Tuesday, October 18, 2016

DIY Pensieve Punch: A Glowing, Shimmering, DRINKABLE Potter Potion!

If you follow me on FB and Instagram then you may have guessed John and I are planning a Potter party soon. I mean, if the Treacle Tart experiments didn't give it away, then this video of our "Pensive Punch" certainly did:

Watch 'til the end.
And yes, the punch is safe to drink!

It took a little more tweaking, but now I'm pretty happy with how the punch tastes AND looks. Here it is in our illuminated stand:


This is one of those projects that has a HUGE "bang for your buck" factor, and you'll be surprised how easy and inexpensive it is. The dry ice brings the drama, of course, but the Pensieve is actually quite stunning even without it:


This pic is straight off my camera, no photo-editing whatsoever.

And if you turn on the overhead lights and look down into the punch - or ladle it into a drinking glass -  it looks like this:

 
MAGIC.

So, want to make your own? 

OF COURSE YOU DO. Even if you're not into Harry Potter, this punch is cool as heck!

So here's what you'll need:

- A clear plastic punch bowl:

This one is from our local Dollar Tree and cost - you guessed it - a dollar.

- A smaller bowl - preferably footed - that your punch bowl can fit into, like this:

We found this glass bowl/candy dish at a thrift store for $3.

 Make sure it's a good solid base, and that there's some space between the bottoms of the two bowls, because that's where you'll be putting:

- One strand of battery powered LEDs:

Like this.

Or, if there's room, you could also try a battery powered push light.

If your bottom bowl is not opaque - as you can see ours wasn't - then you'll need to paint it. A quick blast of primer and chrome spray paint later, we had this prettiness:

 

Other than the punch itself, the only other expense is dry ice, which I was amazed to learn is only $1.50/lb at our local grocery store. John grabbed 4 pounds, which was such a ridiculous amount we could have kept the punch bubbling all night. So maybe just get 2 pounds.

The dry ice comes in a small slab, so crack it into chunks with a butter knife. (Try not to touch it with your bare hands.) Too large of a piece will cause severe bubbling and possible splash-over, so start with the size of lime or smaller.

Note that dry ice displaces oxygen, so don't go shoving your face in the "smoke." You also should avoid swallowing any small pieces of it. Fortunately the bubbles make it easy to spot, but be extra cautious with kids, and don't let them serve themselves.

YAY BUBBLY GOODNESS.


Now, let's talk punch.

The secret ingredient for that oh-so-magical shimmer is a product called edible super pearl dust or shimmer dust or luster dust. (It has a few names, but the "super pearl" and "dust" parts seem to be key. You do NOT want glitter, and even regular pearl dust isn't fine enough.) 

Here's the product we used:
 It cost less than $4 at our local cake decorating outlet, or you grab it on Amazon for a little over $6.

I'd hoped something by Wilton would work, since Wilton is easy to find in every craft store, but here's what the Wilton Pearl Dust looks like in blue-tinted water:


Versus the same amount of CK Super Pearl Dust in blue-tinted water:


 It's night-and-day in real life. The Wilton Pearl Dust adds a slight glitter, while the CK dust is like actual magic.

Those were the only two brands we tested, so if you decide to try another, please be sure it has a big ol' "EDIBLE, NON-TOXIC, FDA-APPROVED" on the packaging. You do NOT want a cosmetics grade dust; it must be food grade.


To give you an idea how potent the CK dust is, this is just 1/4 tsp added to the bowl:

... and that's a heavy amount of shimmer, so you could easily use less. 

I'd guess one container of pearl dust should shimmer up at least 6 punch bowls - more than enough for just about any party.

Once you have your Super Pearl Dust, you'll need to mix it in a completely transparent liquid - so no pulpy fruit juices or creams. Alcohol, clear soda, or even water looks fantastic. 

Here's the recipe ratio we came up with:

- 1 Cup Sprite
- 1/4 cup Pineapple Juice
- 2 oz Blue Curacao
- 1/4 cup water (optional - I just found it too sweet)

Increase all quantities as needed. The result is a sweet citrus-y punch, since the Blue Curacao is orange flavored.

For a non-alcoholic version try Blue Hawaiian Punch, or add a few drops of blue food coloring to Sprite and any clear juice. (I have zero experience with punch recipes, so suggestions welcome!)


Serve in clear glasses, so your guests can oooh over all the swirling, shimmery goodness. 

