about ice luges
What is a luge?
A luge (pronounced with a soft “g”) is a large piece of ice used to chill drinks. They are also known as “vodka shooters”, presumably because the vodka shoots out the end of the luge. These days they come in an amazing variety of shapes and sizes – we have luges for birthdays, for corporate celebrations, for hens and bucks nights, and even Champagne Luges for your bridal toast.
How does it work?
The idea is that the drinks is poured one glassful at a time through the ice and then shoots out the end. How cool is that? Or if your luge has two tracks or two drinking tubes, then you can pour two drinks at a time and have races…
Drinking tubes or tracks?
There are two ways of making luges; either by cutting tracks down the outside of the ice that act as channels for the vodka, or by freezing drinking tubes into the ice. The tracks are made with a shot-sized pouring hole at the top, whereas the drinking tubes have a funnel at the start of the tube. It is really just a question of the shape of the luge as to which will work best, tubes or tracks.
Glass or mouth?
Catching the drinks can be either a waiting glass or mouth.
What about Hygiene?
The great thing about ice luges is that the surface is self-cleaning since the ice keeps melting between drinks, and of course alcohol is a sterilising agent as well.
If hygiene is still a concern then we can design a luge so that it can only be used with a glass. We do this using a recess shape which fits a glass but not a mouth.
Do you have to suck on the tubes or tracks?
No, the drink should shoot out the end of the tube or track, there should be no need to suck.
How long will it last before it melts?
That depends on a few factors. The larger the luge the longer it is going to last, of course. Then it depends on environmental factors such as whether it is indoors or out, in air conditioning, in a crowded room… the best environment for the ice is cool still air – but of course you want to use it, and the more you use it the faster it will melt. Generally the larger luges should last a good 6 – 8 hours as a functioning luge.
How do I get the most out of my luge?
To get the most life out of your luge here are a couple of do’s and don’ts:
Pre-chill the spirits. About an hour before the luge will be used, stash your spirits in the freezer. Alcohol has a much lower freezing point than water so it will still pour even after being in the freezer for a couple of hours. This will help prevent thermal shock which can crack the ice and cause the drinks to disappear down the cracks rather than into the glass.
Allow the luge to “warm up” for half an hour or so after it has been installed before pouring drinks through it. Again this will help prevent thermal cracking.
Have a responsible person keep an eye on the pouring, and pour only one shot at a time.
Keep an eye on the water level in the tray if there’s a drainhose. If the ice is sitting in a pond of meltwater it may become unstable and topple over. Make sure that either it is on a tray with a reservoir or that the drain hose is not blocked.
Set the luge up in direct sunlight on a hot sunny day! The best place for a luge is generally out of the sun, and sheltered from the wind.