After a long day at work, you come home and take off your shoes, kiss your family hello and pour a glass of your favourite brand of whisky. The whisky gives you a moment to calm your nerves and helps with tuning your mind over to home-mode so you can forget about the outside world for a moment. However, you are feeling hot, and you would like something cold to refresh your body, which is when it hits you that you need the whisky to be cold. While some people are happy to add a few ice cubes, others don’t like the idea of diluting their precious drink
This leaves us with the question; can you keep your whisky in the freezer?
The answer is yes, you can keep your whisky in the freezer although I wouldn’t recommend it. Due to the ethanol content whisky will only freeze around at around -27 degrees C and there is little chance your home freezer will ever get close to that. There are better options for chilling your whisky; keep reading to learn more.
Does Whisky Freeze?
Whisky won’t turn solid even if you leave it in the freezer for hours or days; this is assuming that you have a standard home freezer. However, whisky is a liquid, and all liquids can freeze when the temperature is right. A standard, commercial freezer can produce cold temperatures as low as -18C. This temperature range is not enough to freeze whisky. This is because whiskey freezes when exposed to freezing temperatures of -27C.
As such, you can put your whiskey in the freezer without worrying that it might turn into ice.
Why doesn’t whisky and other alcoholic drinks freeze under the same temperatures as water?
Alcohol contains ethanol, which has a lower freezing point than water. However, this doesn’t mean that all liquor has the same freezing point. Instead, the freezing point of alcohol is dictated by the amount of ethanol contained. To help you understand this concept, you need to know that ABV or alc/vol is the standard measure of the amount of ethanol contained in a particular drink. The amount of alcohol in some brands, especially those whose origin is the USA, is indicated as proof. To get the ABV, you need to divide the proof value by two.
The following list contains common alcoholic drinks and their freezing point. Generally, the higher the amount of ethanol, the lower the freezing point.
- 40 Proof (20% ABV) Liquor
They have a freezing temperature of 22°F (-7°C). Depending on the type of freezer and the exact position you place the bottle, it might get slushy or even wholly frozen if left in for several hours or days.
- 60 Proof (30% ABV) Liquor
Liquors with 60 per cent alcohol have a freezing point of 21°F (-6°C). They include flavoured vodkas, whiskeys and amaretto and are usually ok in standard commercial freezers.
- 80 Proof (40% ABV)
They have a freezing point of 1°F (-17°C), which means that they will hardly freeze in commercial freezers. The list includes gins, vodkas and whiskeys with high alcohol content.
Most wines usually have an alcohol percentage of 8-14%. Their freezing point is around 23°F (-5°C). You may keep in your freezer for only one hour; do not exceed.
Most beers have an alcohol percentage of 3-10%, which leaves them with the highest freezing temperatures on this list. They usually freeze after staying under temperatures of 28°F (-2°C) and should only stay in the freezer for less than fifteen minutes.
Note This information changes depending on the type of freezer used and the set-temperature. It would help if you also were careful when freezing liquor as it’s possible the glass could crack in lower temperatures.
Will freezing whisky ruin the flavour?
While keeping whiskey in the freezer won’t turn it into ice, it will dull the flavours if you pull out the bottle and immediately start pouring. Instead, we would recommend you keep it aside for a while and let it chill. However, if you have already opened the bottle, don’t put it in the freezer for too long. This is because your spirit will oxidise and slowly begin to lose the smells and flavours; essentially ruining the drink.
What is the optimal temperature to drink whisky?
Every whisky lover has the right, freedom and privilege to consume their favourite brand in a way that befits their taste and preference. According to professionals in the whisky world, however, the ideal temperature for whisky should be between 15.5C and 18.5C. Given that most people don’t appreciate putting ice cubes in their whiskey, it would be wise to seek ways in which to maintain the ideal drinking temperature.
Some of the best ideas you should put into consideration include:
- If your home is warmer than that, you may place your whisky in the fridge an hour before serving, which will ensure that your liquor has the ideal drinking temperature. This idea is suitable whether or not the bottle is open.
- If you are a hard-core whisky enthusiast, you may invest in a storage unit designed especially for whisky. These units come in handy in keeping a constant temperature. This means that you can enjoy your liquor at any given time without risking its flavour.
- If you don’t want to go that far, you could store your liquor in areas like the basement or any room that might be cooler than your average home temperature.
- Alternatively, you may opt to go for whisky stones, which have the same working mechanism as ice cubes but without needing to add water into your drink. These cubes can be made of either stone or steel. To use these cubes, you put them in the freezer for a few hours before sliding them into your drink. They will chill your drink without the side effects that come with diluting your spirit. You can add as many as you want to achieve your desired temperature.
How should I store or place my whisky in the freezer?
When storing whisky either in the freezer or cabinet, most people place their bottles horizontally like a wine bottle. However, whisky should be stored vertically. The issue here is the cork. While the wine’s cork should remain moist, the one found in high proof brands of whisky will degrade over time and cause the liquor to spill. As such, ensure that you store your whisky bottle vertically, especially if you slowly enjoy your favourite spirits over weeks or months.
I hope you have found this helpful, there are many different ways to chill your whisky so you can enjoy it at just the right temperature without doing any damage or ruining the flavours the distiller intended you to experience.