Morphing Cocktails Are The Perfect (Post) Halloween Booze

Morphing Cocktails Are The Perfect (Post) Halloween Booze

Look, cocktails are great. You know it, I know it. But after you pour one and then it just sits there, being all delicious. How mouth-wateringly boring, right? Well, in honour of yesterday’s revelry, we’ve got a handful of morphing cocktails that bring a heavy dose of eye-candy. They should pair nicely with the heavy dose of regular candy that you’re about to eat.

It’s the weekend, you’ve made it through the long week, and it’s time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo’s weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Boo(ze)!

Cacao Corpse Reviver Numero Dos

A modified sidecar becomes a new take on a Corpse Reviver no. 2 when topped with a vermouth/absinthe foam. This gives it a really cool layered look.

“I wanted to find an interesting way for it to morph from one cocktail to another,” says the drink’s creator, April Wachtel. “So the base- Solbeso, Cointreau, lemon is a Solbeso Sidecar, but when you add the Cocchi/Absinthe Foam it becomes an adapted Corpse Reviver no 2. The more obvious way to do this might be an ice cube, but I love the way a foam drips down and integrates itself into the rest of the cocktail in a way that can only be described as… creepy”


  • ¾ part Solbeso
  • ¾ part Cointreau
  • ¾ part fresh lemon juice
  • Cocchi Americano and Absinthe Foam*

Build all ingredients except foam in a mixing tin. Add ice, shake and strain into a cocktail glass; garnish with ample topping of Cocchi/Absinthe foam

*For the foam, you’ll need:

  • Isi cream whipper (whipped cream canister)
  • 1 cream charger (use 2 if you want more bubbles)
  • 1 gelatin sheet
  • 118mL Cocchi Americano
  • ½ oz. absinthe (or several droplets for visual effect)

Heat Cocchi Americano in a pot on the stovetop; bring to a simmer and turn off heat. Add one gelatin sheet to the pot and let dissolve. Allow mixture to cool. Add absinthe and pour mixture into chilled whipped cream canister; screw on top and screw in cream charger. Turn upside down and shake vigorously. Refrigerate between uses!

Ménage à Voila Martini

This one would win first prize at a drunk kids science fair. The combination of the cabbage juice and baking soda will turn this drink from purple to blue. Neat, yeah? But it doesn’t stop there. The addition of dry ice will not only cause an eerie smoke to bubble forth but also neutralize the baking soda and slowly turn the drink back to purple. Pretty nuts.

We asked Niccole Trzaska, of The Liberty NYC how she came up with this idea, and here’s what she told us:

“I’ll admit I had a little help from a chemistry competent friend in refining this one. I knew I wanted to do something with baking soda and dry ice, the cornerstones of high school science projects as far as I’m concerned. I was just going to do a cocktail that smoked but was turned on to the fact that dry ice could also change the colour too if I had an “indicator solution”. Turns out it’s as simple as cabbage juice!”


  • 1 part Ménage à Trois Vodka
  • 1 bar spoon Dry Vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon Baking Soda
  • 1 bar spoon indicator solution (cabbage water concentrate)*

Pour refrigerated indicator solution; top with vodka and vermouth (stirred). Pour into martini glass; stir in bar spoon of Baking soda to turn drink blue.

Serve the drink and as the recipient is consuming, carefully drop a pellet of dry ice and watch the magic (maker sure the ice is completely melted before resuming consumption).

*The indicator solution, is really just cabbage water concentrate. To make it, chop or shred one leaf of red cabbage. Cover the cabbage with water and microwave it on high until boiling (four to six minutes). It should turn a deep purple colour. Strain out the chunks of cabbage and use the resulting liquid as your indicator.

The Girl With the Mermaid Hair

This one may be a bit on the sweet side, but the melting cotton candy garnish shifts the colouration of the cocktail, adding strange, ethereal clouds. It’s like you’re about to be murdered by a gang of My Little Ponies.

“The inspiration for this came from the incredible rate at which cotton candy changes its physical state of solid to liquid,” The Liberty NYC‘s Niccole Trzask told us. “It most often happens inside our mouths but this cocktail invites us to watch the shift happen in front of our eyes, and not only does it look incredible but the melted sugar becomes an essential component to the cocktails overall taste.”


In a mason jar, gently place two different coloured cotton candy bunches (Mermaid Hair); mix all ingredients and shake over ice; slowly pour over the Mermaid Hair to liquefy and morph the colour of the cocktail. Once all is liquefied, top with ice, a straw and enjoy!


The next two cocktails don’t change their looks as much as they morph from one cocktail into another as you drink them. Both of them were created by John Henderson from Roof at Park South, and here’s what he had to say about them.

“With both types of cubes, the increased sugar content, resultant from the Cola, and heavier portion of Campari, will allow the cubes to freeze near solid. However, because they are a little softer than regular ice, will dilute much faster, so the “morphing” aspect of these drinks will become apparent in a much shorter timespan which works great for consumption especially if the drinker happens to be a fast drinker — it would be difficult to finish the cocktail before the transformation has been completed.

Additionally, the addition of soda water for the Makers cocktail, and the splash of tap water for the Pisco cocktail, help temper the heat from the alcohols themselves. Essentially it is a measured dilution, to allow the cocktail to be palatable before the cube melts to the point of correct overall dilution.”

They both sound pretty damn tasty.

Haunted Hacienda

The Campari skull cube transforms this Pisco Portón riff on a Manhattan into a pisco Negroni in no time. Obviously, the skull shape isn’t necessary, it’s just for bonus points.


  • 1 ½ parts Pisco Portón
  • ¾ part sweet vermouth
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • 1 Campari ice cube*

In a short rocks glass, combine Pisco Portón, sweet vermouth and dash of Angostura bitters. Place the Campari ice cube in glass and if desired, garnish with a small pinch of pink salt. As the salt hits the cube, it will spur the Campari cube to melt.

*Campari ice cube: Overnight, freeze a mixture of Campari and water, at a ratio close to 50:50

Morphing Potion #9

The addition of cola cubes slowly morph this Old Fashioned into a Maker’s & Coke. I’d call that a regression, but still, for science!


  • 2 parts Maker’s Mark Bourbon
  • ¼ part Cherry Heering
  • 1 dash Chocolate Mole Bitters
  • 1 2×2 cola cube*
  • ¾ part soda water
  • Orange swath

Place one cola cube into a short rocks glass; add Maker’s Mark, bitters, and soda water. Drizzle Cheery Herring over the top of the ice cube (which will slowly sink to the bottom of the cocktail for bloody effect); stir briefly to incorporate and express an orange swath over the surface of the drink.

*Cola cube: Freeze Mexican Coca-Cola overnight in a 2×2 ice cube tray.