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Using Dry Ice in Drinks to Make Smoking, Bubbling Libations

Spooky, Foggy, Bubbly Drinks

Using dry ice in drinks is intimidating for some people, but it's actually really simple and safe as long as you know how to handle it. And it's fun to boot!

It creates bubbles in the drinks. You've never had a soda with as much of a bubbling sound. And it looks amazing with the fog it creates.

And now there is a new product that makes using dry ice in drinks even easier. Misty Stix are swizzle sticks designed to hold dry ice and make using it in drinks much safer.

You can use dry ice swizzle sticks to make smoking dry ice fruit drinks and cocktails, bubbling soda floats, and fogging hot drinks. They can also be used as a simple way to give punch bowls a spooky effect.

So get ready to create some fantastic fogging drinks with dry ice.

How to Use Dry Ice Swizzle Sticks

Using the dry ice swizzle sticks is much easier than putting dry ice straight into glasses. With the sticks, you don't have to worry about someone accidentally touching the dry ice or swallowing it.

  • Misty Stix has a secure childproof design. Once you click it closed, it won't fall open, and you can't pry it either. You have to squeeze it in and slide it at the same time to get it reopened. So rest easy using them with kids.
  • You can touch the stick with the dry ice in it and even put it in your mouth, and it won't cause a burn the way contact with dry ice normally would.
  • The dry ice sticks have an adjustable clip on the side, so they will fit different sizes of cups and glasses and will stay in place.
  • They are designed to hold dry ice pellets, or you can break up pieces from blocks of dry ice and drop them inside.
  • The sticks are reusable. Just wash them, and they are ready to use again.

Quick Tips for Handling Dry Ice

  • Use tongs or wear gloves.
  • Make sure you are in a well-ventilated area.
  • Purchase the dry ice a few hours before the party because it won't keep overnight.

Dry Ice in Fruit Drinks

Dry ice sticks are great to use in fruit drinks and punches. They are a nice touch for luaus and Hawaiian-themed parties. The drinks will look like smoking volcanoes.

Fruit drinks with dry ice swizzle sticks are also great for Halloween, kids' parties, barbeques, weddings, or any time you want to create special drinks for friends.

The dry ice will alter the taste of some juices. Basically, what it does is like carbonating the drink. So the drink will taste kind of like carbonated water has been added.

With most juice mixes, you won't even know the difference, especially if the drink is finished pretty quickly and more bitter juices are used.

These juices make tasty fruit mixes and will have a good flavor when dry ice is used. Typically, mixing two or more juices is better for party drinks. These juices are also good for tropical fruit medleys.

  • Pineapple juice
  • Cranberry juice
  • Grapefruit juice
  • Cherry juice
  • Mango juice
  • Pomegranate juice

You can add extra pizzazz to the drinks by adding umbrellas, tropical swizzle sticks, and fruit skewers. Sliced pineapple, cherries, berries, or citrus fruit slices look wonderful and will complement the drink well.

Dry Ice Cocktails

Dry ice swizzle sticks are great to use in cocktails. Your drinks will be the talk of the party, and your guests will be impressed.

It will work with just about any type of cocktail or mixed drink. Just pour the drink into the glass, add dry ice into the swizzle stick, and put it into the drink for a fabulous smoking concoction. You can use the clip on the swizzle stick to clip it to the side of the glass, or you can stick it into the glass without it.

The taller the glass, the better the swizzle stick will work. The Misty Stix are a little too tall for short martini glasses, but it will still smoke.

And with dry ice sticks, you won't need to add ice that will water down drink flavors. The dry ice will cool the drink without adding water.

The dry ice cocktails are perfect for luau parties, fire-themed events, and for Halloween. You can also use them any time you are mixing up drinks for your friends.

Dry Ice in Hot Drinks

Hot drinks with dry ice produce some of the best effects. The hot liquid makes the dry ice sublimate faster. So there will be more bubbling in the drink and more fog and smoke rolling out of the drink.

