GordonHawk's blog: The making of a wine / water cooler .... for chilling wines/water on the dinning room table

Posted on Nov 20, 2011 12:03 PM


This is about making a cooler for wine or any of your fine waters..or give one to everyone for their beer.. exotic enough to be a table centerpiece...
first thing is to get an empty bottle the size you will be using at the table...
then you need an empty 1/2 gallon [ min ] sized container for a wine bottle.. or larger.. a waxed paper container. or as we'll use today a plastic 1/2 gallon
OJ container.. using the clear plastic container will allow you to see the finished product of the embedding.. before the water freezes...
there's usually a few flowers about this time of year.. but evergreen coolers will also work.. as will ivy that might be about... or any material .. tiny toy trucks..or dolls..or bits of paper or sparkling bits of foil or coins..or ribbon.. what ever fits the theme of the gathering..or season.. most things will sink to the bottom.. and most flowers float.. but things can be wedged in to prevent this movement till they are frozen in place..
First...I've cut the top off the 1/2 gallon container.. I fit my empty bottle inside to assure there's a 1/2 inch space between the bottle and the container..
Second remove the bottle and fill the 1/2 Gallon container with a 1/2 inch to an inch of water..in the bottom..
 then put it in the freezer to freeze.. this 1/2 " will be the bottom of the wine cooler. bits of the desired decoration can be added to this first bit of water.. as can food color.. to give the cooler's ice color of it's own.. I poured in a 1/2 " of blue water with mum petals.. which will float to the top... and put it in the freezer to freeze....
The next step... remove the label from your empty wine bottle.. and fill it with about 3 " of small gravel... I've used aquarium gravel as I had some available.. this weight keeps the wine bottle from floating up.. but sitting down on the first 1/2 " ice shelf.. while the rest of the cooler is freezing.. in the next step...now..I'll put my gravel filled bottle in the freezer to pre chill it.. while the container is having it's 1/2 " of blue water freezing..when frozen solid remove both from the freezer..
put the gravel filled bottle on the frozen 1/2 " shelf of the container... and stuff the space between the bottle and the 1/2 gallon container with the flowers and bits of decoration gathered.. fill the flower space between the bottle and container with water.. clear or colored.. or bands of color.... freezing solid between one band of color ..and the next band of another color.. freeze solid.. 6-8 hours..
remove it from the freezer.. it's done... now to remove the gravel filled size plug from the container... get a funnel.. and pour hot hot [ boiling ] water into the gravel filled bottle and start to twist and move the bottle about to free it from the ice when the bottle warms enough to melt the ice holding it in place.. it's about finished... now back into the freezer with it till dinner time..
at dinner time remove the container and cut away the container from the block of ice inside it..
take the ice cooler out and place it on a plate or in a bowl to catch the water as the ice melts during dinner.. place a chilled bottle of wine into the ice cooler.. and onto the dinning table... ring the dinner bell.. it's ready
   Well.. a few tips  artistically ... you  can make the first 1/2 " look like the ground...   brownish water and a sprinkling of  potting soil  and a 1/4 of water freezing it into place as an additional step...
or a bit of sand and some tiny sea shells for the summer party.. [ the ice does melt  quickly in the summer ...  a bit of ribbon with a birthday  wish written on it with a perminant marker... or any other message... if  fun to see inside..  as always an LED bulb... with a wire running out to a battery... or a small unit  embeded in the ice looks striking at night..
   Inside here we have  pices of my Thanksgiving cactus... a bit of red trailing verbina.. some mum flowers  a bit of ivy... and a few other flowering or green items...  
   OK.. there it is ... free and easy...


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Photo of Gordon's ice cooler!! by Sharon Nov 21, 2011 8:42 PM 4

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