Ice plays a crucial role in cooling our drinks, and cold drinks have a heightened taste, but we all have encountered the problem of having no ice or running out of ice. So, we have to settle for a tepid drink, which is unsavory, especially in the case of hot weather.
During summer, having your drink cool and refreshing is all the rage, but during hot weather, ice may not be accessible all the time. Also, some people avoid ice as it waters down the drink.
Hence, here comes the question, how to cool your beverage quickly without ice?
You can exploit natural streams/reservoirs, use chilled stones, chill the glasses in the fridge, or put frozen berries in your drinks. You can also use scientific methods like using salt to lower the freezing point of water. With any of these methods, your drink will be cold without using ice in no time!
In this article, we will dive into the details of each method of chilling a drink swiftly without ice and choose the best way to get you a refreshingly cold drink fast.
1. Exploiting Natural Streams
If you are an outdoor enthusiast and forgot to take some ice with you, fret not! Natural water reservoirs are a great way to cool your drinks.
Tie your bottle with a rope and let it submerge in water for a few minutes, and if you want to cool more than one, try making a fishnet of bottles. Be mindful that you are not using thermal flasks for it, and for quicker effect, wrap the bottle in a cloth.
2. Using Stones
Using stones to chill your drink is the best way to keep your drink undiluted while making sure your beverages are cold. Some people even prefer using stones over ice since they maintain the unadulterated taste of the drink while adding a classy touch.
Although you can buy yourself whiskey stones from the store, you can also use regular stones found in nature. Just make sure to clean them thoroughly.
To clean the natural stones from dirt, put the stones you found in a large pan, covering them fully in water. Bring the water to a boil, and boil the stones for 5 minutes. Remove the lid and wait for the water to stop boiling before removing the stones with prongs.
To use the stones to chill your drink, start by putting them in the freezer. The stones absorb and lose heat quickly, so they don’t take much time to cool. After about 20-30 minutes, put the stones in your drink and enjoy!
3. Using a Damp Cloth
It is the simplest method to cool your drinks. Try wrapping your beverages with a wet cloth/paper towel, and store them in the freezer. You can have a chilled beverage within 20 minutes.
If you don’t have access to the freezer, this method can still help lower the temperature of your drink. Just wet the cloth or paper towels in cold water, and wrap them around the drink. Although you won’t get as an icy drink as you’d get by using a freezer, you can still chill it quite a bit.
Before storing the wrapped drink in the freezer, remember to cover the freezer shelf with a plastic sheet or bag. The damp cloth can get stuck in the freezer if left in for more than 25-30 minutes.
4. Chilling the Glasses
Another simple method is storing your glasses in the freezer before pouring out the drinks. As simple as it may sound, this method comes with its risks.
Not all glasses can be chilled. Some may break because of their fragile nature, and pouring a warm drink straight into a frosted glass can cause it to shatter.
5. Using Coolers
There are two main types of coolers available for chilling a beverage.
These traditional coolers are insulated and portable. You can fill them with cold water and let your beverages rest for a while. For better effect, store the cooler in an underground place or under shade, and you can also utilize method number 3 above to reduce the time for cooling further.
CupCoolers are an innovation for people who love small portable beverage cooling devices that have an instant effect.
It is an electronic device that can lower the temperature of a 10-ounce drink from 77°F to 50°F in 30 minutes. You can cool your cans or pet bottles, but right now, sadly, CupCoolers doesn’t support a bigger capacity than 10 oz.
6. Using Ice-Cold Water With Salt
It is the quickest method to chill your drink, and you can have it ready within two minutes.
Start by taking a big bowl and pouring some cold water (preferably somewhat frosty) in it with salt, then swirl the bottle in the mixture. After letting it rest (especially if the drink is carbonated), enjoy it yourself or serve it to your guests.
Salt affects the freezing and boiling point of the water, which is why it is sprayed on roads to melt ice.
7. Using Frozen Berries
While it may not be the best method for some because it adds flavoring to the drink, it is the quickest and best alternative to cooling drinks quickly without ice.
Frozen fruits are not only good for making purees or enjoying non-seasonal fruits; you can also use them as a substitute for ice. Fruits like strawberries, grapes, and blueberries work the best in such cases.
If you need to chill room-temperature white wine or champagne, put a few frozen grapes in the glass. In addition to the chilled wine, you can have an extra treat to enjoy after your drink.
While grapes are less likely to impart their flavor to the drinks, frozen strawberries, on the other hand, easily break down, creating somewhat of a slushie and providing a quicker cooling effect.
8. Other Methods
There are not many other methods as good as the methods above, but the ones below are worth mentioning if no other methods are available to you.
Burying the Drink Underground
As crazy as it may sound, tucking your drink under soil cover near a water body can lower its temperature, but remember to mark that place unless you want it discovered after a few decades.
Using Ice Packs
These are another great stand-in for ice, but be mindful that they are not immersed in your drinks. Use them with method no.5 or as a wrapping. While some ice packs are harmless, others may contain toxicity; check out what’s inside an ice pack here.
Using Insulated Bottles
These are a great way to maintain the temperature of your drink (so cool them first) and can provide a notable effect when combined with either method no.2, 5, 7, or all of them merged.
Lastly, technology can undermine the traditional methods and kitchen tricks with its advancement, and cup coolers are an example of that, but all these methods come with their fair share of pros and cons.
The best method for cooling your drinks without ice is using cold water with salt. Frozen treats may provide a similar effect, but they dilute your drink, which is undesirable in some cases and for many people.