Full disclosure: I’ve never actually had a jello shot.
I would have chalked this up them being a latter-day invention, introduced after the days when I might have been tempted to down a few. Then I read in Wikipedia that they were rumored to have been first concocted by satirical songwriter Tom Lehrer when he worked for the NSA in the 1950’s. Or, as is more likely, they were invented in the pre-Jell-o1860’s, with a recipe that “calls for gelatin, cognac, rum, and lemon juice.
Anyway, I’ve never had the pleasure, but they do sound kind of fun in a get outrageously trashed kind of way best left – alas – to the young. Which accounts, of course, for their popularity in bars.
But no bartender or sous-chef likes boiling water, mixing the powder, adding the booze, and then…waiting [four hours. And making more at midnight after you sell out isn’t an option, so you end up leaving money in partiers’ pockets. (Source: Bloomberg)
Jeff Jetton wants to do something about this, so he and his partner, Tyler Williams (once owner of a Portland, OR, club snarkily called the Bettie Ford), have come up with the Jevo, a jello shot maker:
…a high-tech machine the size of a large microwave that turns out a tray of 20 shots in just 10 minutes.
They liken it to a Keurig, hoping it will do for the world of jello shots what Keurig did for a cup of joe. And, like Keurig, make their money from sale of the pods, not the machines. (Wasn’t King Gillette a shrewdy when he came up with his ‘give ‘em the razor, sell ‘em the blade’ concept back in the day? Maybe he’d tossed down a few of those way-back gelatin shots when the inspiration came to him.)
Of course, a lot more people start the day with a cup of coffee than end the day hammering down a couple of jello shots. (Ditto for shaving.) Still…
Jetton won’t be using Jell-O brand. His gelatin source will be Jel Sert makers of Royal Gelatin, which was a Jell-O rival during my childhood, but which I haven’t seen on the shelves in years. My mother sometimes bought Royal. I think they had a blackberry flavored that she liked. But flavored gelatin is flavored gelatin, no?
The Jevo is slated for introduction early next year, and they’ve got a full pipeline of “bars, restaurants, casinos, and cruise ships.”
Getting folks more easily sloshed is not the total end-game for Jetton:
He has big dreams for the Jevo machine. After rolling out in bars, Jetton wants to put them in every hospital and assisted-living center in the world. Gelatin is just as good for delivering medicine to hospital patients as it is for getting Ketel One vodka down people’s throats on Friday nights, he says. And demand could be huge because the sick and elderly often have trouble swallowing pills, but they love their Jello.
It’s also being trialed to help dialysis patient take in the protein supplements they use.
Jevo will not be without competition from pre-packaged Jelly Shots, with flavors like Meyer Lemon Drop. Which, if I’m going to add throwing back a jello shot or two to my bucket list, might be the way to go.
Mostly, I think I’ll be trying out my first Jevo concoction when I’m in assisted living.
Good luck to Jetton and Jevo, the future old geezers of America – and not just the bachelor party girls – are rooting for you.