Makes:54 (1-1/2-by-1-inch) shots
The Hurricane is a boozy, fruity rum drink made popular at Pat O’Brien’s jaunty bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. The drink was named after the curvy hurricane-lamp-style glass that it was served in, and it has become a Mardi Gras staple. For the jelly shot version, we soften gelatin granules in a little water and dark rum, then submerge finely chopped maraschino cherries in the mixture to make the first layer. This is refrigerated until set, and then a second layer with more gelatin, fruit juices, and light rum is poured over it. When the second layer is set, just flip over the pan and slice. Each jelly shot contains about a third of an ounce of alcohol, so six jelly shots are roughly equal to one Hurricane cocktail.
What to buy: Look for maraschino cherries that have natural cherry flavor and are labeled preservative-free, or make your own.
Pour the dark rum and water into a medium saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let stand undisturbed until the gelatin softens, about 3 minutes. Add the sugar and whisk to combine.
Place the pan over low heat and whisk constantly, scraping down the sides of the pan with a rubber spatula as needed, until the gelatin and sugar dissolve and the mixture no longer feels grainy when rubbed between your fingers, about 3 minutes. (Do not let the mixture simmer, or the gelatin will not set properly.)
Pour the mixture into a 9-by-9-inch metal baking pan and sprinkle the cherries evenly over it (they will sink). Gently shake the pan to distribute the cherries into a flat layer, making sure none are sitting above the surface of the rum-gelatin mixture. Refrigerate uncovered until set, at least 30 minutes.
For the second layer:
Pour the white rum into a large saucepan and sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface. Let stand undisturbed until the gelatin softens, about 3 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk to combine.
Place the pan over low heat and whisk constantly, scraping down the sides with a rubber spatula as needed, until the gelatin and sugar dissolve and the mixture no longer feels grainy when rubbed between your fingers, about 5 to 7 minutes. (Do not let the mixture simmer or the gelatin won’t set properly.) Remove from the heat.
Remove the dish with the dark rum layer from the refrigerator. Pour the white rum mixture over the dark rum layer. Return the pan to the refrigerator uncovered until the white rum layer is set, at least 2 hours.
When ready to serve, run a knife between the jelly block and the edges of the pan. Being careful not to get any water inside, dip the pan into a sink full of hot tap water, submerging it about halfway up the sides for about 10 seconds. Remove the pan from the water and tilt it: The jelly block should slide away from the edges. If it doesn’t, return the pan to the hot water for another 5 seconds. Invert the jelly block onto a cutting board.
Using a long slicing or serrated knife, press straight down through the jelly block (do not drag the knife through) and cut it into 54 (1-1/2-by-1-inch) pieces. Serve immediately.