We’ve all been there. You’ve invited a few friends over — or even house full of them — and have realized that you haven’t chilled your drinks right before your guests arrive. What you have on your hands is a true party emergency. So, how do you chill your drinks in time for you to be able to chill out with your friends without feeling like a bad host? Read on to find out.
Fill a thick glass bowl with water and ice. The thicker and more insulated the bowl, the better. It should be able to trap the cold water and ice mixture. Add as much ice to the water as you can, but not so much that it prevents the entire beverage container from being submerged into the water. A 50/50 mix of ice and water is a good rule of thumb. If you just need to chill one or a few drinks, this is fine. If you have to chill many drinks, you're better off using a cooler or even your bathtub.
Add a pinch of salt to the water. A small handful should do. The salt will disassociate into its constituent sodium and chloride ions. The water molecules, being polar, will orient themselves accordingly. This is work, and work requires energy which comes from thermal energy in the water, thus reducing the ambient temperature further.
Wait a two minutes. The temperature should have fallen dramatically in a very short time. If it needs more time chilling, stir the remaining drinks in the salted ice water for another minute or two.
Pour your cold drink into a glass. It should now be about the perfect temperature to quench your thirst -- and the thirst of your guests. Just be careful: if you put in a carbonated drink like a soda, give it some time to settle before you pour it.