Introduction: Cool a Drink in 2 Minutes

How to cool down a can of drink in 2 minutes. A simple science trick to give you a speedy ice cold beverage which won't get diluted like it would if you were to put ice cubes in your drink. Perfect for cooling beer and soda cans in an emergency, and you can even use it for chilling wine bottles.

Step 1: Getting Started

What you need:

  • A can of drink
  • A bowl
  • Ice cubes
  • Salt
  • A spoon
  • A thermometer (optional)

When you have everything you need, go ahead and follow the instructions or watch the video for a visual demonstration and full instructions.

Step 2: Set Up

Take your bowl fill it with water until its roughly one third full. Then take some ice cubes from the freezer and tip them into the bowl. I used two trays of ice cubes.

Step 3: Chemical Reaction

Next add a couple of table spoons of salt into the ice water and stir it in. As the salt dissolves into the water, it will actually disassociate into its constituent, sodium and chloride ions. Water molecules are polar, and each molecule has a partially positive and a partially negative charged end. The negative end attracts the positive sodium ion, and the positive end attracts the negative end. This process (known as solvation) requires energy which is obtained by reducing the thermal energy of the water, hence reducing the temperature of the salt ice-water mix. The ice will not only melt, but actually get colder!

Step 4: Cooling the Drink

Once you've stirred in the salt, carefully place your drink into the solution and submerge it.

As the salt ice-water solution is so much colder then the room temperature drink, the heat energy in the can will be drawn out and the temperature of the drink inside the can will rapidly reduce.

Second law of thermodynamics states: Two substances with different temperatures reach thermal equilibrium over time.

After a minute give it all a good stir with a spoon and after 2 minutes its ready to take out. The temperature of your drink will have reduced significantly, and you can now enjoy a nice cold ice cold drink!

Step 5: Measure the Change

If you like you can monitor the temperature change by checking the temperature of a room temperature can, and comparing it to the temperature of a can after its been cooled in the solution. I left the can in the solution for 2 minutes and found the temperature fell from 75°F (24°C) to 41°F (5°C) which is a reduction in temperature of 34°F or 19°C.

This science is not only a fun and practical way to quickly cool down your drink, but it can also be used for making home made ice-cream.

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