Dry Ice for Halloween

Witches Brew


A first-grade teacher gave me the best recipe for “witches brew”:

1 can of Grape Juice. (Dark color)
1 can Pineapple Juice. (Strange pulpy texture)
3-5 pounds of food-grade Dry Ice. (Do not use regular ice)

Mix room temperature juices together. When ready for a special brew, add the Dry Ice. Do not touch the Dry Ice directly, but use insulated gloves or potholders. Ladle juice into cups without any Dry Ice, and it will be perfectly safe. If you want cooler drinks, add ice to the cups, not the punch bowl.


Dry ice is the best way to get that creepy, spooky graveyard effect for Halloween! To create a smoking effect, place a small cup filled with hot water into your carved jack-o-lantern. Using gloves, place a piece of dry ice into the cup and put the lid on top of the pumpkin. Smoke will come pouring out of your jack-o’-lantern’s gaping mouth. This will only last for several minutes, and you will have to keep adding dry ice pieces and change the water when it gets too cold. The kids will love it every time.

Dry Ice Fog


For each 15-minute period, put 5 to 10 pounds of dry ice into 4 to 8 gallons of hot water. This will make lots of fog depending upon the temperature of the water and the size of the pieces of dry ice. Hotter water will make more fog. Boiling water will add its own rising steam to the vapor cloud. Be careful. The cold, dry ice reaction introduced into boiling water will erupt the water and splash it, creating possible burns.  If there is no steam, the fog will flow downhill and in the direction of any air movement. A small fan can help control the direction. Smaller pieces of dry ice with more surface area produce a greater fog volume and cool the water down much faster. In both cases, the result is more fog for a shorter amount of time. Keep the water hot with a hot plate, electric skillet, or some other heat source to produce fog for a longer time. Otherwise, when the water gets too cold, it must be replaced to continue the fog effects. If the container is filled with water, the fog will flow over the sides the best. But the dry ice sublimation will vigorously bubble the water and splash it out. Even a ¾ filled container will splash some, so place the container where spilled water will not ruin anything. The water vapor fog will also dampen the area it flows across. Be careful because, after some time, floors do get slippery.


It is OK to put dry ice into beverages for drinking as long as the dry ice is *food grade. (CO2 used in the beverage industry.)
Use two to three pounds of dry ice for each gallon of room temperature punch. Use large pieces of dry ice, not small pieces. The dry ice is heavier than ice and will sink to the bottom. Do not use any regular ice! The dry ice will do the cooling and must not be eaten or swallowed. Too much dry ice will freeze the beverage, so have extra standing by. When most of the dry ice has sublimed, it will surround itself with ice and float to the top. There is still a small piece of dry ice in the center of these ice pieces, so do not serve or eat them. Carefully ladle the beverage into drinking glasses without any dry ice. Use food dye for colorful drinks.
How to make Smoking Cocktails with Dry Ice (or not!) Smokey cocktails are the gold standard of Halloween, adult style, and I’ll show you how to create them at home using dry ice and other trade secrets from the best mixologists.
*(Food grade means the CO2 used to make the dry ice is the same quality CO2 as used for soda fountains, and also the dry ice can be used to transport food and produce.)