TRON Inspired Glow in the Dark Drinks





Introduction: TRON Inspired Glow in the Dark Drinks

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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

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

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

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.


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    44 Discussions


    2 years ago

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

    1 reply

    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.

    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. :)

    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.

    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.

    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.

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

    1 reply

    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.

    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?

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

    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

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

    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?

    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

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

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

    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.

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