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How to Make Drinks That Glow in the Dark

Candace has a broad range of interests that keep her head filled with strange facts, such as experimental cooking, games, and mad science.

The Frosted Mummy, Sparkling Boo, and Green Scorpion are delicious drinks you can serve at your day-glo party.

The Frosted Mummy, Sparkling Boo, and Green Scorpion are delicious drinks you can serve at your day-glo party.

Glow-in-the-dark parties using black lights can be tons of fun. But while everyone loads up on the fluorescent clothing and body paint for a glow-in-the-dark party, what most people don't know is that you can also mix up drinks that will glow under a black light.

These luminous drinks will really spark up the party.

Here you will learn about liquids that glow in the dark and get some party drink recipe ideas. You can make a glowing milkshake, a black light-tinted fruit drink, a bright energy-drink mix, fluorescent Jell-O, and even mix up a prank glow-in-the-dark drink.

Glowing drinks are great for family-friendly parties. Kids will love drinking something that glows. They are also wonderful for adult parties. All you have to do is add alcohol, and you will have delicious fluorescent cocktails.

So light up the party with these original glowing drink ideas.

Different beverages glow different colors under black light.

Different beverages glow different colors under black light.

There are several liquids that glow in the dark that you can use to make drinks at your black light party.

  • Tonic water (blue)
  • Energy drinks with B vitamins (bright yellow)
  • Milk (yellow)
  • Vanilla ice cream (yellow)
  • Caramel (golden yellow)
  • Honey (golden yellow)
  • Syrup (golden yellow)
  • Sprite, 7Up, Mountain Dew, and other clear drinks will seem to glow as well because they reflect the light of the black light.

Tonic water and energy drinks have the best and brightest glow, but you may need more options to serve your guests. Mixing these ingredients and adding in other flavors can make some tasty and eye-appealing beverages.

Demonstration of These Liquids Under UV Light

Amp Up the Party!

Petroleum jelly, laundry detergents with whiteners, and some toothpastes also glow under a black light. Use them to write black light messages for the party.

This is a very simple but very tasty drink.

Basically, it is a vanilla milkshake rimmed with caramel and coconut. The coconut really makes the milkshake much more flavorful.

The drink will have a golden yellow glow when it is near a black light. The rim will also glow yellow, so it is a cool drink for guests to enjoy during the party.

Kids will love to drink this mummy and adults can enjoy an alcoholic version if they are so inclined.

Who Invited You?

Scarab beetles are attracted to black light. They were also used as symbols in ancient Egypt and were carved as decoration on most sarcophagi (burial cases) used to hold mummies. Mixing up the mummy drink and flipping on the black light just might lure in some ancient Egyptian symbols of good luck—the scarab.

Ingredients

  • 2 big scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • Caramel
  • Shredded coconut
  • Chocolate chips, optional
  • Gel icing, optional
  • Kahlua and/or vodka, optional for adult parties

Instructions

  1. Pour caramel onto a plate so that it forms a circle about an inch wider in diameter than the rim of the glass.
  2. Sprinkle the shredded coconut onto another plate so that it forms a circle that is also about an inch wider than the rim of the glass.
  3. Gently dip the glass straight down into the caramel. Turn the glass slightly to make sure that the entire rim is coated with caramel. Be careful not to coat the rim of the glass too thickly.
  4. Lift the glass from the plate and hold it upside down for a few seconds to give any excess caramel a chance to drip off. This will prevent the excess from dripping down the side of the glass.
  5. Carefully dip the glass into the coconut. Rotate the glass slightly so that the entire caramel rimming is lightly coated with the coconut.
  6. Lift the glass from the plate and hold it upside down again to allow any excess coconut to fall off. If a bit goes into the glass, it is fine.
  7. Add 2 big scoops of vanilla ice cream and about 1/2 of a cup of milk into a blender.
  8. If you are making this an adult drink, add in any alcohol.
  9. Mix the ingredients until they are the consistency of a milkshake.
  10. Very carefully pour the milkshake into the glass, trying not to touch the rimming.
  11. Decorate the top of the drink with chocolate chips or gel icing. Make a face or swirls or anything else you want.
  12. Turn off the regular lights and turn on the black light.
  13. Serve the drink and watch as your guests admire the golden yellow glow and delicious taste.

