These look like those after-dinner gelées you get in fancy restaurants, but come with a boozy and bittersweet kick.
• 1 cup London Dry gin
• 1 cup Campari
• 1 cup sweet vermouth
• 1 cup water
• 4 packets (0.25-ounce each) powdered gelatin
• Garnish: sanding sugar, candied orange zest (optional; recipe below)
Line a 9-inch square baking pan with plastic wrap, making it as smooth as you can and ensuring there is plenty of overhang so you can get the jelly out of the pan later.
Combine gin and Campari in a mixing bowl; set aside.
Combine vermouth and water in a small pot, then sprinkle the gelatin over top. Let it sit until the gelatin softens, about 2 minutes. (This called “blooming” the gelatin.) Heat gently over medium heat, stirring often, until gelatin is completely dissolved. Do not let it come to a boil—the water should just be lightly steaming.
Pour the warm liquid into the gin mixture and stir well. Carefully pour the mixture into the baking dish, then chill until set, about 4 hours.
When you’re ready to serve, use the plastic wrap to gently lift the jelly out of the baking dish. Flip it onto a cutting board and cut into bite-sized pieces—you should get 36 or so.
If you like, just before serving, pour sanding sugar into a shallow dish and roll the jelly cubes in it. (If you do this too far ahead, the sugar will melt.) Garnish with a piece of candied orange zest. Makes about 3 dozen.
Candied orange zest
To make candied orange zest, carefully peel a navel orange then scrape as much of the white pith off as possible. Slice into long, thin strips, and place the strips in a small pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil, then simmer for 45 minutes. Drain and rinse with cold water. Bring 1 cup water and 1 cup granulated sugar to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Add the orange strips to the simple syrup, turn the heat down to medium low, and simmer for another 45 minutes. Remove from syrup and dry on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Toss with a little sugar.
—by Joanne Sasvari