I have always loved those smoky looking cocktails that come out around this time of year! They are so creepy, in a good way, and add so much ambiance. Plus, it’s just fun! There are plenty of fall and Halloween cocktail recipes out there but I’ve always wondered about using dry ice in cocktails. Is using dry ice safe? Where do you buy dry ice? How do you store dry ice? Well, after a few years of making dry ice cocktails for friends, I figured it was about time to share all my spooky secrets for how to use dry ice in cocktails!
How To Use Dry Ice In Cocktails
I’m so glad you’ve decided to join me on this dry ice in cocktails adventure! It’s so easy to use, you’ll wonder why you waited so long!
Where Do You Buy Dry Ice?
First things first, you most likely won’t be picking up dry ice in a bag but rather a box. Probably a styrofoam one. Most big retailers and grocery stores sell it like Walmart, Kroger, and even HEB. You might want to call ahead to your actual store just to make sure they have it in stock.
You can buy dry ice in block form or in pellets. Pellets are great for cocktails or packing and shipping cold items. I like pellets for cocktails because you can put just one or two pellets into a cocktail glass. Blocks of dry ice are great if you want something to bubble or smoke for a longer period of time. Think like in a punch bowl or a creepy cauldron on your front door step!
How Do You Store Dry Ice?
Good question. Once you’ve got your dry ice, be sure to crack a window in your car while driving it home. You always want to make sure to keep dry ice in a ventilated area. The fumes can make you dizzy. And be sure to keep away from kids and pets.
It’s best to purchase dry ice right before you want to use it. That way it will last longer. As dry ice melts, it actually evaporates and doesn’t turn into water. Interesting, right?
How Do You Dispose of Dry Ice?
Another great question. Don’t pour a bunch down your kitchen drain, you can freeze the pipes! Dry ice is very, very cold. You will always not want to handle it without protective gloves or better yet, using a tongs or a small shovel, etc. Dry ice can burn your skin and give you frostbite if you handle it too long.
Once you are done with your dry ice, if there is any left, it’s best to let it evaporate in a well ventilated area. I will usually leave mine outside the back door. Just make sure it’s not somewhere where pets, kids or other animals can get to it. Maybe near a cracked window would work as well!
Now that you’ve got the low down on where to get dry ice and how to safely handle it, let’s move on to the fun part!
How To Use Dry Ice In Cocktails
Like I said before, dry ice is very cold and it evaporates as it melts. That is great for cocktails! One because it chills your drinks and two because it won’t water down your cocktail.
You should not drink a cocktail with dry ice in it while it is still smoking. Inhaling too much of the smoke can make you dizzy like I said before. Best to put a small pellet into the drink and serve it immediately while it is still smoking for dramatic effect. Then imbibe once the smoke is gone. Much like when you order a cocktail that is on fire, you wouldn’t drink it while the flame it still going! You just want the show. Same principle applies here with the dry ice. It’s all for show!
Larger blocks of dry ice are great for punch bowls! They will bubble and smoke (and chill!) your cocktails for longer. Guests can pour themselves a glass which is safe to drink since there won’t be any actual dry ice in their glass. Make sense?
You can continue to add more pellets to drinks to get more smoke. Dry ice will will smoke in pretty much any drinkable liquid. This is a helpful tip if you are hoping to snag a good photo for your Instagram!
Have you made dry ice cocktails before? Tell me in the comments or tag me in your photos on social media!