Beat summer's heat with this clever chilling idea.

Ice It Down
Serve chilled wine and other cold beverages in style using unique bottle coolers.

Keeping beverages cold at a gathering can be a challenge, especially if you're short on refrigerator space. For canned drinks, fill items you have around the yard, such as buckets, terra-cotta pots, or a wheelbarrow, with ice and use as coolers. (Be sure to clean thoroughly first.) To chill bottles, make individual decorative coolers following these instructions.

Nicely Iced Supplies

  • An empty 3-liter clear plastic soft drink bottle or other large, wide plastic container
  • An empty 750-milliliter wine bottle, air dried
  • Plastic wrap
  • Heavy-duty tape
  • Items to freeze: fresh flowers, small seashells, sliced citrus fruit, summer berries, fresh herbs, or other small items that complement your party's decor (The items will need to fit between the plastic container and the empty wine bottle.)
  • Wooden skewers
  • Funnel
  • Distilled water (to prevent cloudiness)
  • Scissors

Create a Cooler

  1. Cut the plastic container 2 inches above the desired height of the finished frozen cooler.
  2. Wrap the empty wine bottle in plastic wrap.
  3. Place wrapped bottle in center of the plastic container.
  4. Secure heavy-duty tape to one side of plastic container. Continue up one side and over the top of the wine bottle, securing tape on opposite side of plastic container. Repeat procedure, forming an X across top of bottle. (This holds wine bottle in place when water is poured into plastic container.)
  5. Fill the space between plastic container and wine bottle tightly, in a decorative fashion, with selected objects. Use wooden skewers to push items snugly in the bottom curves of the plastic container and to readjust once water is added, if necessary.
  6. Using the funnel, pour distilled water 2 inches from the top of the plastic container.
  7. Freeze at least 24 hours.
  8. Remove from freezer, and let stand at room temperature 20 minutes. Remove heavy-duty tape, and hold bottle under cool running water to loosen plastic container. If you have trouble removing the plastic, cut the plastic bottle, beginning at the top edge, and continue cutting down side to remove.
  9. Fill wine bottle with hot water, and let stand for 10 minutes, twisting bottle to dislodge. Discard wine bottle and plastic wrap. Place chilled bottle in cooler to serve. Frozen coolers will last 2 to 3 hours.