You’ve seen those pictures of those awesome, eerie-looking Halloween cocktails with mist roiling over the rim. You’re right in assuming they use dry ice to achieve the effect, but there’s a little more to it than just plopping a chunk into your beverage. Our special effects masters here at Thrillvania Haunted House Park offer up the following tips to liven up your party punch.
How to Handle and Store Dry Ice
Always wear strong, thick gloves when handling dry ice. Its extremely cold temperature (-109.3°F or -78.5°C) can cause frostbite in less than 10 seconds if it touches your bare skin.
Dry ice is actually frozen carbon dioxide and it dissipates much quicker than regular ice so it’s best to pick it up just a few hours before your party starts. Store it in a standard ice chest, never in your freezer. The extremely cold temperature of dry ice is colder than your freezer and it will cause your freezer to shut down.
Adding Dry Ice to Beverages
It’s OK to use dry ice in your beverages to get that misty look for your Halloween party, but make sure it’s Food Grade dry ice.
Your dry ice will probably come in a 1-lb block. Wrap the block in a towel and use a hammer and chisel to break it into 1-inch cubes for your cocktails.
Warn your guests not to drink or eat the dry ice. For adults this won’t pose a problem because dry ice is heavier than regular ice and it sinks to the bottom of the drink. For children, though, this presents a problem.
If children are present be extra cautious. Instead of placing dry ice in each individual cup, use a larger piece and place to make a misty, foggy punch. Then, dip the punch from the bowl and serve over regular ice in cups the children can more easily handle.
What to do with Leftovers
The best way to dispose of leftover dry ice is to simply leave it in the cooler with the lid slightly open until it completely dissipates. If there are children or pets present, place the cooler out of their reach.
How NOT to Dispose of Dry Ice
Flush it down the drain or toilet
Put it in the garbage shoot or dumpster
Put it down the garbage disposal
Dump it in the sewer
Place it on a tile, glass or laminate surface
Put it in an enclosed or airtight container