Summary: Transmission electron microcopy (TEM) analysis of liquid metals, especially mercury (Hg), is difficult to carry out because their specimen preparation poses a daunting task due to the unique surface properties of these metals. This paper reports a cryoTEM study on Hg using a novel specimen preparation technique. Hg metal is mixed with water using sonication and quenched in liquid ethane cryogen. This technique permits research into the morphological, phase and structural properties of Hg at nanoscale dimensions. © 2016 Royal Microscopical Society.