Dry Ice for Drinks

Dry Ice for Drinks + 7 Dry Ice Cocktails

Dry ice in cocktails is one of the best replacements for regular ice to create perfectly-chilled and fancy drinks. Not passing through its liquid stage, this type of ice doesn’t “water down” your beverage, allowing you to enjoy the undiluted flavor of the liquor. However, there are a few things to know before rushing to the store and stocking up on dry ice for drinks.

Dry Ice for Drinks

What Is Dry Ice?

Dry Ice for Drinks

Dry ice is a cooling agent made of frozen carbon dioxide. The gas is turned into a solid form by liquefying it first, then injecting it into a holding tank where it is frozen to -109.3°F. This process compresses the stuff into solid ice, but carbon dioxide doesn’t thaw back into its liquid state like regular ice cubes.

Instead, it passes right into its gas form when it reaches a thawing temperature. This is the effect seen when pouring liquor over it – the warmer temperature of the liquid melts dry ice and transforms it into a cool cascade of mist.

Depending on the processing method, dry ice can be compressed into large blocks (and used in the food industry as an ice chest) or pellets. The latter is typically used for making cocktails, whereas blocks are used for various purposes, including in the food and beverage industry.

Dry Ice Safety

Dry Ice for Drinks

Dry ice is made of carbon dioxide, a gas in the atmosphere and the same one the human body exhales during respiration. In low concentrations, carbon dioxide isn’t dangerous. Humans can effectively eliminate carbon dioxide inhaled through breathing. However, handling dry ice comes with hazards.

One of the greatest risks is instant frostbite due to its extremely cold temperature. It is crucial to wear gloves when handling dry ice. If possible, use a spoon or spatula to add it into the tumblers rather than your hands.

While this ice type is safe for cocktails, you shouldn’t swallow dry ice. Frostbite can happen inside your body, too; in this case, it is much more dangerous.

You should also only use dry ice in a well-ventilated room. As dry ice melts, it turns from a solid form into carbon dioxide gas. Low concentrations are not harmful, but higher ones can lead to dizziness, headaches, confusion, disorientation, loss of consciousness, and even asphyxiation.

How to Store Dry Ice

How to Store Dry Ice

To avoid all risks, you should avoid storing dry ice in your home and only buy it when needed. Keep it in a well-insulated container or food cooler with a loose lid. Never store dry ice in an airtight container – gas accumulation could cause the container to burst as it melts.

The area where you store dry ice should be well-ventilated, and you should avoid keeping it in the freezer. Since most freezers are airtight, gas accumulation could damage your appliance. Carbon dioxide solidifies at temperatures lower than -109.3°F, so a freezer would be too warm to prevent melting.

As far as dry ice transportation is concerned, avoid keeping it in the cabin of your car or truck due to the health hazards mentioned above.

Cocktails with Dry Ice

These smoking cocktail recipes can help you impress friends and family with your mixologist skills.

1. Professor’s Poisoned Apple Cocktail

By GastronomBlog

This smoking cocktail is made of amaretto, scotch, cranberry juice, and apple cider and is the perfect choice for Halloween or summer. Its fresh taste and bright red color can add a splash of brightness to even the darkest day.

However, the bright red doesn’t come from cranberry juice. This cocktail’s secret is Peychaud’s Bitters, which has a nice hue and gives the drink a mystic taste of licorice.

To stay true to the cocktail’s name, you should serve it in a lab beaker. A standard tumbler would do too, but it’ll not give off the same theatrical effect. Just wait until the dry ice has stopped bubbling before consuming it.

2. Love Potion Cocktail

By Barley & Sage

As red as the Professor’s Poisoned Apple but made to make you fall in love, the Love Potion cocktail is one of the best Christmas or St Valentine’s dry ice drinks. You can obviously drink it all year long and blend it to woo the one who’s captured your heart.

The recipe is as simple as it gets. All you need is plain vodka, ginger ale, and raspberry liquor. Mix them all and pour the concoction into a tumbler filled with dry ice. Wait until the smoke stops cascading from the glass before drinking.

