How to Make Ice Shot Glasses without a Mold

I think this is my favorite blog post yet, even more so than Orange Slice Jello Shots!

I first saw the mold for frozen shot glasses at a book store. Weird, right? I know. Don’t ask me which bookstore it was. If you want a mold, you can get them at my store here on Amazon. Even though I thought the mold was amazing, I didn’t buy it that day. I wanted to see if I could make edible frozen shot glasses at home with ordinary everyday cups. After a lot of testing, I’ve concluded it’s TOTALLY possible to make them with very accessible products. I wasn’t very happy with the other online sources I found for making frozen shot glasses — either the shot glasses were too big, the glasses’ rims froze up too thick, and there just wasn’t much information or detail. Basically, I wanted shot glasses that looked EXACTLY like real glass shot glasses. Call me anal. Or awesome. I’m okay with either, thanks.

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If you make a ton of these, the best way to store them is to keep them in their Dixie cup molds, put all the frozen cups in a ziplock bag, and freeze until ready to serve. There’s no unmessy way to remove them from the mold in advance and freeze them before serving time; the bases will melt, freeze, and get stuck to the surface they’re on. Or maybe you could put wax paper under them so they don’t get stuck. I hope you make these for your next summer party! After all, Fourth of July is right around the corner. 😉 Everybody will drink from them, suck on them, and perhaps even smash them on your floors. What the hey, broken ice is much better than broken glass on your floors.

Here’s what you need:


Good ol’ regular Dixie cups (3-ounce size), plastic shot glasses (approximately 1-ounce size), food coloring (if you want to make colored shot glasses), a muffin/cupcake pan, and duct tape. You can also use juices like cranberry, Kool-aid, fruit punch, or even gatorades if you want flavored shot glasses. Just know that the texture of the shot glasses will be more delicate and brittle if you use juices rather than water.


So, those small plastic shot glasses. Where the heck can you find them? You can find the ones on the right at the Dollar Tree or other party supply stores. They’re plain plastic shot glasses that hold about 1-ounce of liquid. The left white ones are from Smart & Final. They are smaller and inferior, so I didn’t use them, but they can be an option. They kinda look like what you’d get when you order take-out. A lot of people use these small plastic cups to make jello shots in bulk, so they might look familiar.


We’re making 12 shot glasses to start. Okay, so grab that cupcake pan. This is for easy transfer to the freezer. Fill each slot with 2 dixie cups. I tried making shot glasses with just 1 Dixie cup and some shot glasses got a rounded bottom when the ice froze up. This is a fool-proof way to make perfectly flat bottoms. Once we’re done, you can save the outside cups to do this project again since they really don’t get dirty.


Let’s start with clear shot glasses. Fill the cups a tiny bit more than half-way full. Like, maybe 5 millimeters above the half-way mark.


Grab that duct tape and score it like this so you get thin strips of tape.


Then make some big X’s out of the strips of tape.


Plop that little plastic shot glass down on the sticky side of the tape.


Time to sink the plastic cup down in the Dixie cup. Use the tape to hold it down. We want the rims of both cups to be aligned and at the same height. Center the inside cup so that you will have an even shot glass — not too thick and not too thin on any edge.


Like so! Sure, you can use one single fat piece of tape, but the X really does work to make sure the cup stays in place perfectly.


Check how high the water rises. Liquids like to expand in the freezer — doy, that’s how ice works. So, leave just a little room so that the edge doesn’t overflow when it freezes!


Sweetness! Place on a flat leveled surface in the freezer, and freeze for at least 1.5 to 2 hours and they’ll be hard.


Oh, did you want to make colored shot glasses? Well, it’s the same deal as before, but just dye water with some food coloring (not too much) and fill the cups up. If you want striped or two-toned shot glasses, fill up the Dixie cups about 1/3 full with your first color. I used blue gatorade here.


Repeat the steps above and set the little cup right in there. Then freeze them til they harden up.


As soon as the first layer is frozen, add the next color.


Here’s one with a clear base and red rim. I used cranberry juice.


Time to unveil the shot glasses! Take the tape off, and very gently pinch the inside cup and remove it. You can rinse and re-use them to make more shot glasses. If the cups aren’t coming out, fill the inside cup with a little warm water and wait about 20 seconds. They should plop right out.


Find the side of the Dixie cup with the edge that you can unravel.


Yeah.. this happens. The bottoms of the Dixie cups sometimes stick to the shot glasses.


Quickly dip the bottoms in some water, and it’ll soften the paper enough for you to peel it off. Or you can run it under water, too. Work quickly so they don’t melt too dang fast!

coloredcups copy

Here are the two-toned frozen shot glasses. I like ones with clear bottoms more since the water freezes up harder than fruit juices. So, be careful with the fruit juice-based glasses — they’re definitely more delicate than the frozen water shot glasses.


Stunning! And delicious. These don’t stay frozen for too long outside, so serve them immediately once you unravel them from the molds. You have my permission to smash them on the ground right after you take a shot. And wow, did I really fill these up with guava, gatorade, and cranberry juices? Where’s the alcohol? Doh!

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