Note that the pearl dust will settle over time, so if you don't have dry ice in your Pensieve to keep it bubbling, you'll need to give it a stir every now and then.


And of course you can make your Punch any color, so have fun experimenting with different liqueurs or food coloring, and with different color pearl dusts! If you do, though, PLEASE share pics over on the Epbot Facebook page, because I reaallly wanna see. [Bambi eyes]


Happy Punching, everyone!

****

Want more Harry Potter crafts? I have tutorials for flying snitch ornaments, floating candles, light-up wands, and more, all over on my Craft Page!

44 comments:

  1. This is sooo pretty! I'd love to see if someone makes an actual silver one, I bet that would look amazing. The blue glitter reminds me of a Lush bathbomb, so, eh, is it weird that I wanna take a bath in this?

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  2. Soooo pretty! I have no reason to make this but I simply MUST now LOL

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  3. Gorgeous! For a more alcoholic one, there's a brand of vodka thats full of pearl dust too!
    http://www.viniq.com/

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    Replies
    1. At first I thought they had used Viniq. That stuff is potent!

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    2. I have 3 different versions of Viniq, the original purple, the peach, and the red. It's so pretty and swirly to look at

      And I too thought that was what was used initially

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  4. Never thought to use luster dust in a liquid. that's genius =)

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  5. Stupid question, but what do you do with the dry ice? Just put it right in the punch like you would put ice cubes? How much at a time? Do you cut it into chunks? How does it come? I've never used dry ice before.. could you add a bit more for that step, maybe, please?

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    1. Ah, good point! The dry ice comes in a small slab, and we just cracked off chunks with a butter knife. You only want a little at a time - maybe the size of two ice cubes together - or else it will bubble so fiercely you'll get a splash-over.

      I'll go add that to the post, so thanks for asking!

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    2. Awesome! Thank you so much. I'm really looking forward to trying this!

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  6. ohmydog, you are the best! this looks great. so simple...i love it!

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  7. FYI: do not try to swallow dry ice pieces. It could damage your mouth or esophagus. You might want to keep the ice as a large-ish chunk so you don't accidentally serve little pieces to people.

    I can't wait for pics from your party. I'm sure the decorations will be awesome!

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    Replies
    1. Excellent point, Jessica, thanks - I'll go add that to the post, too.

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    2. I agree, and would recommend keeping the dry ice in a tea infuser or something similar when it's in the punch. Safety first!

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  8. Use gloves or tongs to handle the dry ice. You can get a "burn" from it.

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  9. So awesome! Now I need to have a party to make this for.

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  10. Note: you can sometimes get dry ice "cubes" from fish stores -- and it's what we lab-type use a lot of times (in addition to the big-giant-block kind).

    Also important: do NOT store your dry ice in an enclosed room. It'll keep for a long time in a freezer, but don't put that freezer in a closed mud room or something and open it up and work in there. CO2 in an enclosed area can be dangerous -- even just opening up the door will solve your problem, though. :)

    With the leftover dry ice, stick it in a glass and add stuff to it -- turns lots of fun colors and SCIENCE!

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    Replies
    1. dry ice can break your fridge/freezer actually... a cooler is fine though

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    2. Thanks Samantha for the clarification -- I meant in a box in the freezer. We keep a stock around at home for dry ice ice cream. :)

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  11. This is SO COOL! A favorite punch of mine is based on the ocean water drink from sonic, which is blue coconut syrup (I usually get snow cone syrup) and sprite, so you could replace the blue curacao with blue coconut syrup for a pina colada-y non-alcoholic version!

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  12. Here's a video from Steve Spangler Science on how to handle dry ice safely: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=62bNc0x5i_M Not plugging them specifically, but love watching their stuff with my kids and this post reminded me about this one.

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  13. Is my daughter suddenly having a Harry Potter 2nd birthday party just so I can make this punch? Possibly.

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  14. Hi everybody, I'm a physicist that messes around with dry ice for fun. It is very difficult to breathe in dangerous levels of CO2 from dry ice, as it triggers your exhale reflex. I tried inhaling the vapor once (with plenty of responsible friends around) to see what it was like, and I immediately pulled away and started coughing when I tried to breathe in. Unless you have the dry ice in a very small room for a long period of time, you don't have to worry about fumes. The only dangerous part of using dry ice is making sure that you do not directly touch it with your skin/mouth. Also, if you don't use a stand, putting too much dry ice in can freeze the bowl to your table. If that happens, just keep adding warm water until the ice melts, and the bowl will come free with no problems (also voice of experience).

