Jeremy Johnson of Meta with the Pappy Jell-O shots | Photo by Steve Coomes
Jeremy Johnson of Meta with the Pappy Jell-O shots | Photo by Steve Coomes

It’s good business to give the people what they want — and if that’s the ever elusive, extremely exclusive Pappy Van Winkle in Jell-O shot form, well, then so be it. Meta, a trendy downtown cocktail bar, is once again offering the delicacy for the Derby crowd — on two random nights this week, to be announced on its social media pages.

Insider wrote about the spectacle the first time co-owner Jeremy Johnson decided to take his annual Pappy allotment and sell it Jell-O shot by Jell-O shot in November. The story went viral, and soon, people from across the globe were weighing in on whether the idea was golden, or if it was a slap in the face to the high-end, hard-to-find bourbon.

Meta sold out of the shots within a few days, but the legend continues to this day. Johnson says people — particularly out-of-owners — constantly ask when the shots will return. So when his Pappy allotment recently came in, it was a no-brainer to allocate two bottles of the Pappy Van Winkle 12-Year to the Great Jell-O Experiment once again.

“It did surprise me,” Johnson says about the hoopla surrounding his decision last year. “But I think it really hit a nerve that has been building for a while. People feel left out or skeptical of whether (Pappy) really is that great a bourbon. I feel this is a fun way for a lot more people to be involved in the Pappy mystique.”

jello_shotsAs he did previously, Johnson will add the bourbon to his expertly crafted old fashioned mix, and then “Jell-Ofy” it, as he says. The shots will be $10 a pop, and he’ll be announcing via social media — Facebook and Twitter (@metalouisville) — which two nights they’ll be available this week. The only hint he gave us is that one of the days will either be Friday or Saturday, but it won’t be both.

Meta is located at 425 W. Chestnut St. 

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Sara Havens
Sara Havens is the Culture Editor at Insider Louisville, known around town as the Bar Belle (barbelleblog.com). She's a former editor of LEO Weekly and has written for Playboy and The Alcohol Professor. Havens is the author of two books: "The Bar Belle" and "The Bar Belle Vol. 2."