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Vodka in the Freezer

Why Doesn't Vodka Freeze in the Freezer?

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Vodka does not freeze on account of freezing point depression.

Vodka does not freeze on account of freezing point depression.

Gary S Chapman, Getty Images

Why doesn't vodka freeze when you put it in the freezer? The answer to the question has to do with the chemical composition of vodka and a phenomenon known as freezing point depression.

The Chemical Composition of Vodka

Mendeleev, the chemist who devised the periodic table, standardized the amount of ethyl alcohol (ethanol) in vodka when he was the Director of the Russian Bureau of Standards. Russian vodka is 40% ethanol and 60% water by volume (80 proof). Vodka from other countries may range from 35% to 50% ethanol by volume.

Ethanol and Freezing Point Depression

When you dissolve any liquid in water, you lower the freezing point of the water. This phenomenon is known as freezing point depression. It is possible to freeze vodka, but not in a typical home freezer. The freezing point of 80 proof vodka is -26.95° C or -16.51° F, while the temperature of most home freezers is around -17° C.

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