Woman says she was served a ‘toxic cocktail’ at Miami fundraiser

Charlene Sakoda
Odd News

Alluring specialty cocktails that make use of liquid nitrogen and its ‘smoky effect’ as it changes from a liquid to a gas, are gaining popularity. One suchdrink intrigued Barbara Kaufman of South Florida, until she experienced some extreme side effects after ingesting it. As reported by WPLG Local 10, Kaufman was attending a fundraiser at the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens when she says a bartender handed her the ‘toxic cocktail’ with no instructions. She told the station, "One would assume if you are handed a drink, or handed something to eat or whatever it is, that you could at that time drink it."

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Ms. Kaufman took a drink and just moments later said, “I doubled over. From what I was told, smoke was coming out of my nose and my mouth." She was rushed from the party to a hospital emergency room, then to an operating room. Marc Brumer, Kaufman’s attorney, said, "We know that she definitely ingested liquid nitrogen because in looking at her CAT scans and X-ray reports, there is gas and fluid in her cavity." Doctors said the patient was “gravely ill” and the liquid nitrogen caused small tears or holes in her esophagus, stomach and lower bowels. The liquid converted to gas, causing pressure in her body that doctors needed to relieve. After five days in intensive care, Kaufman felt lucky to survive. An owner of Haven on Lincoln Road, the party caterers, confirmed that they sent two employees to the event but did not comment further.

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Jason Savino, owner of Potions in Motion, a caterer with experience in the ‘smoky’ drinks, said all of the liquid nitrogen should evaporate before the drinks are served. He cautioned, "This is definitely not for anyone to mess with unless they are very experienced with the chemical.” WPLG spoke to dermatologist Dr. Lesley Clark who said, "You are looking at a temperature range between negative 350 to negative 320 degrees Fahrenheit…That is about 100 times colder than an ice cube." Dr. Randy Katz told the station, “It’s unregulated and I think in the hands of the wrong people who are not experienced with using this type of liquid, a lot of bad things can happen to patients.”

Video and more info: WPLG