Step-by-Step Tutorial

  • You can decorate the top of the glass with caramel instead of chocolate chips or gel icing. It will make the drink glow more. You can also add caramel swirls in the glass for even more of a mummy effect (and bonus flavor).
  • Powdered sugar or sugar crystals can be substituted for the coconut rim. You could also rim the glass with just caramel.
  • Honey or even maple syrup can be used instead of caramel to rim the glass.
  • You can mix other things into the milkshake, but it will decrease the drink's glowing effect.
  • Banana or other light colors of ice cream will also have a glow, but won't be nearly as effective as vanilla ice cream.

Tonic water has the brightest glow under a black light, but many people do not like the taste.

You can take advantage of the glow while minimizing the taste by mixing the juice with the tonic water. It will pair best and look the best under a black light if you mix it with juices that have a bitter flavor, such as cranberry juice. But mixing any juice with tonic water will look great—just be sure to experiment with the flavor before serving to guests.

The neat thing about this drink is that it will have several different colors, depending on how the light hits it. The drink is the blue color of tonic water when the black light is directly shining on it. Other times, the drink has more of a purplish glow.

Did You Know?

Ghost hunters use black lights in their investigations. It helps them spot devices used for hoaxes like fishing line and laser lights.

Ingredients

  • Tonic water
  • Cranberry juice (or grape juice or other purple juice)
  • Gin, vodka, or rums, optional for adult parties

Instructions

  1. Fill the glass about 1/3 to 1/2 full with the juice.
  2. If you are adding alcohol, pour it in.
  3. Add tonic water (or diet tonic water) until the glass is full.
  4. Turn on the black light and flip off the regular lights.
  5. Serve the drink and enjoy the glowing color.

Pro Drink Mixing Tip: The more tonic water in the drink, the more it will glow. Balance flavor (the juice) with the glowing effect (tonic water) to make a drink that both looks and tastes good.

Energy drinks containing B vitamins glow a very bright yellow under black lights.

There is a way to make them glow a bright green as well. You simply add blue food coloring.

You can turn the glowing green drink into a cocktail as well by adding alcohol. Pick one that pairs the best with the brand of energy drink you are serving.

Bright Yellow to Bright Green!

Turn the bright yellow color of energy drinks to a bright green just by adding food coloring.

Turn the bright yellow color of energy drinks to a bright green just by adding food coloring.

Random Fact

Scorpions' exoskeletons will glow a green/blue color under a black light.

Ingredients

  • Energy drink with B vitamins (Rockstar, Red Bull, Monster, etc.)
  • Blue food coloring
  • Rum, whiskey, Jagermeister, or vodka, optional for adult parties

Instructions

  1. Pour an energy drink into a glass.
  2. If you are adding alcohol, add it into the glass.
  3. Add several drops of blue food coloring.
  4. Turn on the black light.
  5. Mix the drink and watch as it changes from a bright yellow glow to a bright green.
  6. Serve and enjoy! Just don't drink it right before bedtime.

Pro Tip: You can create this glowing green drink without using an energy drink. Just dissolve a B vitamin in a clear liquid. Look for a vitamin with thiamine, niacin, or riboflavin. It will glow a bright yellow. Make it glow green by adding blue food coloring.

Glow-in-the-dark Jell-O is great to serve at family-friendly parties. Kids love it, and luminous Jell-O is so much more enjoyable than the regular kind.

Adults will also appreciate glowing Jell-O that has been spiked.

Making toxic slime is very easy. You just use tonic water instead of regular water. Then the Jell-O will glow a bright green color under the black light.

Ever Wondered?

