Blueberry and Gin Gelatins 8.000

Deb Lindsey for The Washington Post; tableware from Crate and Barrel

Jul 23, 2014

Thin gelatin sheets (approximately 3 by 9 inches apiece) are available at La Cuisine in Alexandria; you can probably obtain them from your local bakery (for a small fee). They dissolve without grit and are preferable to powdered gelatin for this recipe.

You'll need eight glasses or cups (each 4 to 6 ounces), preferably clear.

Make Ahead: The gelatins need to set for a final 6 hours (in the refrigerator) before serving.


When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 8 servings

  • 1 3/4 cups tonic water
  • 1 cup gin
  • Finely grated zest and juice of 2 lemons
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Generous 1/2 ounce gelatin sheets (about 9; see headnote)
  • Scant 1 tablespoon Angostura bitters
  • 1 3/4 cups fresh blueberries, rinsed well and patted dry


Combine the tonic water, gin, lemon zest and juice, sugar and water in a large saucepan over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar without letting the mixture come to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and cook for about 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, place the gelatin sheets in a shallow bowl and cover with cold water; soak for about 3 minutes, just so they soften but do not disintegrate. Drain.

Strain the tonic mixture into a clean glass container; discard the solids. Stir in the Angostura bitters to achieve a uniform pale pink color.

Stir the softened gelatin sheets into the warm tonic-Angostura mixture. Divide one-third of the gelatinized liquid among the glasses or cups; distribute one-third of the blueberries evenly among them. Refrigerate for about 45 minutes or until slightly firm. (Keep the remaining gelatinized liquid at room temperature.)

Distribute half of the remaining blueberries among the glasses or cups and add half of the remaining gelatinized liquid; if necessary, gently reheat that portion of liquid in a saucepan over low heat until it is smooth and pourable, being careful not to warm it too much or the gelatin will fail; remove it from the heat to cool for 5 minutes before adding it to the glasses or cups. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes.

Repeat the heating step, if needed, and distribute the remaining gelatinized liquid and blueberries among the glasses or cups. The fruit should be suspended throughout the gelatins. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours to set firmly before serving.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from "A Change of Appetite: Where Healthy Meets Delicious," by Diana Henry (Mitchell Beazley, 2014).

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

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