Making Drinks with Dry Ice: Recipes and Ideas
Homemade Root Beer
The thought of using dry ice can be intimidating for some people. But if the proper safety precautions are followed, using dry ice to make drinks is easy and entertaining.
You can use dry ice to make carbonated drinks, plain soda water, spooky punches and mysterious fogging drinks.
Dry ice is another name for frozen carbon dioxide (CO2) and is often used in the process of making carbonated sodas. You can use it to make your own homemade root beer and other homemade sodas.
Homemade Root Beer
Homemade Root Beer
Making your own root beer at home is easier than you might think. The process is fun to watch as well, so plan on having root beer for your next party or gathering.
For 1 Gallon of Root Beer
1 Gallon of water
2 Pounds of dry ice (Food Grade)
2 Cups of brown sugar (white sugar can be substituted)
2 Ounces of root beer extract (Root beer extract may vary by brand. Check the label for more exact measurements)
For best results, make the mixture in a container that can be sealed and is triple the size of the mixture. A large cooler would work well. Don't use styrofoam coolers, though. Styrofoam particles break off and willl get into the mixture.
Mix the water, the sugar, and the root beer extract. Break the dry ice into small pieces. Add the dry ice using tongs. For a fizzier, more carbonated taste, cover the mixture. Using water as cold as possible will also help absorb the carbon dioxide. The dry ice will begin to fog as it melts. The mixture can be left uncovered in order to watch the fog process. The root beer won’t be as fizzy, though. If you seal the mixture, keep an eye on the container to make sure the pressure does not become too great. The dry ice turns to a gas as it melts from the solid form. If the pressure becomes too great, it can cause the container to explode. Make the mixture in a well ventilated area because of the fog.
See this article on Using Dry Ice for more information and safety precautions.
If the mixture begins to freeze, add more water. Stir the mixture periodically. Allow it to bubble and brew for about 30 minutes to an hour or until all the dry ice has melted. Serve and enjoy!
The carbonation won't last more than a day or two, so finish the leftovers quickly.
Other flavors such as cream soda or cherry extract can be used as well. Add more or less sugar to taste. Carbonated water can be added for extra fizziness.
Make plain soda water using the same procedure as the root beer. Simply leave out the flavoring and the sugar.
Making Homemade Root Beer
Punch with Dry Ice
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For a spooky party beverage, add dry ice to the punch to create an eerie fog effect.
1 Container of sherbet
2 Two-liter bottles of 7-Up (Sprite or other clear soda can be substituted)
In a large punch bowl, add a few pieces of dry ice in the bottom. Add the sherbet. Slowly pour in the 7-up. Add more dry ice as needed.
If you don’t want to add the dry ice to the punch, the bowl of punch can be placed inside a larger bowl with dry ice and water to create the same fog effect.
Dry Ice in Punch
Glowing Tonic Water
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Eerie Glow in the Dark Drinks
Make eerie fogging drinks that glow in the dark using dry ice and tonic water. Tonic water glows under a black light because of the quinine used to make it. Adding dry ice will make the drink fog and look like a mad scientist concoction.
Glow in the dark drink ideas:
- Black lights are a must for the glow in the dark effect.
- Serve your guests drinks mixed with tonic water.
- Make a punch with tonic water and dry ice. (See above section for more dry ice punch details)
- Freeze tonic water into ice cubes. Use the ice cubes in your guests’ drinks. Spooky shaped ice cubes add to the effect.
- Use beakers and test tubes as cups.
- Set up containers of tonic water with dry ice in the bottom around the room to create an eerie atmosphere.
More with Dry Ice!
- Dry Ice Experiments: Cool Science Projects with Dry Ice
Dry ice can be a fun substance to use in experiments. It has cool properties that cause it to fog and make bubbles when placed in water and other liquids. Make foggy bubbles, screaming metal, frost things over, pop the caps off containers, and more.
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