Black lights glow purple because they are filtered with a dark blue material that blocks visible light and lets ultraviolet light through. The purple glow comes from small amounts of visible light that escape. When objects "glow" under a black light, they are reacting to the UV light.

Ingredients

  • Tonic water
  • Lime-flavored Jell-O (or any green variety)
  • Sugar (optional)
  • Vodka or a fruity rum, optional for adult parties

Instructions

  1. Begin by making the Jell-O following the instructions on the box. Typically, you boil 1 cup of water. Then add the Jell-O mix and 1 cup of room temperature water. However, you will substitute tonic water for regular water in this glowing recipe.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup of sugar as you mix in the Jell-O powder. Tonic water has a bitter taste, so adding sugar to the Jell-O balances out the flavor. It is optional, though. You can also add more or less sugar to taste.
  3. If you are adding alcohol, add it as you are mixing the ingredients together. You will substitute the alcohol for about 1 of the cups of tonic water, depending on how potent you want the shots. If you need more detailed instructions for Jell-O shots, check out this article.
  4. Pour the Jell-O into small containers, such as small cups or clean baby food jars.
  5. Sticking small hazardous material stickers or other caution signs onto the cups is a great way to make the Jell-O look more like something radioactive. You can also add in gummy worms or Swedish fish to make it look like a swamp mix if you are having a themed party.
  6. Refrigerate for two to four hours before serving if you want the Jell-O solid. If you want the Jell-O more runny for drinking rather than eating, chill it for less time before you serve it.
  • You can use honey, caramel, or syrup to rim drinks even if you don't serve any of the drink ideas here. All three of these will glow a golden yellow color.
  • If you use sugar, coconut, or salt to rim glasses, it will also show up well under a black light since they are white and reflect the UV light really well.
  • Picking the right kind of serveware can also enhance the glowing effect. Clear cups are essential to be able to see the glowing drinks. Thick glass has a natural tendency to reflect more of the black light. It will look like it is glowing on its own. You can also purchase black light reactive cups, drink stirrers, and other party supplies.
  • Use glow sticks as drink stirrers. Just make sure the glow sticks are sanitized first. You can also coil glow sticks in the bottom of cups for a more glowing effect.
  • Diet tonic water can be substituted in the recipes instead of regular tonic water. It will glow with the same intensity and taste very similar.
  • You can make ice cubes out of tonic water. Serve clear liquids and add the tonic water ice to make a glowing drink that still tastes great. Novelty ice trays that produce shapes other than cubes are even better.

This is a gag drink (literally!) that is a non-alcoholic version of a cement mixer (Bailey's Irish cream and lemon or lime) that non-drinkers and children can, um, enjoy.

When milk (or Irish cream) is mixed with acidic liquids, it causes the milk to curdle into the consistency of cottage cheese.

The usual prank consists of someone drinking Irish cream and holding it in his mouth as he quickly follows it with a shot of lime or lemon juice. The drink will literally curdle in his mouth, so the goal is to swallow it as quickly as possible.

You can achieve the same effect with milk and tonic water. If you want to pull a prank on someone, it's easier to mix it in a glass. Tell him to try this delicious new drink and then watch as he gags.

Just use good judgment on who you give this drink to. You probably don't want to give the drink to someone with a weak stomach or to a person who will get mad.

Some people (very few!) might actually like this drink if they like the taste of tonic water and don't mind the thick, chunky texture.

The drink does look very cool under a black light. Milk glows yellow and tonic water glows blue. So when they are mixed it forms a weird green color with thick bits at the top.

Even if you don't actually have anybody drink the concoction, it is fun to watch under a black light to see the chemical reaction of the milk curdling.

Urban Myth

Myth: Drinking Irish cream mixed with tonic water will kill you.

Truth: The acid in the tonic water just causes the cream to curdle. It will taste bad and may make you sick to your stomach, but it definitely won't kill you.

