During the hot, hazy days of summer, one of the most refreshing ways to beat the heat is kicking back with a cold beverage. To some, the sound of ice cubes clinking against the glass or the sight of condensation forming on the outside of a soda can is the stuff summer memories are made of.
But there are times when you won't have a cold drink immediately on hand. Many people stock unopened six-packs in cupboards before using them, so when it's time to enjoy them they're at that unpleasant stage known as room temperature.
Understandably, some of us want a cold beverage sooner than later. But chilling a drink the traditional way -- in the refrigerator or freezer -- might take a little too long, only making those muggy summer hours feel even longer. The freezer obviously speeds things up the most, but it takes about an hour to get a can of soda to a low enough temperature. You also run the risk of freezing the liquid, ruining your drink and forcing you to start over, making the whole process of waiting -- something you tried to avoid in the first place -- take that much longer. Using a refrigerator isn't much better. In fact, it can take several hours to cool a drink.
The problem of beverage temperature includes not just beer and soda but most white wines, too, since many people usually enjoy it chilled a little below room temperature. If you've bought a bottle of wine for dinner and forget to put it in the fridge for a few hours before serving time, you either have to wait -- which most people can't afford to do once dinner has finished cooking -- or forget about it.
When there's a problem like this, however, you can count on someone to think of a way to take care of it. Fortunately for those of us who cringe at the thought of a tepid can of soda or beer, rapid drink chillers can cool your beverages down in a matter of minutes. How do these machines help our drinks keep their cool?