Last updated on September 26th, 2022 at 10:57 pm
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Alcohol is formed when yeast ferments and breaks down without oxygen the sugars in different foods. For example, wine is made from the sugar in grapes, beer from the sugar in malted barley, cider from the sugar in apples, vodka from the sugar in potatoes, beets or other plants.
The alcohol in alcoholic drinks is called ethanol, or ethyl alcohol.
If you are wondering if you can freeze alcohol it will most likely be because you want it to be very cold. Are you looking to make alcohol based popsicles, or maybe wanting to freeze fruit that has been soaked in alcohol?
Alcohol can be frozen, but it is unlikely it will freeze entirely in a conventional home freezer.
Ethanol, which is the alcohol in drinks, freezes at around -114°C ( -173.2 degrees fahrenheit). Most home freezers only drop to around -22°C (-7.6 degrees fahrenheit).
If you have access to an industrial freezer that will drop to -50°C (-58 degrees fahrenheit)or lower then you might have a good chance of freezing it.
However, beer, wine and spirits are not 100% ethanol and are mixed with other liquids which brings this freezing point up slightly. So, if you place a bottle of beer in the freezer for an hour or so, you’ll get it ice cold, perfect for a summer’s evening. But if you leave it in there much longer then you’ll find it may become a slushy mess and ruin the beer.
You can put wine in the freezer and it will typically get slushy (but not frozen solid) however often the wine will leak around the cork which means it won’t taste as good as fresh wine in most cases.
The same can be said for some wines with lower alcohol contents. You can freeze red wine. It will oxidize in the freezer over time but red wine can be frozen for around 3 months.
If you cook with red wine often but do not normally drink it, then freezing red wine in ice cubes can ensure you always have a supply for flavouring stews, soups, sauces and gravy.
Freezing red wine might be a good solution if you have a bit leftover and don’t want to finish a whole bottle. Just be sure to label the measurement, if you want to use it in cooking later but don’t want to thaw the whole amount you have leftover.
Red wine that has been frozen and then thawed definitely won’t be as nuanced as a newly opened bottle of red wine, but still can be useful. You could use the thawed wine to make sweetened or spiced drinks like mulled wine and sangria.
You can often add flavor-forward things like citrus juice and other liqueurs to punches and hot beverages to make some other concoctions.
Some people use the frozen cubes of wine to put in pitchers of sangria to get them extra cold without watering them down.
Wine slushies can also be made from blended cubes of different types of frozen wine.
White wine can be frozen, but it is not recommended. It’s possible freezing it could slightly change the flavor of the wine, but only subtly, and it is usually not anything most people would notice.
So if you freeze a bottle, do not worry. It should not harm the wine’s flavor, but it is definitely not recommended to freeze white wine on purpose.
Freezing wine may cause the tartaric acid, (the compound responsible for tartness in your wine) to crystallize. When the temperature of your wine falls below 40 degrees fahrenheit, it’s tartaric acid becomes less soluble and will bind with potassium in the wine to form tartrates.
So, when you freeze your wine, and then drink it after it thaws, you may notice this crystalline sediment in your wine. It won’t hurt you if you drink the sediment, but just be aware this may happen.
If you place a bottle of vodka or tequila in the freezer then there is pretty much no chance it’ll freeze. Instead, it will go super cold and may thicken ever so slightly.
If you enjoy your cold spirits then put them in the freezer, but don’t expect them to freeze solid.
How Do Alcoholic Popsicles Freeze?
Before you go about freezing your alcoholic popsicles, you’re going to need a popsicle mold. This will make the process far easier.
Once you’ve got a suitable popsicle mold, you can work on creating your popsicles packed with alcohol.
First, choose your alcohol. Most clear alcohol will work well here such as gin, tequila or vodka. Then mix the alcohol with water or another liquid.
You will want to mix 1 part of your spirit with 5 parts of another liquid. You could try lemonade, sparkling water or even cola.
You can also add a few other flavourings. You can try cordials, slices of fruit or mint leaves. White rum, lime juice and mint leaves give you mojito vibes.
You can then fill your popsicle molds. The popsicle molds will usually have a fill line giving you an indication on where to fill them to. Because the alcohol is mixed with water you can then freeze the mixture.
How Can Fruit Soaked With Alcohol Be Frozen?
Freezing fruit that’s soaked in alcohol is actually pretty straightforward. Thanks to the water content of most fruits, they will still freeze well even when soaked in an alcohol of your choosing.
One adult treat that is popular is soaking blueberries in vodka, then freezing them. They make a great garnish for a cocktail or a dessert.
The other reason you may want to soak your fruit is for a fruit or Christmas cake. Soak your dried fruit as you normally would then place it in a ziplock bag and place it in the freezer.
You’ll find the fruit won’t completely freeze but placing it in the freezer will preserve it further so you will have some soaked fruit you can use.
How Long Can Alcohol Stay In The Freezer?
You won’t want to leave your alcohol in the freezer for too long as it can ruin the consistency. With spirits, try and use them within a month. With beer, as mentioned previously, only leave them in the freezer for up to an hour to get them super cold.
If you’re putting alcohol in the freezer then it’s probably because you either want it incredibly cold or you have made popsicles, both of which don’t actually require any defrosting.