Introduction: TRON Inspired Glow in the Dark Drinks

Picture of TRON Inspired Glow in the Dark Drinks

Enjoy a little taste of life on the grid!

While watching TRON: Legacy recently, I decided that my next party needed to channel some of the cool vibe of the Daft Punk dj-ed bar.

Most people are probably familiar with the fact that gin and tonics glow under black lights (there’s even a great instructable about it) but what if you’re not a big fan of g&t?

Thanks to the fantastic Kryptonite Candy instructable, I learned that vitamin B2 (also know as riboflavin) glows yellow.

I decided to experiment to see what adding tonic water and B2 could do to some of my favourite drinks.

Step 1: What You'll Need

Picture of What You'll Need

The magic glowing ingredients are riboflavin and quinine. You can find them in vitamin B2 pills and tonic water.
You can make pretty much any clear or light coloured drink glow by adding either B2 or tonic water, so choose ingredients that suit your tastes.

I made 4 different drinks:

-Classic gin and tonic
-Red Bull and vodka
-Vodka and sprite
-Sobe pina colada with white rum

To get them to glow you will need a black light.

To create TRON style drink umbrellas, I used bendy straws and the bottoms of plastic martini glasses (I've used these disposable glasses for parties and have noticed that the tops are more likely to break than the bottoms, so even though I try to wash and reuse them, I usually end up with a surplus of bottoms)

Step 2: Make Some Futuristic Drink Umbrellas

Picture of Make Some Futuristic Drink Umbrellas

To create a stir stick similar to the clear umbrella in Castor / Zuse's final drink, I used a drinking sraw and the bottom of a disposable martini glass. The bottom part of a plastic wine glass would work just as well but would be a little smaller.

First pierce a hole the middle of the disk. Using a lighter, I heated up a nail and pushed it through with pliers. You could also use a drill.

Next, thread the straw through the hole up to the bendy part. The bendy elbow lets you tilt the umbrella to a jaunty angle.

Trim the straw to the desired length and you're done!

Step 3: Mix the Drinks

Picture of Mix the Drinks

Now the fun begins!

Yellow & green drinks:

Crush up a B100 complex vitamin. One pill is good for many drinks as you will only need a tiny pinch of powder to make the liquid glow.

Add some powder to the bottom of your glass and pour in the desired drink. Red Bull or similar energy drinks are a great choice as they already contain a small amount of riboflavin. The vitamin powder has a bit of a medicine taste to it, so strong flavoured drinks are better at masking the bitter taste.

To make the drink green, add a drop of food colouring and stir.

Blue drinks:

In addition to the classic gin and tonic, try adding tonic water to other mixed drinks. Tonic water has a bitter taste, so I found that sweet mixes worked better.



DamoS4 (author)2015-10-13

Not entirely sure where I went wrong but my drink did not glow. Is there a ratio or measurements to the ingredients?

ModMischief (author)DamoS42015-10-13

Did the tonic water and/or vitamin B glow before you mixed the drinks?
I suspect that the problem is more likely with your black light. Stores often sell cheap incandescent black light bulbs that don't actually produce enough UV light to see a visible glow.

Ramming (author)2013-10-27

Now I haven't bother checking the vitamin B2 limit, but i know that most types of vitamin B can cause acute vitamin poisoning at a much lower amount than other vitamins. And wouldn't go spiking welcome drinks with dietary supplements, since the people drinking then can't know what's really in them. I have a friend that takes a special supplement of vitamins, because he's highly allergic to some of the normal additives. Just to warn people, there not much that will spoil the fun like having EMS involved. Furthermore I read that you were using the B100 supplement and to be fair I don't know that one, but I know there was a FDA warning on the B50 supplement. So I have placed the link at the bottom, så you can read it. There were some very unwanted effects of that one.

