Photo by Charles Villyard
"With jelly, half the fun lies in the spectacle. People always enjoy the wobble, but that’s to be expected. No one is surprised by a wobbly jelly. To really bowl them over, you have to sex it up a lot. One way of doing this is to make it glow in the dark ...
To make the jelly glow in the dark, food-safe quinine is included as an ingredient and the jellies are served in an area where UV blacklights cause them to fluoresce. The invisible ultraviolet light from the blacklights is absorbed by the quinine, which then re-emits bluish light at the edge of the visible spectrum, making the jellies appear to glow in the dark."
Note: To be really effective, you need total darkness save for the UV light.
For the Jelly
- 200ml/7fl oz/generous ¾ cup Hendrick’s Gin
- 300ml/10fl oz/1¼ cups Indian tonic water
- a splash of rose water
- 5 leaves gelatine
Kids version: for a child friendly version, lose the gin and use 100ml elderfower cordial and 400ml tonic. The rest is the same.
For the Glow
Note: You can buy UV backlights at places like Home Depot.
Combine the gin, tonic water and rose water in a jug (pitcher) and set aside. Cut the leaf gelatine into fine pieces and place in a heat-proof bowl with enough of the Gin & Tin mix to submerse. Leave until soft.
When the gelatine has softened, melt it by placing it over a pan of simmering water.
Then add the remainder of the gin and tonic and pour through a sieve (strainer) and back into the jug (cup). Now fill your mould.
Unmould the jelly by briefly immersing in a bowl of hot water and inverting over your chosen plates. For maximum effect, turn off all lights to achieve total darkness. Switch on your blacklight and serve the glowing jelly to thrilled diners.
Why does the Jelly Glow?
The quinine in the tonic water is UV-active. When the blacklight is switched on, it will fluoresce beautifully.