food dye in water

Here’s How You Can Use Food Dye to Color Your Jevo Shots Just Right

Our customers have many reasons for making Jevo Shots in specific colors: celebrating holidays, supporting a sports team, or hyping up a TV Show or movie franchise, for a few examples.

But you might find yourself stuck on a specific color that isn’t available in a Jevo flavor pod yet, such as purple, pale pink, or blue. Or maybe you found yourself low on pods if your Jevo isn’t connected to WiFi or you have Auto-Replenishment turned off. Perhaps you didn’t want to commit to a whole case of Wild Cherry. (Psst, that’s what variety packs are for!)

Occasionally we use food dye to augment colors for these special occasions and we wanted to share our knowledge with you. Read on for our tips on making color-appropriate shots with Jevo and food coloring.

First, the color wheel

color wheel

Artists use color wheels to visualize the relationships of colors to one another. Color wheels can be as simple as the one shown here, or much more complex with tints and hues (which can be achieved by adding white or black, respectively).

In this diagram, we used arrows to show the primary colors red, yellow, and blue. Between any two primary colors is a set of three hues, with the center one being a secondary color; these are orange, green, and purple. Secondary colors are made by combining two primary colors.

There are also six tertiary colors, which are achieved by combining a primary color and a secondary color. An example would be orange-red, which is made by adding red to orange. Another would be blue-violet, which is made by adding purple to blue.

Understanding these basic concepts is key to playing with color in your Jevo Shots.

The basics of food dye

When making Jevo Shots, you should only use water-based food dyes. These are easy to find in basic colors in the baking aisle of any grocery store. Stay away from gel-based food coloring, which is typically only available in specialty baking supply stores.

Some of these specialty shops may also carry water-based dye, and we’ve successfully used Wilton Color Right food coloring, which comes in a variety of harder-to-find colors such as orange and pink. Check the label to make sure it’s water based, as formulas may change.

Never put red or black food dye into Jevo’s reservoir, since these colors can stain Jevo’s tubes. You can add these colors to your Jevo Shots by placing one drop into each cup and then giving it a quick swirl with a toothpick before putting the tray in the fridge. This is also how to get the most vibrant color, and it only takes a few seconds of hands-on time. Don’t try adding more than one drop per cup, or you’ll end up with a way-too-dark result.

Note that different brands can have different concentrations of dyes, so your results may vary from ours.

Primary colors: red, yellow, and blue

Red food coloring can be added to our Watermelon Wave and Strawberry Lemonade flavor pods with great success, since they’re in the same color family as the dye. Wilton’s Base Crimson is a deep red that we think beautifully mirrors our Wild Cherry shot. To reiterate, don’t put red food coloring into Jevo’s reservoir.

Yellow is tough to make since it’s a mellower color (see what we did there?) but it can help tone down our Mango Rush flavor pod, which has a subtle orange hue. It’s better to try it with Plain Jane, which can be easily dyed in to any color.

Blue isn’t as tricky as yellow to achieve due to how saturated it can be, but depending on your needs you can try dyeing AppleTINI or Margarita Limeville shots for a deep blue-green. (A tertiary color!) Or — again — Plain Jane for a nice pure hue.

Secondary colors: orange, green, and purple

Secondary colors: orange, green, and purple

Orange can be achieved by using an orange-colored food dye, like the one Wilton makes, with Mango Rush. Don’t try making orange-colored shots by adding red dye to Mango Rush, because you’d have to add the dye into Jevo’s reservoir to avoid turning the shots bright red — and then you’d run the risk of staining those tubes. Adding yellow food dye to a Wild Cherry Jevo Shots won’t work either, because the yellow won’t make a difference.

Green is almost always included in the classic four-pack of food dyes in your grocery store, whether it’s name brand or generic. Add it to Mango Rush for a nice fresh green color. You can also try adding a small amount of blue food coloring to Jevo’s reservoir when making Mango Rush shots; a quarter teaspoon should do it.

We’ve made purple shots using blue curaçao, but you can also try adding a small amount of blue food coloring to your Jevo reservoir. A half teaspoon of dye should work with our Strawberry Lemonade or Watermelon Wave flavor pods.


a black cat

We love making black shots for Halloween, and it’s an easy way to make any flavor spooky and mysterious. Black food coloring is hard to find outside of October, but Wilton makes a black food dye that we keep stocked in our bar.

Remember not to put black food coloring into Jevo’s reservoir!

Tints, a.k.a. pastels

Easter eggs in pastel colors

As we mentioned earlier, tints and shades can be achieved when an artist adds white or black to any hue. We don’t recommend adding black food coloring to another color, because the color saturation of liquid food coloring makes it challenging to get a good result.

We’ve previously written about creating a cool ombré effect using Birthday Cake and a small amount of diluted food coloring (about a tablespoon of water per drop of dye). To get that gradient effect, avoid agitating these shots before they’ve set — or stir to your heart’s content for a consistent pastel tint.

How to apply these tricks

So now that you know how to get that color you’re looking for, what do you do with this information? It’s important to keep in mind that transparent liquors such as infused vodkas and rums can be super useful for keeping colors pure and flavors good. Whiskeys would ruin the effect, as would other amber-colored spirits. Specific ideas are below.

Independence Day

One of the layered shots we see our customers make the most is a red, white, and blue shot for the Fourth of July. In the past, we’ve shared a cherry-flavored red, white, and blue recipe that uses Wild Cherry, Plain Jane, and Gatorade.

If you don’t have any Wild Cherry handy, try this recipe instead:

  1. Red layer: Use Watermelon Wave and watermelon vodka to make shots, and then add a drop of red food coloring into each cup before splitting.
  2. White layer: Use Birthday Cake and watermelon vodka to make shots before splitting.
  3. Blue layer: Use Plain Jane and watermelon vodka, and then add a drop of blue food coloring into each cup before splitting.

Follow the link above to see full instructions on making three-layer shots, and feel free to substitute lime vodka or any other summertime flavor in one or more of the layers.

Sports teams

This one’s pretty open ended, since we’d be discussing a nearly infinite spectrum of potential colors. You can also use grenadine, curaçao, and many other liqueurs to achieve just the right color. For certain hard-to-match colors (like gold and silver), try rimming your shot cups with sanding sugar, which comes in just about any other color there is. There are also instructions online for making your own.

Shark Week

A gelatin shot with a shark gummy insideWe had a fun time last summer when we made our own version of Delish’s Shark Attack Shots. Since Jevo Shots set faster than other brands of gelatin, we had to make some adjustments to the recipe to get that “blood” just right. If you wait 20 minutes like the original recipe recommends, you could end up with gelatin that’s too solid for the effect to work. And skipping the wait entirely would result in a solid red shot.

You can see our Shark Bite Jevo Shots recipe for full details.

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