You’ve stuck a bottle of vodka in the freezer to chill it and pulled it out to notice it’s still in liquid form. While most of us do this just because we want our vodka to be ice-cold, it gets you wondering, “Is there any way to freeze vodka?
Here’s the good news. Vodka can freeze in the traditional freezer but only if you mix it in with water. The reason for this is because you lower the alcohol content of the vodka since the distilled spirit alone will not freeze. And when you do this, you can create vodka-instilled ice cubes to put in your cocktails.
Due to its unique freezing point, vodka alone will not actually freeze if kept in your freezer. Vodka by itself can indeed freeze, but only at a lower temperature than the common household freezer can provide. Every liquid substance has a unique freezing point.
Keep reading to get all the information you need on why vodka won’t freeze in your fridge, and what temperature vodka does freeze at.
How Can Vodka be Frozen?
If you want to freeze vodka for recipes or to make vodka ice cubes, again, you aren’t out of luck. But as the standard freezer doesn’t have the power to freeze most beverages with high alcohol content, you’ll have to look elsewhere for some help if you still want to freeze your vodka.
One extreme way is you’ll have to invest in some dry ice or liquid nitrogen to create an environment cold enough for your vodka to freeze in. If you put your vodka in dry ice, the temperature will drop to around 109 degrees Fahrenheit — far more than enough for you to be able to freeze your liquor. This is a lot of work, so we don’t recommend this.
A much easier way to freeze vodka is to lower the alcohol content and turn it into a mixture for ice cubes. You’ll need to cut the vodka with water so it is easier to freeze. Adding other flavors like cucumber, lemon peel or chili peppers could add that extra burst of flavor to your vodka ice cubes.
Does Vodka Freeze When Mixed with Juice?
Yes, it will freeze. With the addition of juice (like orange juice), you cut the alcohol content. Now, this will all depend on how much orange juice you add. You will need a pretty decent amount of juice to make it freeze in your typical freezer.
So you can definitely make popsicles or ice cubes infused with vodka, but you’ll have to experiment with how much orange juice you’ll need to get them frozen.
Depending on how much water-to-juice ratio is present, it could take a longer or shorter period of time for the juice-vodka mix to freeze compared to a vodka-water mix. So make sure you do it plenty of days in advance. If you don’t want them to be fully solid, you can also make frozen vodka slushes if you take them out sooner than later.
Recommended reading: Is Tequila Stronger than Vodka?
What is Vodka’s Freezing Point?
A freezing point is defined as the temperature at which a liquid turns into a solid when cold, and the figure at which it freezes is different for every substance.
The average American freezer temperature is set to 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Water freezes at 32 degrees. Alcoholic beverages have a much lower freezing point than water. Pure ethanol alcohol has a freezing point of -173 degrees Fahrenheit.
However, vodka is not pure ethanol — and we are lucky for that! The alcohol in vodka is diluted, so the freezing point figure of your bottle of alcohol will depend on the “proof” it is (or two times the amount of alcohol by volume). In most cases, a standard 80-proof (or 40% alcohol) vodka will begin to freeze at -17 degrees Fahrenheit.
This means your water will freeze in your freezer, but it would need to be much cooler for your vodka to start freezing, too. This is why you can stick a bottle of liquor in your freezer and it will stay in liquid form.
Other types of 80-proof alcohol will have similar freezing points. Whiskey, gin, rum — or pretty much any 40% alcohol — will also start to freeze at around -17 degrees Fahrenheit. However, these will never turn to ice in the residential freezer at 0 degrees Fahrenheit.
Does the Freezer Change Vodka’s Taste?
Vodka is made from fermented grains, like corn, rice, rye or wheat. Potatoes can also be used as well as fruits, honey or maple sap.
Some say that keeping vodka in the freezer may change the flavor of the vodka, specifically those subtle flavor profiles. So if you have better quality vodka, keeping it cold might significantly change how good it tastes. If you’re looking to mix cheap, inexpensive vodka, then freezing can help make the taste of vodka smoother so it doesn’t burn as much.
Putting vodka in the freezer will also change the viscosity of the liquid. Compared to room temperature vodka, chilled vodka can feel a little thicker, and therefore overall easier to drink.
A good rule of thumb is to drink vodka at 32 to 39.2 degrees Fahrenheit, so about the temperature of your refrigerator.
Check out this article from Grey Goose, Francois Thibault — “Here’s why you should never put vodka in the freezer, according to the creator of Grey Goose.”
Vodka and other hard liquors will never freeze in the average freezer. Vodka’s freezing point of -17 degrees Fahrenheit is why you can’t freeze your liquor in your 0-degree freezer.
However, the scents and flavors of the vodka may be changed if chilled in the freezer. So there’s a good chance that if you’re drinking the premium stuff, you don’t want to chill it in the freezer because it might mess with its quality.
If you want to try something different and are intent on trying frozen vodka, vodka ice cubes diluted with water and infused with other flavors, like cucumber, is a great way to spruce up your cocktails.