Ingredients

  • Milk (Irish cream can be substituted at adult parties)
  • Tonic water

Instructions

  1. Pour milk into a glass, filling it about a 1/3 to 1/2 of the way full. Precise measurements aren't needed for this drink.
  2. Fill the rest of the glass with tonic water.
  3. Watch as the drink starts to curdle on the top.
  4. Give the drink to your prank victim.
  5. Step way back as he or she takes a sip.
  6. Or you can use the quick shot version the way people drink cement mixers. Pour a small glass of milk and have the person drink some and hold it in his or her mouth. Quickly follow it with a small glass of tonic water.
  7. Have something handy for the prank victims to wash out their mouths. Then give them something good to drink to get rid of the taste.

Tell Us How You Will Step up Your Beverage Game

© 2012 Candace Bacon

Glowing Remarks

Fayyax A on March 28, 2020:

Such a wonderful idea.

Satyajay Mandal on June 10, 2019:

This means that to make a green colour in this manner You can mix the following things-Tonic water (blue) and Energy drinks with B vitamins (bright yellow),Tonic water (blue) and Milk (yellow),Tonic water (blue) and Vanilla ice cream (yellow),Tonic water (blue) and Caramel (golden yellow),Tonic water (blue) and Honey (golden yellow),or Tonic water (blue) and Syrup Syrup (golden yellow)

Anonymous Guest on December 29, 2018:

Keep it up friends

Amy on October 16, 2018:

Awesome ideas, I'll be trying a few this Halloween! The wee tips and Did u knows are great too.

Thank you!

Kiara on January 12, 2018:

How is it glow in the dark

Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on June 12, 2015:

Awesome hub with cool ideas, Candace. Voted up!

L Sarhan from Huntsville, Alabama, USA on August 08, 2014:

I will have to say that this is such a cool Hub. I love the tips and ideas. Keep up the great work!

Brendon Thomas from Cape Town, South Africa on May 25, 2014:

Just read your hub on camping ideas - this could be a fun addition to your camping experience as well!

Indra Prasetya from Indonesia on May 14, 2014:

Great Hub! I want to try this.

Harry Baldwin from New England (various locations) on May 13, 2014:

My kids are here for next weekend (aged 9,10,and 12) and I think we are going to have some fun with these! No, I KNOW we are going to have fun!

Sarah Forester from Australia on February 24, 2014:

These look like so much fun! I'll have to whip them up next time I need a party.

Brandon Hart from Atlanta, Georgia, USA on January 09, 2014:

This is so interesting. I can't wait to do this with some friends.

Avinesh Prahladi from Chandigarh on November 04, 2013:

This is just WOW !!! It's an interesting way of making the drinks look appealing. I will surely give it a try.

upwelling from Durham, NC on August 28, 2013:

The content in this article is highly interesting and useful to have fun with your family and one can be flattered when the family admires your concoction based on this article.

Thanks a lot to be an instrument to bring innocent joy to others!

Srinivasa Govindarajan

Julie Herrick on August 26, 2013:

This is a great Hub Page! I will enjoy trying out these drinks! Thank you.

Janet Vale from San Diego, California on August 23, 2013:

I have always wanted to know how to make a drink glow in the dark. These are so awesome. Thanks.

Carl Junior on August 12, 2013:

I feel like a glow drink maker expert already, great hub, thanks for sharing, voted up and liked.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on August 01, 2013:

Thanks!

winlin on July 31, 2013:

An interesting "mixologist" topic, and well written.

Rambo Fen from Raipur on July 23, 2013:

Awesom and very different..Loved them thanks for sharing.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on January 31, 2013:

Thank you! Thank you! Thank you to everyone! It has been such an honor. I hope you all get the chance to try glowing drinks. They are really fun and quite tasty too.

Elise-Loyacano - Yes there are vegetables and fruits that will glow. I have a hub about glowing food if you are interested in finding out more. But here is a quick roundup. Squash glows a light yellow. Peppers and lettuce glow a dull red. Oranges glow as well.

marshmellomom - You are definitely right. Some people don't do well with quinine, so caution should be used when serving it. Sprite and other clear drinks do seem to glow under black light because they are reflective.