3. Dry Ice Martini

By Difford’s Guide

 Dry Ice Martini

Simple to make and incredibly classy, this dry ice Martini cocktail is an excellent choice for high-end parties. All you need is Ketel One vodka, Martini extra dry, and Canadian Icewine. Pour two shots of vodka, half a shot of vermouth, and three-quarters of a Canadian Icewine shot.

Shake well in a cocktail shaker and pour into a martini glass filled with dry ice. Garnish with orange zest twist, and serve once the smoke has run out.

4. “Bloody” Pomegranate Cocktail

By Good Life Eats

There is something about red dry-ice cocktails that makes them crowd-pleasers. Hence, it doesn’t come as a surprise that another red beverage has made it to our list. This bloody pomegranate cocktail is a spooky drink for Halloween, but it can also match any other occasion.

Essentially, it is a tweaked cosmopolitan served on dry ice. The main difference is the use of pomegranate juice instead of cranberry juice and a splash of pomegranate liquor.

Mix them up with citron vodka, Cointreau, fresh lime juice, and simple syrup. Shake and pour in a cosmopolitan glass filled with dry ice. When prepared in large batches, this drink can become a delicious dry ice punch.

5. Witches Brew Cocktail

By TropRockin

Witches Brew Cocktail

Whether for Halloween or St Patrick’s, the witches’ brew cocktail can take smoking drinks to the next level. The acid green hue is courtesy of green food coloring, and you can replace the vodka in the recipe with aged rum if you don’t like the Russian spirit (although there are some great non-Russian vodkas available).

If you want to follow the original recipe, simply mix vodka, pineapple juice, melon liquor, and blue curacao. This mix alone would result in a green hue, but if you want a brighter color, add a drop or two of food coloring.

Serve in a tall glass over dry ice and garnished with a maraschino cherry skewer. Don’t forget to consume once the drink has stopped bubbling.

6. Polyjuice Potion – A Harry Potter Vodka Cocktail

By GastronomBlog

The Polyjuice potion is as green as the witches’ brew cocktail and perfect for St Patrick’s. It is also ridiculously easy to make, adding to the appeal.

For this drink, scoop some lime sherbet into see-thru glass mugs. Add a generous splash of vodka and a dash of aromatic bitters. Stir and add green food coloring.

The dry ice added at the last minute will make the drink smoke and gurgle, adding a whimsical effect to your cocktail bar.

7. Vampire Cynar Negroni

By GastronomBlog

Reddish and smoking, this magical drink seems ripped right out of Bram Stoker’s Dracula. It’s made with strawberry-infused Campari, Cynar, Dry Rye Reposado Gin, and dry ice. Mix all liquors in a shaker and pour over the ice.

Garnish the glass with a rosemary sprig. The natural green will contrast with the reddish-brown hue of the drink and give a goth vibe to the whole thing.


Is it safe to use dry ice in drinks?

Food-grade dry ice is perfectly safe to use in drinks as long as you take proper precautions. Never handle the ice with your bare hands, and only consume the cocktail once the bubbling and smoking have stopped. Also, never store dry ice in an airtight container.

How do you add dry ice to drinks?

It depends on the dry ice you’re using. If it comes in cubes or large chunks, use a pair of tongs to drop them into the drink before serving. Small chunks or pellet-form dry ice can be scooped directly into the empty glass; then, you can pour the cocktail on top.

Key Takeaways

  • ·You can buy dry ice at most major grocery stores, including Costco, Walmart, and Safeway, to name just a few.
  • Store the dry ice in a cooler, empty ice chest, or an insulated, not tightly sealed container in a well-ventilated room.
  • Never store the dry ice in the freezer.
  • Never drink dry ice and avoid contact with your bare skin. Dry ice is very cold and can cause instantaneous frostbite.
  • When preparing dry ice drinks, keep the dry ice in a well-ventilated area.  
  • Avoid transporting dry ice in your car or truck’s cabin. If you have to keep it in the cabin, keep the car windows open.
  • Never serve dry ice for consumption. A dry ice cocktail is only safe after the dry ice cubes have evaporated.
Dry Ice for Drinks

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