All this aside, the instructable were quite interesting. I normally work in labs working with absorbans, fluorescense, FRET and FACS/flow cytometry + other related things, for monitoring activity on a cellular level in mammalian cells. So I knew about this fluorescense of riboflavin, however I never have thought of this. :)

antioch (author)2013-10-25

Can't find the study I read earlier this week but here's a summary. (I'll update as soon as I find it.)
A new study suggests that mixing alcohol with energy drinks such as Red Bull could be even worse for your heart and nervous system than it was previously thought.
Research has linked high-caffeine cocktails with heart problems and anxiety, and a top brain expert fears the drinks could be a health disaster, the Daily Star reported.
Prof. Peter Miller, from Deakin University in Victoria, Australia, said that most research has only looked at the effects of one shot and one energy drink.
That ignores the fact that many party-goers knock back several in a night.

moonchylde (author)2013-05-23

You might want to let people know what you're doing ahead of time. Your date might be a little upset if they saw you crushing a pill and putting it in their drink.

stevbob (author)2013-03-18

When I was in high school in the mid '60's this was a common type of club for the younger crowds. Many styles of clothing will glow under blacklight, some patterns actually reversing their patterns from normal light to blacklight.

timothyspirit (author)2013-01-16


richdoe (author)2011-05-05

Now all we need is a method to make those tiny "bit" cube ice cubes any the effect would be complete!

Blue Hawaii (author)richdoe2012-10-23

We've used tonic water for ice cubes in our mixed drinks for years. Really fun effect. Will try to mix in some Vitamin B2 next time.

eskimojo (author)2012-08-16

About how much of the riboflavin should you put into a drink? Does the riboflavin alter the flavor of the drink much? What kind of effect do you get when you mix the riboflavin and tonic. Can you buy rendered quinine?

superanth (author)2012-03-07

The B2 vitamin is also available in liquid form (see below link), cutting out the pill-crushing step.

Chirpoff (author)2011-12-04

THAT"S AWESOME!!! All us programs should get together and have a party! (In full uniform/costume, of course :) I was hoping someone would come up with this! :D

aamenabar (author)2011-10-28

Artichoke juice also glows yellow. I used it as magic ink as a kid.

Elgeess (author)2011-10-28

Love this! For another colour, might want to experiment with mint and/or lime as seen in this 'ible: - Maybe mint mojitos will glow pink/red?

Elgeess (author)Elgeess2011-10-28

Ah, okay - it seems it's the chlorophyll in greens - from this 'ible: they mention that green-infused oils will glow red. Hmm, don't know how that would be in a drink but might be worth a shot (pun intended). Also, banana smoothie as another white/blue glow?

DIYDragon (author)2011-10-09

Awesome, I just watched that movie yesterday. haha
Checked out the Kryptonite candy too; very cool. Would be awesome for a black light party deal. : D

tinker234 (author)2011-08-28

wow i will make some non alchoiclic verisons of this one day

PJEC (author)2011-08-06

I think you should cover the tops of the umbrellas with highlighter ink, that glows in UV light too...

thoyt (author)2011-06-22

You should make the glasses yourself and add an additional "blacklight" led in the glass itself, so that the drink glows on its own in low light.

openroad12 (author)2011-05-14

is there any chance that you could not use alcohol yet still get the glow effect

ModMischief (author)openroad122011-05-14

Of course. It's not the alcohol that glows so virgin drinks with either tonic water or B2 will have the same effect.

Diego123 (author)2011-05-05

In BrittLiv's case I'd be mad, if you win with this.

ModMischief (author)Diego1232011-05-05

I have no idea what happened to the intro text. When I published this instructable I gave full credit to BrittLiv's Kryptonite Candy for showing me how to make food glow with B2. I also mentioned the awesome instructable on glowing gin and tonics by makendo.

I'm going to contact an admin to see if there's been a techhnical error of some sort, and if I just made a stupid mistake and deleted it, I'll be sure to retype it. I strongly believe in giving credit where it's due!

BrittLiv (author)ModMischief2011-05-13

Hi, I just read this and I'm not mad at all. I think this is what instructables is all about, sharing ideas and having other people develop them further. When I first saw this, the intro text was there and I felt honoured, that you mentioned me (the thing with the vanishing intro text has happened to me as well..). Your projects are amazing, I really love the jello shots! Keep up the good work!

