We have heard alcoholic drinks referred to as “spirits.” This apparently became a term used, because of Aristotle. According to VinePair.com, Aristotle coined the term “spirits” for the distillation process. He felt that the alcohol put spirit into the body of the person who drinks it. Depending on how you decide to interpret that, you could be thinking, “I don’t want a ghost in me!” Oh goodness now. “Spirit” could be referring to just a move lively aspect of your countenance. But sometimes, when we imbibe too much, we might think like someone else has taken over our body!

The Glowing Ghost Cocktail switches things up a bit and let’s us, theoretically, drink the spirits! Sounds creepy, but just remember that you’re the one putting the stuff in the glass. The black light illuminates the Quinine in the Tonic Water that you’ll add – not alcohol. A flashlight or a light bulb will do just fine. At the bottom you can see the difference between a glass lit with the blacklight and one that isn’t.

Fair warning, the Tonic Water isn’t the most palatable of flavors. So go easy on it. You’ll still get your spooky moment. And if it doesn’t glow, add a splash or two more. Let those spirits overtake you and enjoy a little Science!

Glowing Ghost Cocktail Materials/Ingredients:

  • Black Light (flashlight or bulb)
  • Tonic Water (must contain Quinine)
  • Mixer (Lemon/Lime Soda, Ginger Ale, Lemonade)
  • *Alcohol if you know a good tonic drink


  1. Get a clear class (wine glass, drinking glass, whatever fits).
  2. Add 2 TBSP or more of Tonic to the glass. (Depends on your tonic preference, but you don’t need much to make it glow.)
  3. Fill the glass as much as you want with your preferred mixer.
  4. Stir together! (This is not a shaken drink!)
  5. Go to a dark room with your black light. Turn off the lights. Turn on the black light. (You don’t need to go to a dark room if you don’t want to. I made mine in a slightly darkened area and I just turned on my blacklight flashlight! Tah-dah!)
  6. Now drink those “spirits” and impress your friends!

My best suggestion is for you to experiment with some flavors before you commit to the drink. The thing about Tonic is that it tastes not very good. Gin can cut the taste, thus Gin n’ Tonics, but not all of us are feel like adding some gin to our drink. My daughter prefers 7UP and Ginger Ale. Clearish liquids don’t affect the black light color changing, so be careful about how murky you decide to make it. Playing around with different liquids, now that you know it’s the Tonic that makes it glow, can be another fun adventure. Keep it light and remember you don’t need alcohol for this drink to work.

Share your Glowing Ghost Cocktails with us on social media using the hashtag #IGGPPCamp!