Boozy Brilliance

Alcohol hacks that will impress your friends.

Illustration by Michał Bednarski

That’s Rich

Have some old wine? Thiols, or sulfur compounds, are what give spoiled wine an unpleasant rubber or egg smell. To fix this, swirl a clean copper penny around in your glass of wine and remove. The copper from the penny should react with the thiols and eliminate the bad smell.

Keeping Cool

If you’re in a hurry and need to chill your bottles fast, wrap a wet paper towel around each bottle and place them in the freezer. The damp paper towel will evaporate and cool faster, chilling your beer or wine in 10 to 15 minutes. If you need an even faster cool down, place ice, water, and a couple handfuls of salt in a cooler. Salt lowers the freezing temperature of water, and your bottles will chill in five to seven minutes.

Bubbly & Bright

Experts have differing opinions on whether or not this hack works, but we think it’s worth a try. Place a silver spoon (handle down) in a leftover bottle of Champagne. Scientifically, the metal of the spoon cools the air on top of the Champagne and cool air is what prevents carbonation from escaping. However, in a 1994 Stanford University experiment, the spoon trick was debunked. The best way to maintain the fizz? Keep your Champagne as cold as possible–spoon or no spoon.

In a Jam

Even if you don’t have the right mixers, you can make a great cocktail using common—but unexpected—ingredients. For example, combine your favorite spirit, fruit jam, and lemon or lime juice. Add ice and shake well to make a perfectly tart and fruity cocktail. For more last-minute cocktail inspiration, visit CocktailBuilder.com. Type in the ingredients you already have, and the site will automatically generate a list of the recipes you can make. 


This article originally appeared in our Drink 2019 issue.

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