Want to make dry ice drinks and cocktails that magically smoke and bubble? Here’s everything you need to know.

Dry ice drinks, dry ice cocktails

Dry ice is famous for its magical way of making drinks bubble and boil, releasing wispy tendrils of smoke into the room. There’s nothing more fun than holding a smoking cocktail! How to recreate this effect at home? It’s perfectly safe to make dry ice cocktails as long as you follow the safety and handling information below. Keep reading for more and some of our top dry ice drinks, perfect for Halloween or any occasion where you’re looking to impress.

Can you put dry ice in a drink?

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide. As it melts it turns into a gas, which makes the smoking effect. Here’s the thing: dry ice is so cold it can cause burns or frostbite. Is it even safe to use in drinks?

  • Can you drink dry ice? No, do not swallow dry ice or touch it with bare skin. Dry ice is extremely cold (-109.3° F or -78.5° C) and touching it can cause frostbite or burns.
  • Can you put dry ice in a drink? Dry ice is safe for using in cocktails, as long as you avoid swallowing and use gloves and tongs during handling. A 1-inch chunk will settle to the bottom of drinks and cocktails and disappear in about 5 minutes. You can sip the top of the drink, or for maximum safety wait until the dry ice disappears completely from the glass.
  • What about for kids? If you’re making a drink for kids like Halloween Punch, serve it in a punch bowl and ladle out servings without dry ice cubes.

Where to buy dry ice for drinks

You can buy dry ice at most major grocery stores, which you might not realize until you’re looking for it! It’s sold in blocks and stored in a special cooler. Look towards the front of the store near the regular ice cooler. Here’s a store finder to help find a store near you.

How to store dry ice

Once you’ve grabbed your dry ice, here are a few notes on how to store it:

  • Buy the dry ice 1 to 2 hours before you plan to serve the drinks. Dry ice does not last in the freezer or refrigerator, so you’ll need to use it as quick as possible.
  • Once you get it home, place the plastic bag of dry ice in a cooler with the top off. Ventilation is key for dry ice, due to the carbon dioxide gas that is constantly released as it “melts”. Do not store it in a tightly sealed container to minimize risk of explosion.
  • Keep away from pets and children. Curious kids may try to touch the dry ice, so store it out of sight until you’re ready to use. Instruct children not to touch the dry ice without gloves.
Halloween cocktails

How to prepare dry ice for using in cocktails

To use dry ice in cocktails, you’ll need to break small chunks off of the block. Do this immediately before serving your dry ice drinks. To do it safely, follow these instructions:

  • Right before serving, drop the plastic bag on the ground a few times to make large chunks. This is an easy way to start to break it up without touching it.
  • With goggles and gloves on, break it into small chunks with a screwdriver or ice pick. The ideal size for single cocktails is 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks: heavy enough to sink in the drink but small enough to disappear after a few minutes. The ideal size for a punch bowl is using 2 4-inch to 5-inch pieces.
  • Wrap the chunks in a towel and place them in a cooler with the top off until serving. Do not store dry ice in the freezer.

And now…the top dry ice drinks and cocktails!

How to make drinks smoke without dry ice

Can you make drinks smoke without dry ice? Yes, but it uses a completely different technology: a smoking gun. Here’s how smoked cocktails are different from dry ice drinks:

  • Smoked cocktails are infused with a smoky flavor, while dry ice is flavorless.
  • A smoking gun makes a small amount of smoke which immediately dissipates, whereas dry ice constantly bubbles and smokes for 5 minutes. It also requires smoking each cocktail separately, whereas dry ice cubes can simply be placed in each glass at the same time.
  • On the other hand, a smoking gun has none of the potential safety issues or special handling that dry ice requires.
  • Ready to try a smoked cocktail? Go to our Smoked Old Fashioned.
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How to Make Dry Ice Drinks & Cocktails!


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Want to make dry ice drinks and cocktails that magically smoke and bubble? Here’s everything you need to know.


Ingredients


Instructions

  1. Make the drink: Go to the Witches Brew, Vampire’s Kiss, or Halloween Punch recipes, or simply make your favorite cocktail (here are some great cocktail ideas).
  2. Break the dry ice into chunks: Do this as close to the time you’ll be serving the drinks as possible, though you can buy the dry ice a few hours in advance. Start by dropping the plastic bag with the dry ice on the ground several times to allow it break into large chunks. Remember never to touch the dry ice with your bare hands! Put on goggles and gloves. Use a chisel to break the dry ice into smaller pieces using a screwdriver or ice pick. The ideal size for single drinks is 1/2-inch to 1-inch chunks that are large enough to sink to the bottom of the drink, but small enough to disappear in a few minutes. The ideal size for a punch bowl is two 4-inch to 5-inch chunks to drop into the punch bowl. Wrap the small chunks in a towel and place them in a cooler with the top off until you’re ready to serve the drinks. Do not place the dry ice in the freezer.
  3. Add the dry ice: Using tongs (do not touch the dry ice!), add a 1-inch chunk of dry ice to the glass or the larger chunks to the punch bowl, which will sink to the bottom and immediately make a smoking effect. The ice cube will disappear in about 5 minutes in a single drink, or 5 to 10 minutes in a punch bowl. Do not drink the dry ice! Wait until the cube disappears before enjoying your drink (or you can take sips with the dry ice in the bottom). Ladle out punch servings without dry ice chunks for kids. Review the dry ice safety and handling instructions in the article above for more!
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Dry ice drinks, dry ice cocktails, can you drink dry ice, can you put dry ice in a drink, where to buy dry ice for drinks

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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