A party ice luge is an amazing way to make your party more fun and more interesting, all while allowing your guests to take an ice cold shot that feels a little like an adventure. While you can buy small ice luge kits online, costing anywhere from $20 to $200 depending on size and quality, it's easy enough to make one yourself as long as you have a little time to freeze the ice and a little patience to sculpt a few alcohol pathways.
What Is a Party Ice Luge?
A party ice luge, also known as a shot ice luge, is kind of like the Olympic event except instead of flinging people down icy chutes, you fling shots of liquor directly into people's mouths. It consists of a flat slab of ice (which can vary in size from a couple of feet long to a couple of yards long) mounted at an angle with a curvy chute carved into the front. One person stands at the top of the luge and pours in a shot while the imbiber squats, sits or lies down at the bottom of the luge to drink up.
The idea is simple: Pouring a shot down a curvy bed of ice makes it super cold and delicious by the time it journeys to your mouth.
Why Make an Ice Luge?
An ice luge doesn't just make shots colder. It also makes them more fun to take and is a great conversation starter and social mixer. As long as you're sure to drink responsibly, and as long as everyone has a safe ride home, an ice luge is an activity, a social center and ice art all at once.
Start by Making a Block of Ice
You probably have everything you need at home to make a party ice luge. Just know that you need time to freeze the ice and carve the luge before your party starts.
Find a plastic storage bin that will fit into your freezer. Long, shallow storage containers, like the type that slide under your bed, work well. Longer ice luges are better, but you might need a chest freezer to fit it. If you freeze your ice slowly, it will be clearer, which is better for your ice art, but skip that option if you're pressed for time.
You can tip your container lengthwise in your freezer so that the ice freezes at a 75- to 90-degree angle, or you can angle the ice on a luge stand after it is frozen. You can also buy blocks of ice from dealers or online. You can get bigger blocks and custom-sized blocks this way, but it's more expensive.
Carve Out Your Chutes
Once you have your block of ice, use an instrument like an ice pick, knife, hammer or screwdriver to carve out a chute or two. The top of the chute should be wide like a funnel so you can easily pour in the shot. The chute itself should curve around in "S" shapes or switchbacks so the alcohol has time to cool during its travel.
Ice luges are even better when two people can take shots at once. If you have time and space, carve two side-by-side chutes for double the fun. Just make sure they're far enough apart that two people can stand by them without being crowded. Alternatively, make two luges and place them next to each other.
After you roughly carve out your chute or chutes, run some warm water through them as a test run and to smooth out your pathways and remove any errant chunks.
Position the Chute
If you didn't tilt your luge while you froze it, you'll have to rig it so it is tilted at an angle during the party. Simply prop it up on a sturdy box (you may even be able to use its container) or place it on an angled or wedged surface. If you can't figure out a way to securely rig it, you can also just have someone hold it up when it's in use – just get him a pair of gloves.
Carving notches into the back of your luge can make it much easier to position at an angle.
Be Careful of Melting Ice
Realize that your ice luge is going to melt during the party unless it's outside in winter. If it's inside, place a towel under the luge to catch missed shots and dripping water, and watch for slip hazards. Parties and wet floors don't mix.
Enjoy your shot luge, and remember to drink responsibly!
Sarah Aswell is a freelance writer living in Montana.