Not all ice companies carve their Vodka Luges the same – and we’re not just talking about the shape, carving or design.
Ice Sculpture into Vodka Luge
To create a Vodka Luge, an ice sculpture must first be carved. One of the last things carvers do is it to drill a long-bore channel though the ice, usually 30-50cm in length. Once the channel has been bored through the ice, it can then technically be called a Vodka Luge.
What you pour through a Vodka luge will have a bearing on how long you can use the luge for.
The Science of Drink
We all know water freezes at 0 degrees C (32 Fahrenheit) however soft drinks and alcohol have also their freezing points. A Coke or soft drink will, depending on how much sugar it contains, will freezer at or around 0 to -2.2 degrees C (32 to 28 degrees F). Interestingly, Champagne will freeze at -5.5 to – 9.5 degrees C (15-28 degrees F).
How cold is a Vodka Luge?
Once carved our Ice sculptures and Vodka Luges are stored at minus 18-23 degrees C until the day of the event or party. They are then delivered in Freezer vans which are around minus 18-20 degrees. This means the ice is mega cold when stored and then kept pretty darn cold during transit until they arrive at the venue.
Most venues (unfortunately) are not that cold (minus 18 degrees) but are at a human-comfort temperature level – around 18 degrees C. That’s plus 18 degrees not minus 18. The temperature of the room will determine how long the luge will take to ‘warm-up’ and then begin to melt.
Even after several hours in plus-degree temperatures, the luge will still be at minus degrees at the core. It is this core temperature that will have a bearing on what you can safely pour through a Luge. The outside or edge of the Ice sculpture will be at or around 0 degrees hence the melting taking place due to the temperature sheer.
A soft drink or even plain water flowing through the luge will freeze the surround of the channel; not instantly, but over a short period through constant use – coating the channel. Alcohol however freezes at a minus 27 degrees (such as Vodka at 40% ABV) with pure ethanol at a whopping minus 118 degrees. The lower the alcohol content the lower the freezing point and no problems.
This is great news for alcohol drinkers. However, at a great many parties there are always some guests that do not drink alcohol – be they teetotal, a designated driver, abstaining or even under age. This is not good news for them as you can imagine.
To overcome this problem of excluding a certain number of guests from using the Luge, we have a solution; instead of just drilling a channel through the ice and leaving at that, we go one step further and insert a plastic sheaf or tubing. A small funnel is placed at the very top to guide the chosen drink through and into the tubing. This solves the problem of soft drinks and of course alcohol. The drink will come in contact with the plastic tubing and not the bare ice thus there is no chance of the channel freezing, being constricted or not do doing what it should do; let the cold drink flow.
A second benefit of using a Luge with a plastic sheaf is that ANY drink can be used through the Luge with no residue left on the tubing for the next guest to taste what the previous guest had. If coloured drink is used, there will be no staining of the ice.
Luges with a plastic sheaf lets everyone at the party or event to ‘have a go’. A Vodka Luge is all about a Tasting Experience of different drinks – The Vodka Luge Experience. The wider the choice of drinks, the greater the experience.
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At what temperature does Champagne freeze?
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What is the Freezing Point of Alcohol