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How not to make Jello shots: My St. Patrick’s Day in Rural Spain

Our friends were confused that we insisted they wear green to our party. It’s “St. Patrick’s Day” was not a sufficient explanation, just like they didn’t understand why we want to have a Mexican party on the fifth of May.

Technically, St. Patrick’s Day was on our calendar because the calendar hanging in our kitchen has every saint’s feast day marked.  So I know that today is the day of San Braulio and tomorrow is the day of San Alejandro.

But here in rural Spain there is no dying the river green, there’s no pinching people based on what they’re wearing, and there’s no celebrating the homeland of the great-great grandparents  that you’re pretty sure ate potatoes and corn beef every March 17.


Our ideas were as follows:

  • Green beer
  • Chocolate-covered pretzels with green sprinkles
  • Green rice crispy bars
  • Green jello shots
  • Guacamole

But immediately we encountered the following problems:

  1. Sprinkles are difficult to find- baking is not as common here, and the store only sells mixed sprinkle colors. We would have had to individually pick out the green sprinkles. So the pretzels were a no go.
  2. The food coloring here is a gel. The green beer took lots of waiting for things to dissolve.
  3. The food coloring we added to the rice krispie balls were not enough, so they looked like regular rice crispie balls. Still worth it though because rice krispies are not sold in any stores in this town.
  4. We had no cups to put the jello shots in, so we made them in the ice cube tray, and ultimately dumped them onto a plate.
  5. The guacamole had no problem, other than our friends not knowing what it was, but it was very green.

The Results

Here is what our food selection ended up looking like-

jello progress

Bad strategy for making jello shots

jello shots plate

Jello shots? Close enough.

green progress beer

Green beer in progress


The food selection

The Hat

Fortunately Carnaval just had finished, and we were able to find this amazing green hat at a chino shop:


It was a Happy St. Patrick’s Day for all.

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