This One Simple Trick Will Make You the Coolest Host Ever

Its beginning a lot to look like Christmas
December 15, 2016
Genius Cooking Tricks That Professional Chefs Use
December 15, 2016

Room temperature vodka is a travesty. You want that stuff as cold as possible. That’s a given. But how do you manage that while throwing a party? Trips to the freezer are annoying, and you want the booze to keep flowing freely. It would be great if you could just coat your bottles in ice and forget about them. Good thing you can do exactly that.

Setting down a bottle that’s been frozen in a block of ice is dramatic, sure, but it’s also practical: It keeps the spirit ice-cold the whole night, which mellows any, er, harshness. The one rule? Make sure you don’t run out. A crowd can easily burn through four or five bottles over the course of a night. Here’s how to form an ice casing using a milk or juice carton:

  1. Take an empty half-gallon cardboard milk carton and rinse well. Unfold the top so that it opens upright with straight sides.
  2. Place full bottle of vodka in center of carton and fill with water just to the base of the neck; freeze overnight.
  3. Once block is frozen solid, peel off carton and discard. Wrap a towel around the neck of the bottle and place in an ice bucket or on a plate.

Want to dress up your ice block? To make ice-encased bottles of spirits even more festive, we’re all about adding garnishes to the water before freezing, especially when they go with the spirits inside—think tequila with chiles, lime wheels, and mint; gin with cucumbers and rosemary; and aquavit with fennel fronds and lemon. Rectangular milk or orange juice cartons work for most liquors, but for wider bottles (looking at you, Patrón), flat-bottom gallon-size jugs are perfect.

If you’re freezing vodka, you’re going to want some Blinis and caviar too.