If you’re having a BBQ this summer, you’ll probably ensure your guests’ thirst stays slaked by stocking a big cooler full of soda and beer. While there’s obviously not much to that, there are in fact less and more effective ways of making sure these drinks are cold and accessible.
The less effective way is to place the bottles and cans atop a big mound of ice. They won’t get thoroughly chilled that way. You also don’t want to bury them in the ice; people’s hands will get cold and cut up when they try to dig through the pile to grab a drink.
The more effective method is to fill the cooler with a 80/20 mixture of ice and water. Then put the bottles/cans in so that the body of the vessels sits in the ice, but their tops/necks stick out; this lets your guests grab the drinks without getting their hands wet, cold, and nicked.
If you’re in a hurry to chill your drinks, gently (very gently!), spin the bottles/cans around every few minutes; this will distribute the liquid that’s already been chilled throughout the vessel.