BtheBike (author)2011-05-03

very cool . haven't yet scene the new tron . wish i saw it in 3d ($$$ :( have to settle for redbox .
wonder if this stuff is still glo active with a black light in the bathroom . Hah

MaXoR (author)BtheBike2011-05-05

I found your comment amusing!

However physically speaking, if you were to overload your body with b100, you should start to secrete it, both in your urin, and your sweat.... maybe with enough you could start to glow a yellowish green (The actual glow color of this stuff, remember he mixed food coloring into the green ones)

I don't take any responsibility for Vit B overdose! I have no medical background for dosing, nor do I know if it has a limit, or is lethal in high doses. If it's all good, and no risk..... then you'd be able to look radio active!

dkfa (author)MaXoR2011-05-05

I think your body would take up all the vitamins so nothing would happen. Though, I believe it would be glowing inside your body. Who knows?

henkow (author)dkfa2011-05-05

Your body only absorbs the amount of vitamins it needs. The rest is excreted, urine and sweat. The vitamins are filtered in the kidney, excessive use of vitamins may lead to kidney failure.
There would be no glowing inside your body as the UV light is unable to penetrate.
I have no qualifications aside from level 2 biology chemistry and physics, this is just my understanding of the matter based on what I have learned in those classes.

Verdantic (author)henkow2011-05-07

I think that's pretty much true for water-soluble vitamins, but lipid-soluble vitamins (A,D, E and K) build up in liver and fat tissue and take much longer to be excreted, and so are more likely to cause toxicity.

There's a list of potential side effects here:
But anyway, in these drinks you're using such a tiny amount that I doubt you'd see much in the way of side-affects.

I remember being told of people eating copious amounts of Vegemite (high in B group vitamins) before and during fishing trips, because apparently the vitamins excreted through your skin act as an insect repellent. I haven't tried it myself, though.

RaNDoMLeiGH (author)Verdantic2011-05-11

Agh, bleh! I've had Vegemite before. It would work better IMHO as a base for broth.

dkfa (author)henkow2011-05-06

Oh. Much fail that came out my mouth. I just typed what immediately thought. Cheers!

BtheBike (author)MaXoR2011-05-05

it would be awesome to have glowing sweat under disco blacklights m of course if its safe though.

kaptaink_cg (author)2011-05-08

Awesome instructable. Definitely going to try this for my next summer party!

Patrik (author)2011-05-05

The curcumin in turmeric powder is supposed to fluoresce really nicely as well, and dissolves in alcohol. That'll give you a third color for your fluorescent drinks...

Stormy_rayne (author)2011-05-02

Wow, how ironic, i just happen to be watching Tron Legacy when i opened up my laptop to instructables and saw this

____Phi____ (author)Stormy_rayne2011-05-05

I'm not so sure that is irony as much as it is coincidence.

brooklynlord (author)2011-05-01

You should make like a glow-in-the-dark dance bar or club, where all you serve are drinks that glow! Also, replace the light bulbs in the ceiling with black lights.

Perhaps people can also be encouraged to wear glow-in-the-dark clothing!

Just an idea..

gsweet (author)brooklynlord2011-05-05

we have a few night clubs here like that also we have a event called darkrave , where uv paints are encouraged

robothobo (author)2011-05-05

At Disney California Adventure they turn one area into a Tron-themed nightclub some nights, called elecTRONica. It's pretty cool. The drinks they serve there are a Glowhito (which comes with a glowing fake ice cube) and a Digitini (which comes in a glowing martini glass)

captain Jack (author)2011-05-05

B100 powder! Healthy, and glow-ey!

rix_101 (author)2011-05-05

absolutly epic!!!


flaming_pele! (author)2011-05-02

I'll definitely try the green for Halloween!

darknessfalls (author)2011-05-01

i really want to try the green ones, and will be forwarding this onto a friend.

Civicalized (author)2011-05-01

I will definitely have to try this. I finally watched Tron last night actually. Perfect timing.

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