Drinks that glow in black light

Updated April 17, 2017

If you want to make your next party more memorable, serve drinks that catch the eye by glowing under black lights. Quinine, an ingredient in tonic water, seems to glow with an eerie bluish light when seen under a black light. Any drinks made with tonic water will have a similar effect.

Creative Ways to Make Drinks Glow

Using ice cubes made from tonic water allows almost any drink to take on an internal glow. Ice cubes made from tonic water melt faster than water ice cubes so modifying the recipe for your ice cubes will make them last longer. Mix equal amounts of tonic water and water before you fill the ice cube trays. Make up several trays of ice cubes and store them in a plastic bag in the freezer until your party.

Energy Drinks That Glow

Serve energy drinks to your friends using plastic transparent cups rather than cans. Some of the popular brands and flavours exhibit a brilliant glow when exposed to black lights. The colours are quite different than you might expect. Some flavours of Amp energy drinks and Monster light up the room when exposed to a black light. The vitamin content of these drinks can cause the glowing effect. You can make normal drinks and punches glow in the dark by adding small amounts of vitamin B12. As it mixes with the punch, it will begin to faintly glow from the illumination of the black light.

Alcoholic Drinks

Any alcoholic drink that normally requires tonic water will glow. Vodka, absinthe and blue Curacao all exhibit similar glowing effects in drinks. Other combinations of ingredients take on distinct colours that is dependent on the colour of the components of the drink. Some drink recipes call for the addition of a small amount of food colouring to generate a particular colour to the drink. Some of the more brilliant food colourings on the market glow when exposed to a black light. Adding a few drops of one of these food colourings will cause your drink to glow and the intensity will depend on the amount of food colouring added.

Vitamin Drinks and Supplements

Vitamin B1, B2, B3, B12 and chlorophyll are some of the molecules that glow when placed under black lights. There are other vitamins and natural supplements that also have this characteristic. Many manufacturers have released vitamin drinks and whole food drinks intended as supplements for a normal diet. These drinks often glow.

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About the Author

Sean Lancaster has been a freelance writer since 2007. He has written for Writers Research Group, Alexis Writing and the Lebanon Chamber of Commerce. Lancaster holds a Doctor of Philosophy in chemistry from the University of Washington.