"Smoke was coming from my nose and mouth." Gaby Scanlon had her stomach removed after drinking a liquid nitrogencocktail

Image via Facebook/Gaby Scanlon.

Gaby Scanlon was out celebrating her 18th birthday when she drank a liquid nitrogen and jagermeister cocktail. You know the type, it’s a novelty concoction that gives the appearance of a smoking drink. And it left Scanlon “close to death”.

“I turned to the man and asked if it was OK to drink. He said ‘yes’. Smoke was coming from my nose and mouth. Straight away I knew something was not right. My stomach expanded. The manager said nothing about waiting for it to die down,” Scanlon told the court.

Scanlon was right, something was going very wrong in her body, particularly her stomach.

“Immediately on consuming the drink she was taken violently ill, retching and vomiting and smoking from her nose and mouth. The liquid nitrogen itself is a dangerous product,” Prosecutor Barry Berlin told the court.

Now, almost three years later, Oscar’s Wine Bar, the Lancashire bar that served her the drink, has been fined around $215,779 after admitting it had not ensured the shot was safe for consumption and no risk assessment had been carried out into its dangers, reports The Guardian.

The company pleaded guilty to one count of failing in the duty of an employer to ensure the safety of persons not in its employment.

The Nitro-Jagermeister cocktail used liquid nitrogen, which is often used to freeze warts, to create a cloud of smoke in the glass. And according to the BBC, while drinks using the substance are not illegal, physicists advise that the liquid must completely evaporate before the drink is safe for consumption.

Liquid nitrogen cocktails were a popular trend. Image via Instagram (

It also emerged that the bar had received a letter months before the accident from a health and safety officer who expressed concern about the drink but nothing was done about it.


Scanlon was rushed to hospital with a large perforation in her stomach and was forced to stay there for three weeks, undergoing emergency surgery to remove her stomach and connect her oesophagus directly to her small bowel.

The solicitors of the now 20 year old told Preston Court the 2012 experience had "completely changed" her life, leaving her suffering "episodes of agonising pain" as well as unable to eat certain foods or enjoy eating.
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In an a 2012 interview with the Daily Mail, Scanlon said that the barman offered her a second cocktail on the house because it was her birthday, which was when things went wrong.

"The first drink didn’t seem to affect me at all, or my friends, but within seconds of drinking the second one, I felt instant pain. I’d been warned by the barman the drink might make me a bit gassy, so I didn’t think too much of it, but then my stomach started to expand and I felt sick," she said.

"Soon I was doubled up with pain. People were asking me if I was all right, but I couldn’t say anything because my stomach hurt so much. Everyone went into a panic. I couldn’t talk, I could barely walk and everything was just a blur of pain. I was so frightened. I knew the drink must have caused it."

The extremely cold temperature of liquid nitrogen not only burned a hole in her stomach, but actually destroyed the stomach lining too.

"I try to stay strong. I’m an optimistic person. It could have been much worse and I’m very grateful to be alive, but it should never have happened in the first place," she told the Daily Mail.

Have you ever tried a liquid nitrogen cocktail?