Three things the internet taught me to make alcohol better

By Alice Dore-Jones

It’s no secret that this particular Chalker likes to have a drink. However, sometimes you find yourself wanting for a fantastic drink but you have less then amazing options at hand. One can not have champagne chilled in the fridge at all times… one does not live that life unfortunately…

Here are three lessons the internet taught me to make those problems disappear!


1) There is a faster way to chill a bottle of champagne or white wine than merely putting it in the fridge or freezer (cause let’s face it no one wants to put ice cubes in their drink and more importantly no one wants to wait to have that drink you’ve decided to have).

All you need to do is wrap the bottle with damp paper towel or a damp tea towel and pop it in the freezer. The damp towel will freeze quickly around the bottle and aid in getting it colder faster. Purists will tell you to get an ice bucket and add one-third ice and two-thirds water so as to not change the tasting notes in the champagne/wine by getting it too cold too quickly but if you’re not into tasting notes (aka no expert) the freezer trick is awesome.



2) You can make a cheap/bad vodka taste better by putting it through a water filter. The theory is that the filter uses charcoal to filter out impurities and aids in a better taste. The article that I read indicated that the process takes out some of the burn factor from the vodka and makes it a bit smoother. So, it’s not going to change your vodka into a top-tier expensive one but it’s going to make it a bit easier to drink. I’m yet to give this a go but it sounds worth a try.


More about how this works here.

3) Learn how to make Sangria. There will be a time that a cheap wine comes into your procession. You will smile and take it… it will sit in your wine rack as an ornament that makes your wine rack look fuller then it really is. One day it will be the only wine you have handy (like on a public holiday or if having a late night party and the bottle shops are shut).

Sangria is your solution. It is a yummy drink to have and it makes you feel like you’re on holiday.

My recipe is a variation on this one. When you speak to people about Sangria you will find that everyone has a recipe that they think is the best and everyone has a secret ingredient that they think no one else knows about.

My changes are:

  1. Don’t add the sugar (there is enough in the soft drink). I sprinkle in some ground cinnamon instead. Do this to taste.
  2. I like to use the Blood Orange Schweppes instead of lemonade.  I like the orange flavour.
  3. I like to use one bottle of red wine (whatever variety is handy) and one bottle of sparkling (white or rose works).


Now make sure you drink responsibly and cheers!

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