Spirits with an ABV of 40 percent or higher — or 80 proof and above — can be stored in the freezer with relatively little likelihood of them actually freezing, but does that mean you should?
When alcohol is placed in the freezer, the cold temperature chills the liquid, but also causes it to taste muted. That’s good if you don’t really want to experience the flavor of whatever you’re freezing, which is why this might be fine for a cheap vodka, and why some producers even encourage it, but it’s a bad idea for spirits you actually want to taste, such as a nice whiskey or tequila.
The idea of freezing spirits really comes from the world of vodka, where marketing for the longest time has convinced us that a vodka that tastes like nothing is the best vodka of all. Putting the vodka in the freezer helps achieve this result. It also causes the vodka to be more viscous when you take a shot of it, another sensory trick that makes us believe the liquid is more premium than it is.
But with so many high-quality vodkas on the market nowadays, storing it in the freezer will cause you to miss out on the nuances that make the liquid so special. So it’s best to skip the freezer altogether and leave the chilling to ice.