‘Danger’ cocktail not on our menu

Cocktail containing liquid nitrogen
Cocktail containing liquid nitrogen
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“It would never happen here.” That was the message from Fylde coast landlords after a girl drank a cocktail containing liquid nitrogen.

Gaby Scanlon, from Heysham, had to have her stomach removed in an emergency operation after consuming the potentially-lethal drink on her 18th birthday in a bar in Lancaster.

Not one bar on the Fylde coast has been found to use liquid nitrogen.

And owners today said they thought it would be stupid and reckless if they did – but they are concerned the incident might put customers off ordering some more eye-catching drinks.

Abi Woodcock, co-owner of Grapevine in Poulton, said: “This liquid nitrogen stuff is used to freeze warts off. It would be idiotic to put it in a drink.

“It does worry me that it might tar us all with the same brush.

“People might think ‘oh my God, it that what cocktails they are serving?’

“But people that come into places like ours know the kind of stuff we do. We go on taste and flavour, nothing else.”

Miss Scanlon is recovering in the Royal Lancaster Infirmary after Thursday’s incident and faces a lifetime of specialist medical treatment in order to live a normal life.

She will also have to stick to a strict list of what she can and cannot eat.

Henry’s bar in Lytham is well known for its cocktails but bar manager Tom Brayne said they would never use liquid nitrogen.

He said: “We wouldn’t use it because we don’t know enough about it.

“You are basically doing an experiment and we wouldn’t be keeping to our licensing laws to protect people from harm.

“We keep things simple.

“The only extravagant cocktail we do is called the Flamethrower where we set a shot on fire.

“But we do that standing well behind the bar, away from the public.

“What worries me is we might end up with rules and regulations coming in about what a bar can and can’t do. The powers-that-be might come down on us and we’ll get less freedom, which would be wrong because we are a very responsible bar.”

Joe Peracca, manager at Mojito 
Tapas Bar, also in Lytham, added: “We use sparklers when serving bottles of vodka and we garnish cocktails with fruit but nothing else.

“Using something like liquid nitrogen is absolute madness.”

Lancashire Police – which is continuing an investigation into the incident involving Miss Scanlon – has sent a letter to Pubwatch groups throughout the region warning them of the dangers of serving drinks with liquid nitrogen.

However, Blackpool Council has told The Gazette it was satisfied nowhere in the borough was using the chemical in drinks.

Craig Southall, who runs Yates’ in Market Street and is chairman of Blackpool’s Pubwatch, said: “It is a shock something like that could happen to somebody just out having a good time and I’m pleased no-one in our town uses liquid nitrogen.”