You're young, it's your 18th birthday, and you want to celebrate with a cocktail. But not just some ordinary cocktail — you want something fancy. Something that creates a mist-like vapor and will make people think you're Morticia Addams enjoying a spooky, scary cocktail while paging through The Pit and the Pendulum. So you order a cocktail, but, surprise! it has liquid nitrogen, a.k.a. plantar-wart-removing juice, in it, your stomach bursts, and you have to be rushed to the hospital for an emergency gastrectomy, ruining everyone's night and ensuring that all of your meals will be bird-portioned for the foreseeable future.
If this series of unfortunate events sounds familiar, that means you've already read about poor Gaby Scanlon, who, on her 18th birthday (in the UK), most-likely imbibed a liquid nitrogen cocktail and had to be rushed to the hospital. While out celebrating her birthday at a bar, Scanlon was reported to have become breathless and developed severe stomach pains before being taken to Royal Lancaster Infirmary, where she was diagnosed with a perforated stomach and operated on immediately. Lancashire Police, meanwhile, have deduced that Scanlon was served a cocktail with liquid nitrogen (the offending bar has since suspended its rocket fuel cocktail program).
Pretty gross, eh? Gimmicky cocktails are all well and good, except that those containing liquid nitrogen are not strictly safe, since liquid nitrogen can cause burns to the mouth, throat, and stomach, all of which are coincidentally involved in the act of drinking and eating.
Image via Ivan Pernjakovic/Shutterstock.