
Pumpkin Pie Jell-O Shots
Makes 8 pies
8 Keebler mini graham-cracker piecrusts
1 envelope Knox gelatin
1/3 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/8 teaspoon allspice
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of ground nutmeg
1/2 cup vodka
1/2 tablespoon cold heavy cream
Fresh whipped cream, for serving
1. Arrange the piecrusts on a baking sheet. Place 1 cup cold water in the top of a double boiler and sprinkle the gelatin over the top. Let stand for three minutes.
2. Heat the gelatin mixture over a gentle simmer until the granules have dissolved. Add the pumpkin, sugar and spices and heat, stirring occasionally, until the pumpkin and sugar are completely melted. Remove from heat and cool for 30 minutes.
3. In a medium bowl, combine the vodka with 1/4 cup cold water and the heavy cream. Whisk in the pumpkin mixture and immediately divide it among the piecrusts. Chill until firm, at least 4 hours. Slice the pies into wedges, if desired, top with whipped cream and serve.