In our age of Instagram, a cocktail is rated by its appearance as much as by its taste. That’s pressuring bartenders to be more and more creative with the visual elements of their creations. A billow of brume from a cube of dry ice never fails to add flair. Here are six eye-catching cocktails with dry ice perfect for your #ThirstyThursday.
Nazca Winter at Chica, Las Vegas, Nevada
You’ve never had a pisco sour quite like this. Served in a modernist goblet, it’s forged from Barsol Pisco Primero Quebranta, freshly squeezed lime juice, egg whites, and aromatic bitters. A hazy mist scented with cinnamon adds a theatrical touch. Make a reservation at Chica.
Berries & Bubbles at Ocean Prime, Washington, D.C.
This cocktail is sure to elicit oohs and aahs, even as everyone at the table rushes to get out their phone to snap a picture. With a backbone of Belvedere citrus vodka, Domaine Chandon brut, and housemade sour mix and marinated berries accent the tantalizing tipple. It’s served in a martini glass to highlight the fog of the dry ice tumbling downwards. Make a reservation at Ocean Prime.
Lollipop Passion Goblet at Sugar Factory, Miami Beach, Florida
Enjoy a tempting taste of the tropics. Pineapple, coconut, and melon hula dance together on the palate. Candy lollipops jut above a cloud of dry ice cascading out of the goblet. Make a reservation at Sugar Factory.
Rock Out with Your Conch Out at Three Dots and a Dash, Chicago, Illinois
Definitely our favorite cocktail name of recent memory. Designed to serve half a dozen partygoers, it features a “top secret” blend of rums, absinthe, falernum, and a quartet of sunny juices – lime, grapefruit, pineapple, and pomegranate. Did we mention it’s served in a giant conch shell with garnishes galore and a thunderhead of dry ice? Make a reservation at Three Dots and a Dash.
Lemon Drop at Mastro’s Steakhouse, New York, New York
You might recognize this cocktail from its guest appearance on Billion Dollar Buyer. In the vee of the glass you’ll find lemon-infused vodka, sweet and sour mix, triple sec, and fresh lemon juice. It burbles and bubbles, thanks to a chunklet of dry ice hiding in its depths. Make a reservation at Mastro’s Steakhouse.
Smoking’ Berries at Mitchell’s Fish Market, Edgewater, New Jersey
Think of this as a play on a kir royale. Chandon sparkling rosé and Combier cassis liqueur get a boozy boost from some Russian Standard Platinum vodka. The dry ice adds an air of mystery to the proceedings. Make a reservation at Mitchell’s Fish Market.
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Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell and Instagram @nevinmartell.
Photo credits: Sabin Orr (Chica); Jeff Marini (Three Dots and a Dash).