Introduction: Glowing Halloween Cocktails

About: My name is Britt Michelsen. I am a chemical engineer from Germany especially interested in computational fluid dynamics. To balance all the theoretical work, I like to make stuff in my free time

Have you ever dreamed about drinking green eggs, an actual radioactive shot (don't worry it's harmless) or frog spawn? Okay probably not, but if you have or you just dream about spooking your friends, this is the instructable for you.

These cocktails do not only look good (or gross however you see it ;-)) in normal light, but also glow under UV light.

Finding fluorescent food additives is not simple, because most of them either really expensive (e,g, phycocyanin) or annoying to extract (e.g. chlorophyll (the extraction works best with oil and I'm just not a big fan of oily cocktails...)). That's why we decided to stick with the common known ones: quinine (can be found in Tonic Water) and vitamin B2 (also known as riboflavin).

Step 1: Green Eggs and Ham Cocktail

Green Eggs and Ham is a best-selling book by Dr. Seuss and who doesn't know it should certainly read it. I had this idea a long time in my head an finally got around making it.

What you need:

  • 8 cl Milk
  • 2 cl Licor 43
  • 4 cl Almond syrup
  • 2 g Sodium Alginate (e.g. in the apothecary or on amazon)
  • 1/2 tsp Calcium Lactate (e.g. in the apothecary or on amazon)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • Mango
  • Apple (I know that there is a pineapple in the picture, but an apple works better)
  • Green Food colouring (Check it, if it says Riboflavin or E101 on the back you won't need any extra vitamin B2 to make the cocktail glow. Else you will need to buy some)


Start by dissolving the sodium alginate in 300 ml of water, the best way to do so is in a blender. Set it aside (you will have to wait until all the bubbles are gone).
In the meanwhile cut the Mango into fine cubes. Mix it with 2 tbsp of sugar, a few drops of green food colouring and half a teaspoon of calcium lactate and blend the mixture.
Use a tablespoon and carefully scoop the mango mixture into the sodium alginate bath. Put a glass with water next to it, to rinse your blob later. Leave your mixture for about 4 minutes in the bath, then place it into your glass with water.
For the cocktail mix the Licor 43, the milk and the sirup and carefully place your "egg yolk" into the mixture.
After playing around a bit with different fruits as ham, we found out, that the best fit is actually an apple slice dyed with green food colouring.

Step 2: Radioactive Brain Shot

Fun fact (or not, it depends on your definition of fun ;-)), this cocktail is actually slightly radioactive. As you might know, bananas are a natural source of potassium. About 0.001% of potassium is Potassium-40 (K-40), which is radioactive. Brazil nuts are a natural source for radium, which is adsorbed by a extensive root system from the soil.
The radioactive level is so low, that most Geiger Counters can't detect it, so don't be alarmed, but this might be enough to spook your friends. Especially because this shot glows under UV light thanks to the help of vitamin B2.

What you need:

  • 2 Bananas
  • 60 g Brazil Nuts
  • 50 ml Milk
  • 1 Capsule of vitamin B2
  • 2 cl Almond syrup
  • (the above ingredients are for 10-15 shots)
  • 2 cl Cherry juice
  • 2 cl White Rum
  • 2 tsp Coconut Milk


Blend the bananas, milk, vitamin B2, almond syrup and brazil nuts. Afterwards mix the cherry juice and rum in a shot glass. Carefully pour the banana mixture into it (to get it to look like a brain, pour it very slowly and in the middle of the glass).
Afterwards add two teaspoons of coconut milk on top of the cream.

Step 3: Poisonous Frog Pond

This cocktail is very easy to make and looks extremely gross. Instead of playing around with different molecular cooking powders, the "frog eggs" are actually special basil seeds. They don't have a taste and can be bought in Asia markets. 
This cocktail "glows" under UV light because of quinine that can be found in the tonic water.

What you need:

  • Tukmaria seeds (e.g. from an Asia market or amazon)
  • 4 cl Gin
  • 2 cl Apricot Brandy
  • 1 cl Lime Juice
  • Tonic Water


Soak the seeds in water. It will take about 15 to 30 minutes for all of them to form a protective gel layer. In the mean time mix the gin, Brandy and lime juice and fill the glass with Tonic Water. Now all that is left to do is to add the seeds and you are done.
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