Enjoying a bottle of vodka entails storing it correctly, not only to maximize its longevity but also to make it taste just right whenever you want to have a drink.
Some people prefer the taste of vodka that has been stored in the freezer and if you prefer the same, you might wonder if vodka actually freezes. Here’s what I discovered!
Does Vodka Freeze?
While vodka can freeze, it will only do so at -16° F or lower. This is because pure ethanol has a freezing point of -173°F. Moreover, most vodkas contain 40% ethanol and 60% water. When mixed, water’s freezing point drops from 32°F to 2.28°F. This makes it unlikely for most residential refrigerators to freeze vodka.
If you want to learn more about the freezing point of vodka, whether flavored vodka freezes, and why your vodka froze easily in a standard refrigerator, keep on reading!
What Temperature Does Vodka Freeze?
For vodka to be considered frozen, it has to be at -16° F or lower. Anything higher than that will simply cause the vodka to get cold.
A freezing point is the temperature at which liquids like water and alcohol turn solid due to a cold environment. While water freezes once it reaches 32°F, pure ethanol won’t freeze until it reaches -173°F.
Since vodka is a mixture of water and ethanol, the freezing point depends on the alcohol by volume (ABV) or proof of a brand.
Typically, vodka has 40% alcohol by volume or 80 proof. In this case, the vodka would freeze at -16°F.
As the alcohol content of your vodka increases beyond 40%, its freezing point continues to drop below -16° Fahrenheit.
Why Did My Vodka Freeze?
If you put your bottle of vodka in an average residential fridge and the vodka froze solid, there are three possible explanations for it.
Firstly, you may have an above-average refrigeration unit that has the capacity to freeze items below 0° Fahrenheit.
Typical American freezers don’t normally drop below 0°F, which is why it’s rare for vodkas to freeze.
You may want to check with your manufacturer to confirm your fridge’s specifications, or simply increase the temperature to prevent your vodka from freezing again.
Secondly, your vodka may have frozen because your vodka has been watered down without you knowing it. Watering down vodka can significantly decrease its “antifreeze” capability.
Lastly, your vodka may be flavored with sugar or sugar water. Sugar can solidify your vodka when placed long enough in the freezer. It’s important to note, however, that few vodkas have enough sugar to achieve this.
To prevent flavored or infused vodka from freezing in an average freezer, make sure that your vodka has a proof of 90 or higher.
Does Vodka Freeze In The Freezer?
Vodka may freeze in the freezer given that the vodka has 80 proof and the temperature is -16°F. However, most residential freezers only drop to 0°F at most. For vodkas with higher proof, the freezing point would be lower.
That said, putting vodka in the freezer would still affect it in terms of texture and consistency.
Its alcohol content would become thicker because its water content freezes.
Nonetheless, the vodka as a whole won’t turn solid unless you can make the freezer drop 16 more degrees to affect its alcohol content.
If your freezer can’t be lowered to that temperature, then no amount of time would make the vodka in your freezer turn solid as ice.
Does Vodka Freeze Solid?
Due to vodka’s ethanol content, it would take a temperature of -16°F for the vodka to freeze solid.
You can accomplish this by putting vodka in an industrial freezer or by using dry ice and liquid nitrogen. Both can drop your vodka’s temperature to -109°F at most.
Does Vodka Freeze Mixed With Water?
Mixing vodka with water can make the vodka possible to freeze in residential freezers. This is because diluting vodka with water can lower the vodka’s alcohol content per volume.
Moreover, the presence of additional non-alcoholic agents in your vodka could lower the alcohol content further and therefore elevate the freezing point.
Basically, the greater the ratio of other agents compared to vodka, the greater the likelihood of vodka freezing.
Does Flavored Vodka Freeze?
Flavored vodka can freeze if it has a high sugar content and a lower alcohol content than the usual 40% or 80 proof.
This is because sugar water freezes, and the more sugar a vodka has, the higher the likelihood of it solidifying. To prevent this, the vodka needs a proof of 90 or higher.
Nevertheless, a lot of brands claim that their flavored vodka does not have sugar.
To better understand why some flavored vodka freezes while some don’t, it’s best to understand the basic definitions of flavored vodka:
- Vodka that is enhanced with natural flavoring that may or may not contain additional sugar, with the vodka having at least 30% alcohol by volume or 60 proof.
- Vodka that is labeled using its predominant flavoring to determine its class and type (e.g. Grapefruit Flavored Vodka).
- Vodka that is mixed with wine, but only if the wine does not exceed 2½% of the final output, and the percentage of wine must be stated in the label.
Based on these, flavored vodka may contain limitless sugar as long as the final product still has 30% alcohol by volume.
In most cases, vodkas flavored as whipped cream or tart cherry have the most amount of sugar with around 14 grams per shot.
It would be safe to assume that their sugar content and lower proof would require temperatures higher than -17°F to freeze.
It’s possible to freeze vodka given the right temperature and equipment.
Freezers that can go as low as -16°F would be able to freeze vodka but the regular freezers in residential homes only go as low as 0°F.
Additionally, diluting vodka with water could further increase the ratio of vodka to water per volume, thereby making it easier to freeze in a home fridge.
In most cases, however, a vodka with 80 proof will not freeze solid in the average freezer regardless of how long you keep it there.