We in the blacklight amusement industry typically love our black light toys… It’s a good day when we get to buy (or build) new UV reactive props, scenery, costumes, etc. We take pride in having amazing-looking facilities that glow from top to bottom, but most of us abandon our black light magic in an important area of our business: concessions. Most blacklight amusement venues have decidedly non-glowing snack options. Today we’re launching the first in an on-going series of posts that will highlight UV reactive food options that can turn your snack bar into a black light wonderland!
Black Light Food
The food that glows the brightest under black lights is tonic water. Tonic water is a carbonated beverage, most famously used in the alcoholic drink “gin and tonic”. Tonic water contains quinine, which is the ingredient that is UV reactive. Tonic water can be used in creating (or added to) a large variety of foods, including our black light food of the day: frosting!
When Tiki Storm (our blacklight theming company) started making plans for our annual blacklight Halloween party, I decided I wanted to explore some uv reactive snack options. After a moderately intensive search of the web I finally found a recipe that seemed approachable, even given my extremely poor culinary skills. The recipe I found was for black light cupcakes. I found it on a fun blog called “Recipe Snobs”:
The recipe features frosting the glows (fluoresces) under black lights. I’m happy to report that I was able to get it right on the first try, and I made glowing frosting. I purchased unfrosted cupcakes, added the uv reactive frosting, and the result was a fun treat that many of our guests complimented enthusiastically. (The photo in this blog was poorly taken, in only partial UV light. The actual glow effect was much stronger in real life than is represented.)
Given that the part of the Ghoulishly Glowing Cupcakes recipe that actually “glows” is the frosting, there is nothing to stop you from frosting something other than cupcakes. I ended up with more frosting than cupcakes, so I added the frosting to some cookies we had on-hand. I could also see adding uv reactive frosting to brownies, fruit, or even a full-sized cake. It’s not difficult to see the application for black light amusement businesses. In most black light venues, children’s birthday parties are a large part of the overall revenue. Imagine the joy and wonder a grade-schooler would have when you present him/her with a custom glowing birthday cake! With a simple recipe you’ve taken his/her birthday to the next level (not to mention all the photos of the cake that will find their way to the web).
This is the first in what will be an on-going series of articles about uv reactive food and beverage options.