Now, this is one really cool (literally) idea for a wedding reception: a liquid nitrogen ice cream station! Sounds like something out of science fiction? Well, it’s actually science fact. Instead of the conventional freezing process for ice cream, liquid nitrogen is poured into the cream mixture on the spot and flash freezes it on contact – right before your eyes! The resulting billows of “smoke” are actually the nitrogen evaporating. Quite a spectacle for a wedding with an enchanted, magical or modern theme! Once the nitrogen is gone, you are left with an ultra-smooth, ultra-fresh cold confection for your guests to enjoy.
Styling Inspiration for Your Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Station
The basic setup for this type of ice cream bar can be staged in many different ways depending on your wedding theme. See these truly creative looks and presentations we found to show how varied your options are! Then, work with your wedding caterer or planner or hire a liquid nitrogen ice cream vendor in your area to provide the style you’ve chosen.
The Modern, Minimalist Look
If your wedding theme is contemporary and sophisticated, or the reception venue has limited space for this special dessert station, here are some choices to keep in mind.
1 – Omni Caterings (servicing the Santa Barbara and Tri-Country area) offers this sleek setup for their bar, with the liquid nitrogen ice cream mixture ready to be scooped into mini waffle cups or cones, then topped with the guests’ choice of coffee, chocolate chips, fresh berries, raspberry liqueur, coffee liqueur, Oreo crumbles, and cognac.
2 – For a touch of color and whimsy, La Bonne Cuisine Catering and Events from Oakland, CA (via Party Slate) shows how you can offer a selection of jelly beans, sixlets, sprinkles, mini marshmallows and more as toppings for the liquid nitrogen ice cream being concocted.
3 – Ice cream served in lovely stemmed coupe dishes and silver teaspoons can get an added wow factor from the liquid nitrogen technique, as shown by Ambrosia Event Services based in Southern California. Their partner, SuperCool Creamery, creates these frozen treats as guests watch.
4 – Consider hiring a liquid nitrogen ice cream stand, similar to this one from Ice Angels (UK). It’s compact and self-contained for easy set up and for serving your guests. Inquire through your wedding planner or do an online search in your area.
5 – Another chic and clever option is a mobile nitrogen ice cream machine! These are available for hire from Scarlett Entertainment for quick setup at your reception, and are attended to by their own “mixers.”
The Rustic, Retro, or Garden Wedding Look
If a more conventional air will suit your theme, here are some lovely choices we found for presenting this “high-tech” dessert station with charm.
1 – In this stunning example from a real wedding catered by Sweetwater Cuisine, the ice cream is presented in giant glass bowls resting on a tabletop bed of ice, while surrounding dishes offer up a luscious array of berries as garnish, and a quaint chalkboard sign invites guests to sample the goodness!
2 – For a sweet throwback spin, take a cue from the Bon Appetit Crepe Company located in Southern California. They deliver a variety of ice cream flavors made extra-rich thanks to the liquid nitrogen process: Strawberries and Cream, S’Mores, Espresso, Toffee, Dulce de Leche, and Vanilla Bean – including toppings, serving accessories (like these cute cups), and a trained attendant.
3 – Even more intentionally retro is this offering from Smitten Ice Cream with branches in Los Angeles. They provide what they call their “Wagoneering” service (note the Radio Flyer toy wagon on their display!) that churns out cups of freshly-made ice cream as guests order.
4 – For a garden wedding, see this gorgeous outdoor display by Kalm Kitchen (UK) (found via Toast Life). On a modern glass stand, goblets and dishes of ice cream are so prettily garnished with fresh fruit and berries, and surrounded by flowers.
5 – Also for a garden reception shaded by lawn umbrellas, an inviting buffet setup like this one from SuperCool Creamery servicing the greater Los Angeles area can serve guests their choice of liquid nitrogen ice cream and toppings. Inquire about their 40+ flavors, including some non-dairy ones and custom flavors upon request!
6 – For an incredibly wide selection to suit every taste, how can you beat the Whips Liquid Nitrogen Ice Cream Bar offered by Contraband Entertainment and Events Agency? This U.K.-based vendor claims to be able to offer up to 4,500 flavors at every service, handcrafted by their ice cream chefs! Hopefully, you can find a U.S. counterpart that you can book.
Sure, an ice cream bar is a definite winner at a summer wedding. But a liquid nitrogen ice cream station will take your dessert offering to a whole new level!