How to Make Super-Cool Frozen Party Cocktails with Liquid Nitrogen

Picture of How to Make Super-Cool Frozen Party Cocktails with Liquid Nitrogen
Use liquid nitrogen to make awesome frozen party drinks. Liquid nitrogen is cold enough to freeze alcohol, allowing really fun frozen-slushy-like cocktails.
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Step 1: Liquid Nitrogen can freeze alcohol

Picture of Liquid Nitrogen can freeze alcohol
Ethanol, the alcohol in cocktails, freezes at -114 C. High-quality freezers are typically set at -18 C, so putting a drink in the freezer or adding water-ice will not freeze the alcohol. Even dry ice, at -79 C will still leave the alcohol a liquid. So, if you really want to freeze the alcohol solid, liquid nitrogen is the best choice. Liquid nitrogen (LN2) boils at -196 C (77 K), and when thoroughly mixed into a drink, will freeze the drink, and boil away leaving nothing behind but frozen yumminess.

Geek note: Most drinks are not 200 proof - so the water-alcohol mixtures freeze at a higher temperature than pure alcohol. Still, it's pretty darn cold.

Step 2: Liquid Nitrogen Safety

Picture of Liquid Nitrogen Safety
Liquid Nitrogen is cold and can cause frostbite or "burns." To handle LN2 safely you need safety glasses, insulated gloves, dewars to safely hold the liquid, and, the best absolute best thing, someone with experience handling LN2.

Since we're freezing alcohol to -114 C, it's important to realize the frozen cocktail itself can be temperature-wise dangerous. At our party, we froze the cocktails, and carefully warned anyone who wanted to try the cocktail-ice directly. In most of the drinks, we also added liquid to some of the cocktail-ice to prevent people from coming into direct contact with the super-cold solids. And in the ones where we didn't, it was probably a bad idea.

I've always gotten my LN2 from a university, or by masquerading as a "remote outpost" of a university to that university's supplier. Renting the dewars isn't too expensive, and the cost of the LN2 itself is less then milk per gallon.
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dschachtsiek8 months ago

Good lord people - there was one (!!!) lady, which had a serious incident with LN2! ONE!

Now guess, how many people have serious injuries through hot oil, while deep frying [you know that if you put in water into superheated oil, you create a fireball?]. Nobody is though making so much drama about frying!

Point is, that you have to be carefully anyway!

Superfreezing alcohol? Really? Ethanol has a freezing point below -70ºC - however any drinking alcohol has 40% ethanol and less [and water has a freezing point of 0ºC] - that means, that the slushy would be never much colder than 30ºC - unless it is rock hard...

And other than dry ice, it is also quite easy to see, if LN2 is not yet evaporated - as it is lighter than the liquid and will be swimming visible on top.

dla8885 years ago
So I could make a cocktail, pour liquid nitrogen into it and then (after stirring it) drink it?
You can drink it after all of the liquid nitrogen has burned off. Don't drink it until then.
The hazard isn't just the liquid nitrogen. The danger depends on the final temperature of the drink. With lots of LN2 used, and just a little high-proof alcohol, the drink may become lethal even when the LN2 is boiled off. Alcohol slush chilled to 100K will destroy your esophagus. Probably WORSE than just LN2, since there's no Leidenfrost gas layer for insulation.
BadDab2 years ago

Enough said - this can be dangerous if something goes wrong - presumably some of the nitrogen didn't evaporate (just a guess) before being consumed?
spjobli 343
Er, you might want to read this before you drink any LN:

snarke5 years ago
 Good grief, people. 

"I've always gotten my LN2 from a university, or by masquerading as a "remote outpost" of a university to that university's supplier. "

Liquid nitrogen is not (oddly enough) some kind of illegal pharmaceutical. For all you people asking where you get the stuff, look in your local phone directory for companies that supply industrial gases. I called a company in my area last summer to ask about buying liquid nitrogen for making ice cream. I didn't have to pretend I was a university or a research lab, and I didn't need a special license. I would need a dewar; they told me I needed to supply my own container for the LN2, and no, they wouldn't sell it to me if I just showed up with a drinking thermos. 

That's it. Not hard to find or buy.
loqk snarke3 years ago
last time i checked, the only requirement was that you have the proper equipment. i believe that was a face shield, cryogenic rated gloves and a Dewar jar.

this was sold as a kit by the gas company for $1000. once you had that, they would sell you as much ln2 as you could drink.

(ps. no, don't drink it.... I'm appalled i even have to say it for those few who might)
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We used to hire a service called "Eastern Breeders" to perform that particular chore. I always got a laugh when the A.I. technician would warm the little straw full of frozen bull spunk under his armpit. This was only mildly disturbing compared to what he did next with a big plastic bag covering his whole arm.
oh the childhood memories........."mommie...why is he stickin his arm up its butt?"   "you'll understand when your older"
lol i watched that a million times
Kaiven Derin6 years ago
not disturbing anymore ;)
Derin Kaiven6 years ago
thaTS JUst sick-in the gross way not the cool way.
hey- if it gets beef to my table faster.
hey-if it gives us more milk.
And then you ... ??
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Some people have the oddest ideas of what's fun?
robot7975 years ago
wer can i buy the liquid coolingstuff in holland. i wanna try it...
How much -173F ethanol can you put in your mouth at one time without getting frostbite or cracked teeth?

Is it safer when frozen than almost frozen?
EviLNinJa7 years ago
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Good to know. lol To bad I live in Boston.
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If they work with cows,those vets should have it
That's a crappy thing to say. If you have to preface something with "no offense" maybe you should keep it to yourself.
ekulmeekul6 years ago
pour liquid nitrogen all over you arm it looks and feel really cool (it doesnt harm you in any way because it evaporates before it hits your skin due to your body heat!)
Let me just say, that is actually quite dangerous! A small amount will evaporate but a larger one will cool you off instead of being heated up.
yeh within reason people! don't go pouring a few liters over your arm, if you are stupid enough to pour that much on yourself you deserve the cold burns. (a 1/2 a coffee mug is a safe amount)
SQUIRT GUN! seriously, just squirt it at people. they cringe, but as it approaches, the beam turns to smoke! but you'd need gloves...
haha and you have a water pistol that wont crack open at those temps? AWESOME!
Matt D6556 years ago
FACT-You dont want to ingest liquid nitro because it's toxic id personally have a beer rather than hard liquor.
Great instructable. +1
mmalecky6 years ago
This is why nerds throw the best parties.
It's a fact.
susie7 years ago
Shoot. I was on a flight the other day where liquid nitrogen or dry ice was evaporating from their vents onto my legs, freezing my laptop bag. If I'd read this instructable I'd have gotten some booze from the flight attendant to make some frozen drinks on the airplane floor!
Jake-off7 years ago
you know,
the whole prospect of this idea is good, but with my experiences with drunken adults, super cold substances + impaired judgment= disaster for most .

but I like the whole smoothie for kids thing, do you know were i can get liquid nitrogen?
Brennn107 years ago
I would love to make one of those! With soda of course.
trebuchet037 years ago
Super-Cool Ha!

I don't care what they say - puns are funny :)
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