Glow-in-the-Dark Gin and Tonic Jelly Recipe

Glow-in-the-Dark Gin and Tonic Jelly
Difficulty: Easy | Total Time: 20 mins, plus time to set | Active Time: | Makes: About 3 servings

Arty British food-design/architecture team Bompas & Parr worked with an explosives expert to come up with an edible ingredient to add to Jell-O that would cause it to glow in the dark. Turns out when you make the jiggly dessert using tonic water, it will appear to glow if you shine a black light on it because the quinine in the tonic water is UV reactive. Here’s B&P’s recipe for their eerie, boozy jelly, just in time for Halloween.

  • 150 milliliters gin, such as Hendrick’s
  • 300 milliliters Indian tonic water
  • 50 milliliters Rich Simple Syrup
  • Splash of rose water
  • 5 gelatin leaves
  • UV black light
  1. Combine gin, tonic water, rich simple syrup, and rose water in a large heatproof measuring cup; set aside.
  2. Cut gelatin leaves into fine pieces and place in a heatproof bowl. Add enough gin and tonic mixture to cover and set aside until gelatin softens.
  3. Place softened gelatin mixture over a pan of simmering water and heat until gelatin leaves are fully melted.
  4. Remove gelatin mixture from heat and stir in the remainder of the gin and tonic mixture. Strain back into the measuring cup. Pour into a jelly mold or bowl and refrigerate until set.
  5. Unmold jelly by briefly immersing the mold or bowl in a bowl of hot water, then invert over a serving plate. For maximum effect, turn off all the lights and switch on a black light, then serve the glowing jelly to thrilled diners.

This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.