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What Is the Freezing Point of Alcohol?

Views: 55     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2022-12-28      Origin: Site

What Is the Freezing Point of Alcohol?

Water freezes at 32 degrees Fahrenheit (zero degrees Celsius), and the freezing point of pure ethanol alcohol is -173 degrees Fahrenheit (-114 degrees Celsius). Alcoholic beverages are a mixture of both alcohol and water (in some cases, sugars and other additives), which puts the freezing point of your alcoholic beverages somewhere in between the two liquids.

The exact freezing point of any beer, liquor, or wine is dependent on its alcohol by volume (ABV, or proof):

  • The lower the alcohol content, the warmer the freezing point and the quicker it will freeze.

  • The higher the alcohol content, the colder the freezing point and the longer it can stay in the freezer.

The Freezing Temperatures of Alcohol
Type ABV Freezing Point Notes and Examples
Beer 3% to 12% 28 F (-2 C) Not recommended for the freezer beyond a quick chill.
Wine 8% to 14% 23 F (-5 C) More than an hour or two in the freezer and you are putting the wine at risk.
40-Proof Liquor 20% 22 F (-7 C) Includes many low-proof liqueurs. If left in a really cold freezer too long, these may get slushy (it's rare) and permanently change the texture.
64-Proof Liquor 32% -10 F (-23 C) A liqueur and a flavored whiskey fall in this range. These should be OK in the freezer.
80-Proof Liquor 40% -17 F (-27 C) Includes most standard base liquors like gin, vodka, whiskey, etc. You're clear for the freezer!

Note: These freezing points are not exact, particularly with the beer and wine. A small variation in the alcohol content will not make a big difference, but if it's close, the chances of freezing are high. Use the temperatures as a general guideline, and don't push the limits.


Why Is Vodka Often Frozen But Whiskey Isn't?

Whiskeys and other barrel-aged spirits are rarely stored cold because the volatiles that give them complex flavors are most noticeable at warmer temperatures. Vodka, on the other hand, is a very clean spirit and has fewer volatiles, so it can actually taste better when very cold. Experts say that the optimum temperature for premium vodka is around 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Going lower than that with cheaper vodkas can produce a smoother drink and reduce some of the burn.

Don't Leave Drinks in the Car

When you are rushing around—particularly during the holidays—it can be really easy to forget about that great bottle of wine or the extra six-pack you stashed in the trunk. You may return in the morning to a big mess if the temperature gets too low overnight. When you compare the temperature chart above with the low temperatures possible in winter, you know that even your 80-proof whiskey is in danger at times.

On the coldest nights of the year, place your liquor, beer, and wine in a place where you will notice them when getting out of the car. The same goes for soda, which can burst even faster than alcohol (soda's freezing point is around 30 degrees Fahrenheit). Cleaning a frozen, sticky car in the middle of a snowstorm is not fun.

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