Rachel Pugh - Yes, the tonic water ice does work well, especially if you use it in a clear drink.

Stephanie from Canada on January 27, 2013:

Oh I just love this idea. I want to use these at a wedding!! Vote up from me!

Marcy Goodfleisch from Planet Earth on December 31, 2012:

This is so fun! Now I need to throw a party so I can do this! Glowing compliments from this end - love the hub!

alphagirl from USA on December 31, 2012:

My kids would like this idea. thanks for sharing.

StellaSee from California on December 31, 2012:

This works the same way as wearing a white t shirt in a dark room, it glows. So if you drink something white, it's going to glow too! Oh that's cool! I've never thought about that. I want to try that frosted mummy drink, thanks for sharing and congratulations!

alwaysamber on December 31, 2012:

This is so neat! I'm going to have to try this. Thanks for sharing!

LaDena Campbell from Somewhere Over The Rainbow - Near Oz... on December 31, 2012:

Hmmm....non-alcoholic versions for grandkids on New Year's Eve...I think we have a party in the making! Very cool recipes!

Tina Siuagan from Rizal, Philippines on December 31, 2012:

The Vitamin B - rich drinks explains why they seem to glow even dark set-ups, not necessarily black light. This is one great hub! I learned a lot and would definitely try one of these. :)

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on December 31, 2012:

Thank you everyone! It was a nice surprise to wake up to Hub of the Day. Can't tell you how thrilled I am! Hope everyone has a glowing new year. Cheers!

Chace from Charlotte, NC on December 31, 2012:

Ooh... I wish I had some kind of special occasion to make glowing drinks! Maybe I will use this on my birthday......

Chris Montgomery from Irvine, CA on December 31, 2012:

That was a supercool hub! Just when I thought I had nothing to learn about making drinks!

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on December 31, 2012:

How cool are these drinks. I have seen them but have never made them but with it being New Year's Eve I amy just have to make a few and take over to my daughter's house this evening. Thanks for the lovely visuals.

Sending Angels your way and Congratulations on hub of the day :) ps

pinkhawk from Pearl of the Orient on December 27, 2012:

Wow! This is cool and fun...I will suggest this idea to my friends, thanks for sharing! ^_^

Ken Taub from Long Island, NY on December 02, 2012:

Sheer (bright, translucent) brilliance!

Rachel Pugh on October 29, 2012:

Does the ice cubes work very well? :P

marshmellomom on October 15, 2012:

Beware that some people have severe reactions to the quinine in tonic water, even in the small amount that is in tonic water! Sprite is another glowing alternative!

TattooKitty from Hawaii on October 04, 2012:

WOW!! These drinks are glow-tastic!! I can't wait to try them!

Rfordin from Florida on August 22, 2012:

So cool....thank you for sharing. Voted Awesome and interesting. Can't wait to "try" these recipes out on my friends.

~Becky

KeriProctor88 from Georgia on August 22, 2012:

This is really neat! I never knew that they had drinks that glow in the dark. I need to try this, I never have parties but this I might try. Thanks for sharing this!

naeemebrahimjee from London on August 15, 2012:

This is a superb article. I really look forward to trying some of these out tonight.

Now where to get a black light from ... ... ...

Elise-Loyacano from San Juan, Puerto Rico on August 11, 2012:

Now, I'm pretty sure my parents could have gotten me to drink milk if it had been glowing at the time of consumption. Cocopreme, are there any vegetables that glow in the dark? (I still need some inducement to eat enough vegetables.)

Oliva Sris on August 11, 2012:

brilliant, liked!

C E Clark from North Texas on August 09, 2012:

Great suggestions here for summer and for Halloween.

Voting up, awesome, and sharing!

