How To Safely Use Dry Ice In Your Halloween Cocktails

If you want to add extra excitement and spookiness to your Halloween party, using dry ice in your punch bowl or cocktails will definitely do the trick. But it's not as easy as just dropping in regular ice cubes. Here's what you need to know to use dry ice safely.

Dry ice is the solid form of carbon dioxide that can be turned into a block at -110 degrees F. When it's at higher temperatures, solid carbon dioxide skips the typical liquid state and will turn into a gas — making that spooky and magical-looking fog (via Betty Crocker).

You'll want to make sure to use food-grade dry ice, and many major grocery stores will have it near the regular ice cooler (from A Couple Cooks). Don't stock up ahead of time, as your freezer or fridge won't be cold enough to keep the dry ice in a solid state. And use care when you prep it — you do not want to touch the dry ice block, so wear gloves and safety glasses. Then you can use a flathead screwdriver and a hammer to gently break it into cubes (from Betty Crocker).

Another important thing is to make sure you're using it in a well-ventilated space. As it turns into a gas, it's heavier than air, which can potentially make it hard for kids or pets to breathe (from HGTV). And you do not want to touch it with bare skin, as it will cause burns very quickly.

Dry ice in individual cocktails or your punch bowl

The reason you can use dry ice — carefully — in a Halloween cocktail is because of its density. A cube of dry ice will sink to the bottom of a drink, and it will eventually dissolve over the course of five minutes or so. The one huge no-no for a dry ice cocktail is to let the dry ice touch your skin, so tell your guests to sip slowly and carefully, especially when it's smoking, and by the time there's no more smoke, the drink can safely be finished (from The Rose Table). It's also got the benefit of keeping the drink nice and cold. And remember, when you're serving dry ice, always handle it using tongs (via Betty Crocker).

You can also use dry ice in a punch bowl set-up by putting a small bowl inside a larger one, with an inch or so between them. Then, you put small bits of dry ice between the bowls and put the punch in the inside bowl. To amp up the smoke / fog of the dry ice, pour a little bit of water between the bowls (from HGTV).