How To... Chill A Soda Fast
When a drink that's supposed to be served ice-cold is poured at room temperature... well, you might as well skip drinking it altogether. Here's a super quick way to make your drinks (canned or bottled) refreshingly cold -- and with stuff you probably already have at home: a bowl, ice, water, and the secret ingredient: salt.
Step 1: Water in the bowl
Fill one large mixing bowl with just enough water to cover the sodas you need to chill -- but leave a few inches of room at the top. (Depending on how many cans you need to cool and the equipment you have on hand, you can use anything from a big drink cooler for a couple six packs, to a 44-ounce plastic cup for a single coke.)
Step 2: Add ice
Add ice to the water, to fill it up no more than about 3/4 of the way.
Step 3: Mix in salt
Sprinkle in some ordinary cheap table salt - about a tablespoon for a big cup, and 1/2 cup for a cooler. The salt will lower the freezing temperature of the water, thereby making it a more effective cooling agent.
Step 4: Stir it up
Give the mixture a quick stir to combine ingredients. Next, then add in the can/s, and carefully stir them around every 10 seconds or so for 2 minutes. (Stir gently so you don't make the drink fizz all over when you open it.)
Step 5: Rinse and drink
After about two minutes, take the cans out of the cold mixture and give them a quick rinse in plain tap water to keep the salty taste from creeping into your drink. Now you know how to chill coke really fast!
Step 6: Don't let diet drinks get too hot in the first place
A note for diet cola and other diet soda lovers: Aspartame (aka Nutrasweet) breaks down in heat -- so if you leave it in the car, in the garage, or anywhere else that will heat it past 85 degrees or so for any length of time, you will be left with a really gross drink that won't even taste okay chilled. This would count for Diet Coke, Diet Pepsi, Diet Mountain Dew, Sprite Free, etc. Sodas with Splenda as the only sweetener -- such as Diet Rite -- shouldn't have this problem, however.