No Thanks
Let

Keep In Touch With MarthaStewart.com

Sign up and we'll send inspiration straight to you.

Martha Stewart takes your privacy seriously. To learn more, please read our Privacy Policy.

Witches' Brew

Martha Stewart Living, October 1997

Serve root-beer floats from a "steaming" cauldron made magical with the smoke of dry ice.

You'll need a large cauldron and a chilled bowl that fits inside it (dry ice can cause glass to crack, so use bowls made of metal); dry ice (available in supermarkets); frozen root-beer mugs; root beer; and ice cream. Wearing gloves, use an ice pick to break up the dry ice (never touch it with your bare hands); place a few pieces in the cauldron. Cover the ice with water, pushing the ice under with a long wooden spoon if necessary, and place the chilled bowl in the cauldron. Fill the bowl with root beer. Put a scoop of ice cream in each mug, and ladle root beer over the top.

Comments (25)

  • qsbourland 4 Nov, 2010

    For those starting to freak out over the dry ice in drinks it is safe to put it in drinks, only not safe to drink it.. I have done many science experiments with it and was just watching Steve Spangler the other day where he did several things with dry ice, one being putting it in apple juice, one putting it in a pumpkin to make it ooze.
    Dry ice is safe when used with proper care. So use caution, don't let it touch the skin and have fun with it

  • xREDGHOSTRIDERx 21 Oct, 2010

    You should use a slow cooker, (think crock pot), that should warm the water, and keep the effect going.

  • jparaday 26 Oct, 2009

    how do you keep the effect going? I tried it but it only had the effect for 10 min

  • SaltyC 11 Oct, 2008

    thanks for the cool mist humidifier idea! Much safer for young kids

  • Rorie_D_Lion 7 Oct, 2008

    Has anyone been to Vegas? At the Hilton? There WAS Quark's Bar and Resturant. They closed, but they had "Warp Core Breach" drinks loaded with 20 shots and juice. They MADE dry ice with their giant freezer that makes it. Putting water in the bottom of all glasses. Putting glasses in dry ice freezer. Then when needed pulled out and filled up and served bubbling with mist.

  • Rorie_D_Lion 7 Oct, 2008

    Another thing... Glass CAN handle dry ice. The glass has to be frozen (slowly like in the freezer) when you start. Do NOT touch the glass once the dry ice is in it. It WILL shatter. You CAN then put drinking liquid in with it but the dry ice HAS to be made ATTACHED to the bottom of the glass...

  • Rorie_D_Lion 7 Oct, 2008

    Go to illuminations.com They have a cauldron and they have the mister that uses water and it creates this exact picture above. I have a regular "cool mist humidifier" from Target and that does the EXACT same thing! ONE gallon of water makes like 24 hours of continueous "fog". The health benefits are positive as well. Makes it easier to breathe =]

  • mrtylercat 4 Oct, 2008

    For about $20 you can buy a fog maker illusion. It creates the same smokey cauldron, but uses tap water. Mine included a light that changes from red to yellow to blue.

  • graziela 29 Sep, 2008

    Last year I bought some dry ice for our halloween party. Though it is a very neat effect it doesn't last long at all, just as harmony1mentioned. It was a big waste of money and time, we didn't bother with it anymore. I'm thinking I'll just get a fog machine for this year's party.

  • BethAnto 29 Sep, 2008

    The water does not have to be boiling just warm to melt the dry ice and give the smoke effect.

  • harmony1 29 Sep, 2008

    But how do you keep the ice smoking? We used to use dry ice for effect on Halloween each year, however, we always had a hard time keep it *smoking*! You have to pour boiling water over the ice to get a good effect, and it doesn't last long so we would spend the entire evening running back and forth between the kitchen (hot water boiling on the stove) and the front door (metal bowl full of dry ice). Frankly, it was a pain in the behind. Once they became inexpensive, we purchased a fog machine.

  • MimiCT 22 Sep, 2008

    Do NOT PUT DRY ICE IN THE ROOT BEER. Dry ice will peel the skin right off your lips or fingers or whatever it comes in contact with.

    Read the instructions.

    Root beer is NOT made with dry ice.

    What a clever idea, I'm going to try it for our Halloween party this year.

  • kailover101 20 Sep, 2008

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you make root beer with dry ice? I know at the last party I went to the root beer looked pretty smoking, scaring the living crap out of me, but it looked just like the picture does, except in a large orange container. So why not just make homemade root beer and serve it over icecream?

  • kailover101 20 Sep, 2008

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you make root beer with dry ice? I know at the last party I went to the root beer looked pretty smoking, scaring the living crap out of me, but it looked just like the picture does, except in a large orange container. So why not just make homemade root beer and serve it over icecream?

  • kailover101 20 Sep, 2008

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but don't you make root beer with dry ice? I know at the last party I went to the root beer looked pretty smoking, scaring the living crap out of me, but it looked just like the picture does, except in a large orange container. So why not just make homemade root beer and serve it over icecream?

  • IrishCoffee 20 Sep, 2008

    Please don't put dry ice in your drinks, this discussion is making me nervous.
    The recipe is a very fun idea, looks effective.

  • IrishCoffee 20 Sep, 2008

    Please don't put dry ice in your drinks, this discussion is making me nervous.
    The recipe is a very fun idea, looks effective.

  • Joss 17 Sep, 2008

    I'm with CherylRose and dastowers. The instructions make it sound like you have a bowl of root beer sitting in a cauldron of dry ice. I don't get the impression the root beer and dry ice ever actually come into contact with each other.

  • trishm 15 Sep, 2008

    I wouldn't put the dry ice directly in the beverage. I'm not sure if it's clean enough for direct food use. I saw someone do that once (I didn't touch it) and once it had melted, it was not pretty. Might not make you sick, but it left a gross film on top.

  • michi123 14 Sep, 2008

    you can add the dry ice into the center bowl, infact, to make your own root beer you would use dry ice mixed with water and root beer flavoring. its not dangerous and won't make you sick. the only reason that it is considered kind of dangerous is because the dry ice is cold and if you touch it you'll get burns, but thats not a problem with the rootbeer.

  • dastowers 4 Sep, 2008

    You add the rootbeer to the the center bowl, not in with the dry ice and water..

  • CherylRose 4 Sep, 2008

    You don't put dry ice in the rootbeer. I think that could make you sick, actually. First, put dry ice and a little water in a large cauldron. Get a chilled metal bowl and put rootbeer in it. Then place that bowl inside the cauldron. The ice fog covers the inner bowl so you can't see it. They make electrical things now that can achieve this same effect without any dry ice.

  • CherylRose 4 Sep, 2008

    You don't put dry ice in the rootbeer. I think that could make you sick, actually. First, put dry ice and a little water in a large cauldron. Get a chilled metal bowl and put rootbeer in it. Then place that bowl inside the cauldron. The ice fog covers the inner bowl so you can't see it. They make electrical things now that can achieve this same effect without any dry ice.

  • nufoxiemommy 30 Aug, 2008

    you add root bear to the ice cream just pour slowly.

  • khale 28 Aug, 2008

    Is there a "trick" to combining rootbeer and dry ice so that it doesn't overflow? I tried this last year in a similar setting and had to make a dash for the towels! It really was a mess. Maybe something to do with the carbonation already in the rootbeer? I'd love to try it again if there is a way to do it safely. By the way, I did use a very big bowl and it still went over the sides. The kids loved that part!

    KHale