Stephanie Henkel from USA on July 19, 2012:

Congratulations on your win in the cookbook contest! These drinks look like so much fun! I never knew that tonic water or these other ingredients would glow under black light! Thanks for a fun and useful hub!

moonlake from America on July 13, 2012:

Your glow in the dark drinks are so neat. Congraulations on your win. Very nice hub. Voted up Pinit and Tweet.

Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on July 12, 2012:

Awesome! This is an entirely new world for me, but it seems fun. Thanks for introducing it.

Yvonne Spence from UK on July 06, 2012:

Just popping back to say congrats on winning the drinks category - very well deserved!

Kristin Trapp from Illinois on July 06, 2012:

Glowing drinks and volcanic cakes...like I've said before, you're the master of food and special effects. Congratulations on winning the best drink hub in the recipe contest!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 06, 2012:

Congrats on winning a final prize in the contest! It's well deserved!

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on July 01, 2012:

@ nmdonders - You are halfway there if you already have the black lights. I'm sure your friends will enjoy. Thank you!

@ Simone Smith - Black lights are so fun! If you get the chance, I definitely recommend them for a party theme. All the drinks do taste great. The Mummy is my favorite. Thanks so much!

@ vespawoolf - Thank you very much!

@ emilybee - Nope. No chemicals needed. In fact, some of these drinks might be downright healthy. White drinks (and food) do glow better than most things. Thanks!

@ jennzie - Thank you! I hope you get the chance to try it.

Jenn from Pennsylvania on June 30, 2012:

That is such a cool idea! I definitely want to try this.

Voted up and shared!

emilybee on June 29, 2012:

How clever of you to think of these! I, too, thought they must have chemicals in them but no just natural things that glow under black lights :) It does make sense, I remember glow bowling and how white shirts always glow the best - so milk of course will glow nicely :-) Thanks for sharing these glowing drinks, I'll surely try some under my black light someday :-)

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on June 29, 2012:

What a unique and fascinating hub! Congrats on placing in the recipe contest!

Simone Haruko Smith from San Francisco on June 29, 2012:

Gyaaah! The Hub makes me desperately want to host or attend a glow in the dark drink party! These drinks look awesome, and sound pretty tasty, too! LOVE this.

Nira Perkins on June 28, 2012:

This is so amazing, I will definitely try it and pass it on to friends. I actually have some black lights so it will be perfect.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on June 26, 2012:

Melovy - It sounds like they more than likely are. I guess they aren't as popular where you are as they are in the States. If you get the chance, you should play around with one. It's fun just to see how it changes the way everything looks.

Yvonne Spence from UK on June 26, 2012:

Cocopreme, I asked my husband, and he thinks they are what we call ultra-violet lights, and from what you've written it sounds as if they could be.

Candace Bacon (author) from Far, far away on June 26, 2012:

Thanks so much everyone! I really appreciate your comments. These drinks are all perfectly safe and non-toxic, especially without the alcohol. They are made with normal drinks that just have the really cool property of glowing under a black light.

@Melovy - Would black lights be known by a different name in Scotland and the UK? They look purple when they are on in a dark room. It causes everything in the room to look strange and some things will glow when it shines on them. They are really fun, especially for parties and other events.

Kara Monterey from Indianapolis on June 26, 2012:

So cool! I have to try some of these!

Crystal Tatum from Georgia on June 26, 2012:

I had no idea that these liquids glow in the dark. What a very cool idea! Voted up and shared.

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on June 26, 2012:

Very cool, like Melovy I thought there'd be all sorts of horrible things in them, but that's not the case. I love tonic water which is a bonus and thank you for including non alcoholic versions.

Yvonne Spence from UK on June 26, 2012:

I thought if the drinks glowed in the dark they must be made with horrible chemicals, but this all looks normal and safe! I've never heard of a black light before, they look fun! This is a very interesting hub!

kmnfive from California on June 26, 2012:

is this safe???

Roxanne Lewis from Washington on June 25, 2012:

I can't wait to try this! You are awesome!

Tracy B from Canada on June 25, 2012:

Thanks! I am going to have to ask for some of these next time I am near some black lights! Neat hub!