Main pic

Throwing a Halloween party? Want to add some seriously fun potions to the mix and wow your kids with mad science skilz at the same time?

Spooky Party Potions of Doom are for you.

Here’s what you need


The good news is that there’s no right way to do this. A trip to the grocery store for some crazy sugary drinks should do the trick, as long as you balance them out with drinks that have little to no sugar.

We chose Coke and some ungodly orange water drops because black and orange is about as traditional as you can get when it comes to Halloween colors. We also chose red fruit punch and sparkling water to create a blood-like mad scientist potion — which, frankly, tastes a whole lot better.

No matter which flavors or colors you select, make sure you start with the drink with the highest sugar content first, and then add ice, and then add your drink with little or no sugar. This is key.

Here’s why it works


Yeah, yeah, I hear you. The kids are about to go out and score some serious candy stashes, and here I am suggesting you get them hopped up on sugary drinks beforehand. Well, in a word … yes.

I know, our family dentist and doctor would be so proud.

But take a quick look at how much ice I used for these bad boys. It serves a two-fold purpose. When you’re pouring the top drink on, it helps distribute the liquid evenly to aid in the floating process. It also seriously waters down the potion. The kids think Oh yeah, Coke! Halloween is awesome! When in reality, I used a few tablespoons, if that.

So what’s happening? It all has to do with the density of liquids, or how heavy they are. The more sugar, the denser the liquid, so it goes to the bottom. The less sugary drinks can then float atop them.


You’ll notice at the store that Coke and 100 percent fruit juices have something between 38 and 40 grams of sugar per serving. These should be your bottom colors. Then you can add water, which contains no sugar, or something with next-to-no sugar on top to float.

If you’d like, try grabbing a drink with sugar in the 20 to 24 gram-per-serving range — something like Gatorade — and see if you can float three colors in your glass, starting with the most sugar, then the drink with the middle amount of sugar, and then the drink with the absolute least amount or no sugar at all.

Despite all the added sugar on a holiday already known for copious amounts of it, I like this easy craft for two reasons.

One, it’s fun. It looks cool and adds a little zing to the party. Two, it makes for an educational everyday trip to the store as you discuss nutrition labels and then, later, as you try to float the liquids.

So if you’re looking for something fun and mad scientisty this Halloween, here’s your treat!

About Mike Adamick

Mike Adamick

Mike Adamick is a stay-at-home dad, writer, inveterate tinkerer, and author of the best selling family craft book, "Dad's Book of Awesome Projects." He writes for the San Francisco Chronicle, New York Times, NPR and many other outlets when he's not sewing his daughter's clothes, woodworking, or training for crazy mud runs. His science book, "The Family Lab," is due in early 2014 and will feature scores of kitchen sink science experiments for the whole family.

You Might Also Like