Photo by Grant Redmond / Sitez, LLC 

Pull, Push, Squeeze, Suck may sound rather suggestive, but it’s actually the directions to the patented shot cup delivery method for one of Las Vegas’ hottest party enhancers known as JottShots. 

Gel shots (Jello is highly trademarked and fiercely protected by Kraft, so the name has been changed to gel to protect the guilty) are something most people know about and have experienced at some point, and for years Jottshots Founder/CEO Dorian Levy noticed that the vibe of a party would be elevated when they were added to the mix. He began making his own versions for an epic annual party he would throw for friends. Over the years the number of shots needed gradually grew to 1,500, an amount so large it required taking a day off from work to make copious amounts of gelatin mixed with alcohol. The time-consuming prep involved buying the ingredients, heating the gelatin and adding the alcohol at just the right temperature (if added too soon it kills the alcohol and too late it doesn’t gel), carefully filling containers and then refrigerating and waiting all day for them to set. In the early 2000s, as the popularity of his creation led to his friends repeatedly requesting more and his boss asking to purchase the shots, it dawned on him that at that time there were no pre-packaged versions available. 

Levy made the decision to leave his Wall Street investment banker job in NYC and head west to Las Vegas to turn his gel shot hobby into a business. As to why he chose Vegas, Levy says, “The scale of Las Vegas is mind numbing with 42 million people (visiting) a year plus, the two million people living here, on a relatively small geographic footprint. This city is the unrivaled mecca of adult fun, so it fits perfectly for a product like this.”

After much trial and error with formulas, flavors and delivery methods, the first JottShots hit the market in July, 2017 and while currently there are a handful of gel shot companies in the US, JottShots is the first and only one based in Las Vegas. Since launching, more than 100,000 units have been sold and Levy expects to surpass 150,000 by the end of this year and believes the industry will explode in the next five years. 

The name was chosen by Levy’s aunt, and has no significance other than being catchy, and after market research surveys it was found to be the name most people remembered after hearing it in a list. JottShots do not need refrigeration as they are made with vegan-friendly plant-based gums instead of gelatin (used in homemade versions), and have a minimum shelf life of six months. Not requiring refrigeration simplifies and reduces the cost of shipping and storage. 

Currently in flavors of two fruits—Berry and Cherry—and two cocktails—Mojito and Lemon Drop—there is plenty of room to expand, and a flavorless neutral spirit in the mix allows the flavors to shine while providing a bit of a burn. As there is only the equivalent of a few sips of 13% ABV strength alcohol in each shot, it would take downing several to get tipsy, but it’s all about the fun and a unique way to combine imbibing with eating a dessert. Levy adds, “Shots in general are social and bring a different kind of energy…and (JottShots) are a more casual, high energy way to have non-pretentious fun.”

Until now you haven’t been able to purchase gel shots in a retail store, but the ready-to-drink JottShots single serving 4-packs and 10-packs, with an average retail price of $8.99 and $19.99 respectively, are now sold at Lee’s Discount Liquor and Total Wine locations and at Caesars retail outlets. Expect to find the shots at pool bars and day clubs across the Strip, and at nightclubs and bars including Born and Raised, Lagasse’s Stadium, O’Shea’s and Piranha. The aforementioned patented delivery system works quite well and eliminates the need to scoop it out with your fingers, meaning no sticky mess. For more info and an illustration of the JottShot method, visit www.jottshots.com.