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Why Doesn't Vodka Freeze?

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Ethanol in vodka lowers the freezing point of the liquid.

Ethanol in vodka lowers the freezing point of the liquid.

Ben Mills
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  • People who drink vodka commonly keep it in the freezer. The vodka gets nice and cold, yet it doesn't freeze. Have you ever wondered why that is? Will the vodka ever freeze?

    Of course, vodka will freeze, but not at the temperature of an ordinary freezer. This is because vodka contains enough alcohol to lower the freezing point of water below the -17°C of your typical freezer. It's the same freezing point depression phenomenon that occurs when you put salt on an icy walk or antifreeze in your car. In the case of Russian vodka, which is standardized to 40% ethanol by volume, the freezing point of the water is lowered to -26.95° C or -16.51° F. That vodka might freeze outdoors over the course of a Siberian winter, but will remain liquid in a normal freezer. Other spirits behave the same way, so you could put your tequila, rum, or gin in the freezer with pretty much the same result.

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