(This page may contain affiliate links and we will receive a commission if you make a qualified purchase.)

How To Chill a Glass for Beer & Cocktails (Tips & Tricks)

Frosting your beer mug or cocktail glass is an extra touch that can take your drinking experience from nice to amazing. However, due to time constraints, very few people actually frost or chill their glasses at home ahead of time. I’m here to show you a quick and easy way to chill your glass for beer, wine, and cocktails in a few minutes or less.

Here’s how to chill a glass for beer, wine, and cocktails:

  1. Get a clean glass.
  2. Wet the glass with some water.
  3. Place it in the freezer.
  4. Enjoy your drink.

Chilling your mug or glass is a quick and easy process. If you’re ready to have a drink and think it will take too long to chill your glass, just know that you can have a chilled glass in just a few minutes.

I will also be sharing two ways you can get your glass chilled even faster and one great way to keep your drink cold.

1. Use a Clean Glass to Chill

Having a clean glass is probably the most important step to follow. 

BEER DROP: Boxes of beer from Award-winning microbreweries → Join The Club

First, your glass must be free of particles and dust, so it’s probably a good idea to wipe it down before using it for anything. If you choose to wash the glass first, you need to ensure that there are no soap suds leftover anywhere on the glass.

Having soap residue will contaminate the glass, changing the flavor of whatever you pour into it afterward. To avoid this, it’s best to use a damp towel only to clean the glass rather than soap. 

If you feel like it is essential to use soap on the glass, then be sure to rinse it as well as possible.

The type of glass you use depends on personal preference and the type of drink you want to serve. For example, beer mugs go best for beers but will take longer to frost, while thinner glasses are better used for cocktails and wine.

2. Wet the Glass With Some Water Before Cooling

While you could theoretically just toss the glass in the freezer at this point, you will get far better results if you take the time to get the glass wet first. To wet the glass, you can either simply pour some water into it then dump it out or submerge the glass underwater and hold it upside down to dry the droplets off of it.

How To Chill a Glass for Beer & Cocktails (Tips & Tricks)

Pre-wetting the glass gives the cold air in the freezer something more to work with than just the glass you put in it. The wetness of the glass will not only make the glass cool significantly faster, but it will also make the result better.

One thing to note here is to make sure that the water you use to wet the glass is at room temperature or colder. The reason for this is to ensure that the glass does not go too far above room temperature.

Placing a warm or hot glass into the freezer is a very bad idea. 

The reason for this is based on the effect of heat on the atomic structure of objects. As a general rule of thumb, heating things causes them to expand, and cooling them causes them to contract or shrink.

If your glass is at a high enough temperature (like just out of a finished dishwasher) and you suddenly force it to cool either by putting it in a freezer or pouring a very cold liquid into it, it could crack because of uneven contraction of the glass. 

The gas will begin to shrink where it made contact with the cold surface, and with the rest of the glass remaining at a different temperature, it could crack because of the differential.

3. Place The Glass in the Freezer

Once you’re done with the previous steps, place the glass in the freezer to start the cooling process.

How long you’ll need to leave it in the freezer depends on how strong your freezer is, what type of glass you’re using, and how much water you left in the glass. In general, you should expect your glass to be chilled in 5-10 minutes and as cold as it can be in about 20 minutes.

At this point, it’s best to open the freezer intermittently to allow warm air from outside onto the glass. Doing this causes your frost to form far more layers, making for a better look and a better final result.

The most important thing here is to note that you’re going for “frosted,” not frozen. Although you can sometimes use both terms interchangeably, that is not the case here. Frosted glass is simply one that has developed fine layers of frost on it. 

Frosted implies that the material is just at the beginning of the freezing process.

On the other hand, a frozen glass is quite different. A frozen glass will have ice, not frost sticking to it. The ice can dilute your drink as it melts and will ruin its taste.

4. Enjoy Your Drink in a Cold Glass

Once you’re satisfied with the quality of frost coating your glass, then you can take it out and serve your drink in it. Note that some drinks go better than others in a frosted glass. Many people also prefer to use warm beer in a frosted glass to gain a contrast, but you might prefer the beer to also be cold

3 Tips For Chilling a Glass Fast and Keeping Your Drink Cold

While the steps listed above will chill a glass in about 5-10 minutes, it may be that you don’t want to wait that long. The following are a couple of ways to get your beer or cocktail glass ice-cold even faster. I’ll then share a tip for keeping your drink cold while you’re enjoying it.

Put Some Ice and Water Into a Glass to Chill It Quickly

One surefire way to chill your glass fast is to use ice. If you have some cubed or crushed ice available, pour it into the glass you want to chill, followed by some cool or cold water (or better yet some cold soda water from the fridge) to bring the glass down to your desired temperature. This can work wonders!

The ice cubes chill the water, which chills the rest of the glass. This is one of the best ways to get a room temperature glass nice and cold really fast.

For better results, you can also put the entire glass, with the water and ice, into the freezer for a few minutes and wait for it to chill properly. Once you’re satisfied with the temperature of the glass, you can pour the ice water out and serve your drink.

A bartenders tips for chilling a glass.

Use Cold Vodka From The Freezer to Chill Your Glass

Alternatively, if you want a chilled glass instantly you can pour cold vodka into a glass. This is one of the quickest ways to chill glassware. Alcohol freezes at a significantly lower temperature than water due to its lower freezing point.

For this method, you will want to keep a bottle of vodka in the freezer ready to go at a moment’s notice. Because vodka contains a high amount of alcohol, it will get ice-cold but won’t freeze at normal freezer temperatures.

This lower freezing point makes it a very good choice for chilling your glass. Just fill your glass with the cold vodka and give it a couple of minutes to chill the glass.

If you’re not a vodka drinker you can just pour it back into the bottle so it’s available for the next time you need to get a glass cold quickly.

The problem with this method is that while it is very efficient, the taste of vodka will stay in the glass and flavor whatever drink you pour into it afterward.

Depending on your drink this might be okay. If not, just use a clean rag to wipe the vodka out of the glass before pouring in your drink of choice.

Keeping Your Drink Cold With Frozen Grapes

Now that you know how to chill a glass quickly, it’s just as important to be able to keep your drink cold while you’re enjoying it. For that, you can use frozen grapes.

First, get some nice big juicy grapes at the store, wash them off, and put them in the freezer. Once the grapes are nice and frozen you can add them to your drink to keep it cold while drinking.

The grapes will act like mini ice cubes, however, because they don’t melt they won’t affect the flavor of your drink over time. Also, depending on what it is your drinking, you may enjoy eating the now unfrozen grapes once you’ve finished your drink.


Chilling your glass for cocktails, wine, and beer is an easy way to vastly improve the enjoyment of your drinks. The process is straightforward, painless, and can be done by anyone with a freezer.

If you’re strapped for time, try the ice and water or vodka technique for the fastest chilling times.

BEER DROP: Boxes of beer from Award-winning microbreweries → Join The Club

Recent Posts