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Why Doesn’t Alcohol Freeze?

Close-up view of bottle of vodka with glasses standing on ice.

By now, we’re probably all aware that placing a bottle of liquor in the freezer doesn’t turn the liquid into a rock-hard ice cube. While it definitely makes for a super frosty cocktail, alcohol doesn’t freeze.

Or does it? Turns out, alcohol does freeze—it just needs a lower temperature than our traditional freezers can provide.

The main components that make up your favorite spirits are ethanol and water. And the freezing point of 100% pure ethanol is shockingly lower than you may expect, going deep below zero. And by deep, we mean -173 degrees Fahrenheit.

Depending on the amount of ethanol in your liquor, it needs a certain freezing point to fully freeze. Most alcohols are around the 40% range (80 proof), so those need around -16 degrees Fahrenheit to fully affect it.

And the average temperature of a standard freezer is 0 degrees Fahrenheit.

So, while placing alcohol in your standard freezer may freeze it somewhat, it won’t completely freeze into a solid form.

You could place your vodka in the freezer to keep it chilled or simply add ice to your signature vodka cocktail recipe for a frosty, delicious drink.

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