Summer is coming. The time of camping and icy cold drinks. I've been working on developing a freeze dried beer that comes in a small pack and rehydrates fully carbonated with all its alcohol intact. Once it goes to market you can say you knew me when. In the meantime, I can help with getting that warm six pack or vodka cooler cold in minutes. Geeky, yes, and yet you'll be so much more popular at summer parties.
Understanding how salt and ice interact will save you from many a warm bevvie this summer. Water freezes at 32 degrees F. (0 degrees C ) When the compound salt is added to water and ice, a new solution with a lower freezing temperature is formed. As the salt and ice molecules mix, the melting ice takes up heat energy from its surroundings and the surrounding water cools down fast.
Why should you care? Well, this little scientific nugget can keep you from ever having to drink warm drinks again. Instead of dropping your warm beverages into a cooler with ice, try adding water and a healthy dose of salt. And, there's no need to worry if some of that salt spills over into your drink. A little salt is good for you. Balances the electrolytes and makes tequila go down easier.
If you are in North America, you will likey be using iodized salt, which is table salt mixed with a minute amount of potassium iodide, sodium iodide, or sodium iodate. Iodized salt is used to bump up the amount of iodine in our systems and protect us from endemic goiter, a thyroid condition that arises from lack of iodine. In Europe, sodium fluoride or potassium fluoride is the more common additive, especially if they do not add fluoride to their drinking water. You may notice this in France. You'll also notice a slight yellowish tinge to the salt. Don't panic. Different culprit than yellow snow. They add a wee bit of Vitamin B9, hence the discoloration.
No matter which salt you choose, bada bing... icy cold bevvies in minutes.