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Monday, October 7, 2019

How to Creep-Out Your Cocktails with Dry Ice

Four colorful cocktails with fog rolling off the tops.
Lukas Gojda/Shutterstock

If you’re in charge of the drinks this Halloween, step up your creepy cocktail game. A block of dry ice will create a frightening fog, fit to garnish your best bloodcurdling beverages.

Nothing says Halloween like the presence of a dense and eerie mist. Whether it’s floating over the halls of the undead or being pumped onto a dance floor by a poorly paid DJ, fog is always a chilling manifestation of this haunted holiday. And while fog machines are fun, we think the classiest way to include this ghostly gloom is atop your cocktail.

That’s right; we’re talking about putting dry ice in drinks. The thought in itself is scary to some since dry ice isn’t edible. But not to worry—we promise to show you how to keep it spooky while still being safe. Friends and family are sure to freak when you hand them a smoking glass to guzzle.

So, let’s brew some bubbly (or just open a bottle) and make some magical mist.

All About Dry Ice

If you add a few cubes of dry ice to any cocktail, creepy tendrils of fog will lurch forward from the glass. It’s a trick sure to delight adult party-goers, and it’s incredibly easy to recreate.

Let’s start with the facts. Dry ice is carbon dioxide held at -110 F. At this temperature, CO2 becomes a solid. The second it begins to warm, it sublimates into a gas. You’ve likely seen carbon dioxide in a gaseous state around Halloween, bubbling out of staged plastic cauldrons or crawling from behind a well-crafted Styrofoam grave marker. But its effects are greatly enhanced in smaller containers, like a drinking glass. Thus, its appearance in creepy cocktails.

You can purchase dry ice at most grocery stores. You have to ask a store clerk to get it for you, though, as touching it without safety gear is dangerous. It’s usually sold in one or two-pound blocks and should be relatively cheap.

You need a one-inch chunk of ice per smoking cocktail, but we suggest you buy slightly more than you think you’ll need. Dry-ice sublimates quickly, even if you keep it in the freezer. This is why we recommend you purchase it just a few hours before your party. That way, it will last the whole night.

And, of course, we have to include the safety info. First, always wear gloves when you handle dry ice. If you touch it without protection for more than ten seconds, it can cause frostbite. Children, in particular, should never be allowed to touch dry ice or be given a drink with dry ice in it.

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