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One trick for your cooler that will make your summer drinks super cool, super fast

When the long, hot days of summer finally arrive, there’s nothing better than sitting back and enjoying an ice-cold drink. Iced drinks may seem like a modern phenomenon, but the demand for a frosty beverage actually dates back to the days of the Roman Empire. In the first century A.D., Emperor Nero, who was renowned as a party boy, was famed for quaffing iced drinks flavored with honey.

Fast forward to the 19th century, and the idea of putting ice in drinks caught on in America, first as a status symbol with the rich and then with everyone else. Nowadays, ice is ubiquitous. And you can never have too much of it in a glass, cup or cooler.

How to super chill your drinks

The fact that we even think about how frosty our drinks are says a lot about Americans’ preoccupation with ice. Of course, water freezes at 32º Fahrenheit. For most cooler kings and queens, the optimum temperature for a cool beverage is a few numbers up the scale at around 40º F. So, how do you lower your cooler temperature fast and efficiently? Well, all it takes is the appliance of science.

  • Fill your cooler with ice.

  • Sprinkle the ice with rock salt or ice cream salt. Salted water has a lower freezing point than pure water, so the ice temperature inside the cooler drops.

  • Mix up the salted ice and add bottles or cans of your favorite beverages.

  • Within minutes, you’ll be able to enjoy a super frosty drink.

Are other countries as obsessed with icy drinks as the U.S.?

Though the habit of filling water and soda glasses with ice has, to some extent, spread overseas with the export of American food culture, it’s still quite common in many nations to be served a cold drink at room temperature. Not that ice isn’t available; it’s just that you may have to ask for it. Indeed, overseas, some view America’s ice obsession as a little bit odd. But then, it would be a dull world if we were all the same.

More problems, solved

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: How to quickly make drinks cool this summer with a cooler trick