This very specific question that came after saw I a travel episode where they served alcoholic beverages in ice glasses in an ice bar. I wondered if the drink contents would stay in the glass (of ice) without the glass (of ice) melting. I reason that the drink would be cold enough to not melt the ice thus allowing it to stay frozen.


closed as unclear what you're asking by Nilay Ghosh, Mithoron, A.K., Jon Custer, aventurin Aug 29 '18 at 19:20

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  • $\begingroup$ Hmm, actually it's very normal that some of "glass" will melt just like in normal drink "on rocks", it's just that the process will be slow enough, you may not even notice it. $\endgroup$ – Mithoron Aug 12 '18 at 19:55

Depends on the temperature and alcohol content. At 0°C, the container will definitively melt.

Below, your container will melt from the inside until the liquor is diluted so much that its freezing point is raised to the current temperature. (Or the other way round, water ice precipitates from your booze, concentrating it until its freezing point has dropped to the temperature of the surrounding.)

You can easily calculate the equillibrium alcohol content for a given temperature, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freezing-point_depression#Calculation (The result will be slightly off, because this calculation is derived for infinite dilution.)

  • $\begingroup$ So I assume there is a physical interaction that causes the solid ice to mix with the drink, but why do the water molecules “let go” of the other ones even in sub freezing temperatures? $\endgroup$ – Ben Johnson Aug 13 '18 at 6:14
  • $\begingroup$ Whenever there are foreign particles dissolved in it, the freezing point of a liquid drops, irrespective of the nature of those particles. The freezing point depression is (at least at low concentrations) just proportional to the number of particles. $\endgroup$ – Karl Aug 13 '18 at 7:19
  • $\begingroup$ @BenJohnson More to your question: A solid that swims in its melt is not static. There are always atoms or molecules freezing to the surface and others detaching. It's an equillibrium. An the ice in your experiment has two "melting points": The bulk melting point of solid ice (0°C), and the lower temperature where your alcoholic solution can dissolve the surface of the ice. $\endgroup$ – Karl Aug 13 '18 at 7:26

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