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  15. Tres amazing! I wonder if adding some cabbage juice indicator would totally ruin the taste of the punch -- but at least you'd get some cool color changes as the dry ice sublimates.

    One of my students' favorite demos is on indicators -- a 1000-mL graduated cylinder, some water, some dry ice, some phenolphthalein, some bromothymol blue, and a little sodium hydroxide. Bubblin' rainbow in a tube! (Don't try that at home, though -- NOT potable substances!)

    -Zippy

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  16. Once I saw that shimmer I thought you just used Viniq liquors as it comes in fun colors/flavors and shimmers.

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    1. Yeah, I'm pretty sure Viniq uses the same kind of pearl powders, so it's fun to know the "secret."

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    2. Yes, their "secret" is definitely out!

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  17. Punch recipes are pretty easy. I bought a whole cookbook of nothing but punch recipes once. The basic idea is this: Have one part tart juice, one part sweet juice, one part a soda of some sort, and sometimes add a cup of strong black tea to enhance the flavors. You should have all ingredients COLD at the start and you can pour it over regular ice or an ice ring. I have a lot of fun with the syrups at World Market for sweet flavors. I loved pineapple juice, vanilla syrup, and ginger ale. It's all in the experimentation.

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  18. oooh, oooh, oooooh! I'm so excited by this :0) I'm having a Hallowe'en party so I might have to make a witches brew version of this with Ribena.

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  19. Unless we're making something like Hawaiian Wedding Punch (not relatd to the commercial stuff), we usually use Hawaiian Punch (the commercial stuff) with sprite or squirt or ginger ale. Just and FYI for Jen. :D I'm going to look for that pearl stuff and play at our next party!

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  20. Someone please make a green one with a locket at the bottom, and we can all sit around the party and weep for Kreacher!!!!

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    Replies
    1. Actually, put the locket under the punch bowl so it can't be reached.

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    2. Oh! Genius! I may have to do that when I make it :)

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  21. I think my jaw dropped on my desk when I saw this! Off to the craft store for some super pearl dust!

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  22. I'm so happy you included the video! My phone got all sulky and refused to play it when I saw it on Instagram. This is so amazing. I've never seen anything like it! How did you come up with using luster dust?!

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  23. What an awesome idea!!! A friend's having a HP-themed party soon, so I had to link her asap.

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  24. I've died. I'm dead. Jen and John this is just too damn cool. You've gone too far, I'm now convinced you're actually magic, there's no other explanation. Can I come and study under you and learn these ways of creativeness and magic and seriously you're awesome and have just made me more determined to have a Potter party for my next birthday.

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  25. Note -- the FDA does not 'approve' food or food products. The ingredient in question may have been "Generally Recognized as Safe" or "GRAS", and so no action is taken to _prevent_ its sale. Here's the page with the edible glitter info: http://www.fda.gov/Food/IngredientsPackagingLabeling/FoodAdditivesIngredients/ucm481466.htm

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    Replies
    1. YES! Cool though it looks, I'm not sure I'd want to drink that. Looks like drinking soft soap.

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  26. My granddaughters and I have an annual Halloween Baking party every year. We will be making HP punch for sure this year! By the way, the girls are now Seniors in high school and they still love this. As a matter of fact, their friends now beg for an invitation. You are never too old for (gruesome) cake...or cookies...or candy...or our specialty, "Spider Web Pizza". Yummmm

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  27. Fabulous. I want one of those! ;)

    (Not having a party. Not even that crazy about punch. But...Pensieve Punch?!!)

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  28. If you want a super-alcoholic blue punch recipe - this is an awesome one. It's light and citrussy (and it was in a really fun book by the same name by Kirsty Brooks).
    The Vodka Dialogue
    1oz Gordons or Sapphire Gin
    1/2 oz Absolut Vodka
    1/2 Barcardi Limon
    1/2 oz Blue Curucao
    1/2 oz Butterscotch Schnapps
    1/2 oz lime juice (strain it to get the pulp out)

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  29. I absolutely just read "SUPER PEARL/Non Toxic" as "SUPER Toxic" and went "uhhh whatcha doing Jen..."

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