Whether you’re hosting your own holiday bash or just having a few friends over, dry ice cocktails for Halloween will take your event to another level. We’ve all seen the bubbling concoctions on the late show, but I’ve taken some time to figure how you can make that easily happen at home.
Certainly cocktails with dry ice might make most purists grumble, but it’s Halloween so they can just get over it.
What is Dry Ice?
Dry ice is frozen carbon dioxide, which is a normal component of our atmosphere. A byproduct of respiration, it’s used by plants in photosynthesis and adds fizz to carbonated beverages among other things..
Available in both block and pellet form, dry ice is intensely cold (- 109.3 °F or – 78.5 ° C) and changes directly from a solid to a gas as it deteriorates, or sublimates. This process will cool your cocktail while creating the smoke and bubbles as a byproduct.
Safety: Using Dry Ice for Cocktails
Generally dry ice is safe but it’s not idiot proof, so please use a little common sense. It’s very cold and can cause burns so follow a few simple rules:
- Don’t let it touch bare skin
- Use gloves when handling it
- Wear glasses when chipping it
- Do not consume it
- Use in a well ventilated room
- Store it in an open container
Once dry ice is placed into a drink it will sink to the bottom of the container and sublimate into gas fairly quickly. Regardless, use these tips and make your guests aware to ensure everyone avoids a bad experience.
Best Halloween Cocktails Using Dry Ice
Before you run out to get dry ice to add to every cocktail, it’s important to understand that you’ll have to choose your beverages closely. As the carbon dioxide deteriorates it’ll make your drink a bit more acidic which will affect the flavor. Therefore I’ve selected some dry ice cocktails most likely to look and taste good.
A classic in its own right the Negroni is an ideal dry ice cocktail for Halloween. I initially fell in love with this cocktail about a year ago and my appreciation has grown since then; it’s simple and a favorite for thost that enjoy a bitter twang. Moreover simply adding a dry ice chip turns it into a beautiful Halloween prop.
- Fill a shaker with ice
- Combine liquid ingredients
- Stir Until Beads of Frost Form on the Shaker
- Insert a Dry Ice Chip into the cocktail glass
- Strain into chilled cocktail glass
- Garnish with orange slice, lemon twist or both
- Yield: 1 serving
Bourbon Apple Cider Punch
Punch is a favorite when serving dry ice cocktails because you get an awesome visual effect while minimizing the work involved… And the Apple Cider and Bourbon moderate the acidity created by the dry ice.
- 4 oz apple cider
- 2 oz bourbon
- 2 tablespoons cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- orange wedge
- Combine the cinnamon and sugar on a plate
- Rim an 8 oz. rocks glass with the cinnamon sugar
(Hint: Run the Orange Wedge Around the Rim First)
- Place a dry ice chip in the glass & top with regular ice
- In a shaker, combine ice, apple cider and bourbon and stir. Strain into your ice filled glass
- Garnish with the orange slice
- Yield: 1 serving
Bonus: Halloween Shots That Use Dry Ice
Although your days of chugging straight liquor may be in the rearview, shots using dry ice are visually impressive and fun. However it’s important to note that you’ll need a special shot glass to serve them safely; you can find the Sidekick shot glass on Amazon but they’re currently out of stock. Regardless there are a number of tasty options that will look like they come directly from Dr. Frankenstein’s lab, like:
Tips for Dry Ice Cocktails
If you’re interested in harnessing your inner mad scientist for Halloween, here are a few tips that I’ve gathered that will help you create a creepy atmosphere and some tasty drinks.
- Use Only Food Grade Dry Ice
- Store It in a Cooler
- Dry Ice Sublimates at a Rate of 5 – 10 lbs. per 24 hours
- Room Temperature Beverages Produce the Most Fog
- Use 3 – 5 lbs of Dry Ice for a Bubbling Punch That Will Last 30 Minutes
Holidays like Halloween are a lot of fun and serving your guests themed drinks can make a routine get-together a memorable affair. With a little advanced planning and careful preparation, you’ll find that dry ice cocktails will be a big hit.