Electrify your next party with these glow in the dark jello shots! You only need 3 ingredients and they can be spiked with any sweet rum or vodka.

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Jello shots in skull glasses on a tray glowing under a black light.

About Glow in the Dark Jello Shots

The 90’s teen in me is so excited to share this recipe with you guys, because, well…  c’mon, it’s glow in the dark jello shots we’re talking about there!

Because if you didn’t notice, they glow. In the dark.

And if you’re one of my fellow thirty-somethings, I’m sure you’re just as hyped as I am for these.

Because no matter how old (or young!) we are, everything neon that glows will always be cool, amirite?

How do these glow in the dark?

These spooky shots glow in the dark for two reasons:

  • Tonic water is one of the ingredients.
  • A blacklight is shined on them.
Close up of a jello shot, hand holding the sides about to pick it up.

So you need a black light for these shots to glow?

Yes, you do need a black light. This is a simple recipe that takes advantage of the unique chemicals in tonic water, which glows under a black light. These shots will not glow in the dark on their own.

Why does tonic water glow under a black light?

Tonic water has a small amount of a chemical called quinine dissolved into it. When illuminated under a black light, quinine will glow a brilliant, bright blue color.

You can use tonic water in other recipes to create the same effect, but be careful; tonic water has a strong taste that needs to be balanced with enough sweetness. Tonic water will also glow best when used in translucent treats (which makes it ideal for drinks and jello). If you used tonic water in a food that was thick or opaque (like frosting, baking, etc) it will not glow. I know, I’ve tried it, and was bummed with the results.

Top down view of glow in the dark jello shots, dipping a spoon into the jello.

What tools do you need to make jello shots?

Before getting started, make sure you have the following on hand:

  • Shot Cups or Glasses – When picking a container to hold the jello shots, you have two options:
    1. You can use 2 Ounce Plastic Shot Cups with Lids, which are the classic choice for a jello shot. These are plastic cups that you can squeeze (to help loosen the jello so you “shoot” the jello shot) and the cups are disposable.
    2. You can also set these jello shots in glass shot glasses or festive skill shot glasses (as pictured) but keep in mind that your guests will likely need a spoon to eat the jello.
  • Funnel or Injector – Makes it easier to fill the jello cups.
  • Mixing bowl, saucepan, whisk – All used for preparing and mixing the jello shots.

Can you make jello shots in advance?

Yes, you totally can! That’s the best part about jello – once it’s made, it can last a few days in the refrigerator. Just make sure the jello shots are stored in a sealed container (or that the individual cups have their lids).

How long do jello shots last?

Once prepared, these jello shots can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three to five days.

Can you freeze jello shots?

Bad news here, guys. Because jello shots have a gelatinous form and freeze differently than water or juice, I can’t recommend freezing these jello shots. The freezing process will change the texture of the jello and dilute the flavor.

For best results, enjoy these jello shots while they’re freshly made.

Notes & tips for glow in the dark jello shots

  • You can use any color or flavor for these jello shots, but from what I hear, green and blue jello glow the brightest under a black light.
  • Tonic water is what makes these jello shots glow, and if you’ve had tonic water, you know the taste is…  harsh. The jello has sugar and helps take the edge off, but it’s not enough on its own. You’ll want to make sure you also pick a sweet rum, vodka, or liqueur to help cover up the bite of the tonic water. When making these jello shots, I used malibu rum, but you could also use midori, blue curacao, or another sweet flavored drink. Just be sure that it’s clear in color or is a close match to the color of the jello you’re using.

More fun Halloween recipes

How to make glow in the dark jello shots

This next part is only a photo tutorial of the recipe steps. If you’re looking for the full recipe measurements and instructions, scroll down to Recipe Details.

Step 1 – Add tonic water to a saucepan, then bring to a boil.

Step 2 – Add powdered gelatin into a large mixing bowl, then pour in boiling tonic water. Whisk them together until the gelatin is dissolved.

Step 3 – Pour in the sweet alcohol of your choice, then whisk again to combine.

Step 4 – Pour jello into your chosen cups, filling about 3/4 or 4/5 full. Once ready, transfer the jello shots to the refrigerator to set.

Step 5 – Let chill.

Step 6 – Shine a black light, shoot, and enjoy!

Recipe Details

Jello shots in skull glasses on a tray glowing under a black light.
4.40 from 28 votes

Glow in the Dark Jello Shots

10 minutes prep + 5 minutes cook + 6 hours Setting Time
88 kcal
Yields: 10 jello shots
Electrify your next party with these glow in the dark jello shots! You only need 3 ingredients and they can be spiked with any sweet rum or vodka.



  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring tonic water to a boil. Once boiling, remove from heat.
    1 cup tonic water
  • In a large bowl, add powdered gelatin mix and pour in boiled tonic water. Whisk quickly until gelatin is dissolved.
    3 ounces lime gelatin
  • Add chilled Malibu rum to gelatin mixture and whisk quickly until combined.
    1 cup Malibu rum
  • Using a funnel or injector, pour gelatin into shot cups, smoothing or spooning out any bubbles that form on top. Fill cups almost all the way, leaving a small gap near the top.
  • Place finished jello shots in the refrigerator and let set for at least 4-6 hours.
  • Serve immediately.


Serving: 1shot | Calories: 88kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Sodium: 45mg | Potassium: 2mg | Sugar: 7g | Calcium: 1mg | Iron: 1mg

I do my best to provide nutrition information, but please keep in mind that I’m not a certified nutritionist. Any nutritional information discussed or disclosed in this post should only be seen as my best amateur estimates of the correct values.

Author: Chrisy

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Recipe Rating


    • Vanessa

    The jello only slightly glows unless the light is right on it. How did you display the shots with the black light ?

    • Paige Gorman

    Followed recipe to the T, got black light did not glow in dark at all

    • Alia Cheek
    • 2 stars

    Mine didn’t set at all. I used tonic and fruit juice cuz my kids don’t drink alcohol. Any tips?

      • Laney

      For those trying to add juice, pineapple juice contains an enzyme that does not allow jello to set as quickly!

    • Kathy

    My thought in making non alcoholic version wb possiblyusing a clearish type juice. Maybe pineapple, white grape juice? Just a guess. You’ll need to do a trial run!

    • Sean P Roaney

    Thanks for this fun and awesome-looking recipe. Any suggestions for a nonalcoholic version? Thanks again and I can’t wait to try this. 🙂

    • Darcel

    Any suggestion for non alcoholic version? What to add to take the edge off from the tonic water?

    • CT

    I too would like to know if they only glow under black light?

    • Kr

    Do they glow in the dark or do they only glow under black light? That photo looks like black light, and not glow in the dark as the title says.

      • Cheryll

      It says shine a black light and shoot as one of the last items so I assume it only works with a black light which is unfortunate.

    • Veera

    Could I ask where’d you get the skull shot glasses? They look amazing.

    • Demeter | Beaming Baker
    • 5 stars

    What a fun and creative treat for Halloween! You always have the best ideas for this time of year (and the rest of the year)! 🙂