The dry ice also works well in hot drinks because it cools it enough to be able to drink it sooner. Dry ice stir sticks are great to use with these hot beverages.

  • Hot chocolate
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Apple cider
  • Wassail
  • Hot toddy
  • Coffee cocktails

Heat the drink well. Then for the best result, add in the dry ice swizzle stick right before you serve the drink.

You can still add in marshmallows, whipped cream, cherries, or any other toppings you would like.

You can spike these hot drinks for adult gatherings as well. Make your coffee Irish and bubbling.

This is perfect for Halloween, fall parties around the bonfire, football games, or even parties on cool nights.

Kids will love this magic foggy, gurgling treat. Adults will love hot alcoholic beverages with smokey effects.

Dry Ice in Soda Floats

Using dry ice with soda normally isn't recommended because the dry ice will make the soda go flat.

But using dry ice swizzle sticks with soda floats does work well. It doesn't affect the taste because mixing in ice cream already de-fizzes the soda.

So scoop up a soda float for your guests and make it extra bubbly with some cool fog.

Here's what you'll need for the float:

  • Vanilla ice cream (other ice cream flavors can also be used—vanilla is simply the traditional flavor)
  • Your favorite soda flavor (Coke, Cherry Coke, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper, grape soda, or root beer are the ones that are traditionally used with the ice cream)

Put the float in a large glass or cup. Only fill it about 3/4 of the way full, or it may bubble over when the dry ice is added (see the pictures to the right). Clear cups will make it easier to see the bubbles created by the dry ice and the float.

Wait until you are ready to serve the drink before you put the dry ice stick in. The fogging effect will last the least amount of time with this drink because it is cold, and the dry ice won't turn to a gas (sublimate) quickly.

Soda Float Varieties

*Use vanilla ice cream unless otherwise noted.

Float NameIngredients

Brown Cow

root beer and ice cream

Black Cow

Coke with ice cream

Purple Cow

grape soda with ice cream

Orange Cow

orange soda with ice cream

Boston Cooler

Vernor's ginger ale with ice cream

Snow White

Sprite or 7Up with ice cream

Sherbert Cooler

seltzer water and orange sherbert

Chocolate Ice Cream Soda

seltzer water and chocolate ice cream

Chocolate Coffee Ice Cream Soda

seltzer water, chocolate ice cream, and coffee


root beer, butterscotch, and ice cream

Dry Ice in Punch

There are several ways to use dry ice in punches.

  • If you will be ladling the punch yourself, you can put the dry ice directly into the bottom of the bowl. Just make sure you don't get any into guests' cups. The problem with using dry ice directly in drinks is that there is a chance that guests will accidentally swallow the dry ice or touch it to their mouths. That could cause a burn like frostbite.
  • You can use a double bowl for the punch if you won't be serving the punch alone. For this method, you put the punch in one bowl. Then you put that bowl into a slightly larger bowl. Add several pieces of dry ice in the bottom of the larger bowl around the edge of the punch bowl when it is time for the party. Pour in warm water to start the fogging effect. Then you just add more dry ice pieces and warm water as needed throughout the party.
  • Dry ice sticks can be used in punches instead of using two bowls or taking the risk of putting dry ice straight into the punch. You just fill several sticks with dry ice and clip it to the side of the punch bowl. You may need to refill the dry ice more often with this method.
  • The swizzle sticks can also be used in conjunction with the other punch methods. Create a fogging punch and then give guests fogging dry ice stirrers so that their drinks will also have fun effects.

Dry Ice Swizzle Sticks

  • Dry ice swizzle sticks usually come in packs of 25.
  • You can get packs of black sticks or a multicolor pack with 5 different colored sticks (blue, yellow, green, red, black).
  • There are also dry ice swizzle sticks with shaped grips (stars, moon, etc.).

© 2012 Candace Bacon