Will dry ice in carbonated punch cause an explosion?
July 22, 2016 10:53 AM   Subscribe

My go-to punch formula is .75L liquor, 1.75L fruit juice and 2L soda. I want to put some dry ice in the punch bowl to make that cool roiling fog. Will the carbonation in the soda interact badly with the dry ice, i.e., in a Mentos-and-Coke sort of disaster? If so, do you know of any workarounds other than the obvious removal of the soda? Punch suggestions also welcome!
posted by Faint of Butt to Food & Drink (10 answers total)

You are at most just adding MORE CO2 to the soda so it may be a bit fizzier but otherwise you are good.
posted by Captain_Science at 11:21 AM on July 22, 2016

Yes, as long as it's not in a sealed container this is totally fine. (Along with the usual precautions for dry ice, e.g., don't hold it in your bare hands, etc.)

Source: many college parties with chemistry majors
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:43 AM on July 22, 2016

The only thing I would be at all worried about would be if someone got a chunk of dry ice in their drink and then drank it. That can cause real problems. As long as you can can rule that out, you're good.
posted by Anticipation Of A New Lover's Arrival, The at 11:44 AM on July 22, 2016 [7 favorites]

Beyond making sure you get dry ice which is safe for contact with food, the only thing I might be concerned about is that the temperature differential could conceivably crack a vintage glass punch bowl -- a modern tempered bowl such as an Arcoroc or Luminarc should have no problem.
posted by jamjam at 12:06 PM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

also, dry ice might actually freeze your punch. It will look like a snow cone, but (depending on the alcohol concentration) will be way colder than 0C. This will be tempting to some partygoers, but is probably still dangerous to ingest.
posted by mr vino at 1:24 PM on July 22, 2016 [1 favorite]

Dry ice will form an iceball in the punch and will slowly continue to freeze water out of the punch all night. Keep in mind that this can increase the alcohol content. We usually kept some extra mix on hand to balance this out.

You do want block, or at least big chunks. Little chunks and the small tube/peanuts shapes don't work nearly as well and are a drinkable size. As pointed out above, you don't want that happening.
posted by bonehead at 2:51 PM on July 22, 2016 [2 favorites]

If you don't have access to food grade dry ice, you can achieve the same effect using two differently sized punchbowls. Put some dry ice and warm water in a larger punchbowl, then nest a smaller punchbowl containing your punch inside the larger, like in this video. Add dry ice and water to outside bowl as needed.
posted by peeedro at 3:01 PM on July 22, 2016 [14 favorites]

I would recommend what peeedro suggests because it also prevents the dry ice from freezing the punch or breaking up and ending up in people's drinks. It's what we always did in college.
posted by crush-onastick at 3:54 PM on July 22, 2016 [3 favorites]

Use a metal punchbowl. There is nothing quite so delightful as gallons of blood red punch exploding all over newly refinished hardwood floors JUST as the guests are arriving. Ask me how I know this.
posted by cyndigo at 11:44 AM on July 23, 2016 [1 favorite]

« Older Cheaters getting a taste of their own medicine   |   Help coming up with questions for monthly... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.