Drink Masters: Is Dry Ice in Cocktails Safe?

Alex Velez, the cast of Netflix’s Drink Masters, is recently on highlight due to his presentation where he put dry ice over the bottom of his glass of cocktail to create the bubbles effect, which just smoked like a witch’s cauldron. Instead of being impressed, the judges emphasized the dangers of drinking dry ice due. However, it is safe to consume if you take the necessary precautions.

Drink Masters is a Netflix reality show in which a dozen bartenders and mixologists compete to make memorable and one-of-a-kind drinks. The jackpot is $100,000. Tone Bell hosts the show, and he and mixology experts Julie Reiner and Frankie Solarik judge the mixologists’ creations based on their level of creativity and adherence to the challenge. Of course, the drink must also be tasty.

The first challenge is straightforward: create your own margarita. And, because every restaurant with a brunch menu and/or porch has already put its own spin on a marg, the contestants will have to go above and beyond to impress judges Julie Reiner and Frankie Solarik. One mixologist achieves this by creating a margarita that tastes like chips and salsa. Instead of a salted rim, another person topped their drink with smoked sea salt air and five-spice syrup.

Alex Velez of Las Vegas, on the other hand, chose to “elevate” his cocktail by adding — or “anchoring” — dry ice to the bottom of each glass, to create a bubbling effect. Did this person realize that if even a speck of it remained in the glass, it could kill the judges? As a result, viewers were shocked by his presentation, inside which dry ice was placed at the bottom of each glass, resulting in a drink that smoked like a witch’s cauldron, and also wonder if that dry ice is really safe.

Previously, we touched on the filming location, Aisling, Loyd, and Natalie.

Drink Masters: Alex Velez Added Dry Ice to His Cocktail in the First Round of the Netflix Show, However, the Judges Refused to Taste It; Is It Really Safe if Added to Cocktails?

Each episode of Drink Masters features new challenges that force contestants to create gut-punching drinks. Likewise, the first episode’s challenge was to make a margarita with each contestant’s own twist. The challenges also included making dessert drinks, complementary flavor pairs, and roller coaster riding glasses.

The contestants had 90 minutes to complete the task. In these 90 minutes, the contestants were breaking new ground by making drinks with smokers and ingredients they’d never heard of before. Meanwhile, Alex Velez (@downthehatchets), one of the contestants, went a step further and added dry ice to his glass to create the effect of a smoking witch’s potion which became a major highlight of the show.

Dry ice in beverages is always a source of concern because, at negative 109 degrees Fahrenheit, it can be dangerous if not handled properly. Dry ice creates the coldest cocktails and is a Halloween party mainstay. Furthermore, the use of dry ice has altered the way we transport food and medical supplies. Should you use dry ice in your drinks? Yes, as long as you take the necessary precautions.

Alex’s overall entry in the margarita competition was his 3-Way Margo, which presented the cocktail’s flavor in jelly, air, and carbonated form. The drink and its presentation were both appealing. However, instead of being impressed, the judges emphasized the dangers of drinking dry ice, the first two different versions were fine with the judges, but judge Frankie Solarik paused before trying the third… because he valued his life. Solarik said,

If I was consume one of those pellets, it will stick to my esophagus, matter-of-factly. It will then create carbon dioxide and I will choke to death.

That’s difficult to argue with! The judges, including host Tone Bell, declined to try Alex’s witchy and lethal concoction because if they did, the mixologists would be serving drinks to an empty table for the next nine episodes. Alex was eliminated after finishing in the bottom three. Yes, two other cocktails fell short of the judges’ expectations, but they could still drink them!

So… in Alex’s defense, using dry ice in cocktails is a thing. However, every recipe or article about dry ice cocktails includes a strong warning about not consuming the actual dry ice. And as for what happens if you consume dry ice, it’s not good.

To determine who goes home, the bottom three created a smoked cocktail, similar to what Alex attempted with dry ice, but without the potential body count. But then… Alex’s bold decision to serve a room-temperature cocktail in a face-off round paid off.

When they tried an Alex cocktail for the first time, they knew he understands the flavor. They believed he knows more about flavor than he does about what is and isn’t acceptable to serve judges on a TV show.

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