Can You Make Soda Without A Machine?

Soda — arguably one of the most popular and well-known drinks — was first created during the 19th century when favorites like ginger ale, root beer, and Dr. Pepper were introduced. And many years later, through intensive marketing and our regular consumption of the beverages, we've come to believe that "a bottle of coke a day keeps the worries away."

Some people will go to the extent of buying a soda machine so they can make their own fizzy concoctions at home. A soda maker is very simple; It attaches to any bottle of liquid and infuses it with carbon dioxide (CO2), which then creates little bubbles and makes it a carbonated drink. These machines can help mitigate the environmental waste from disposing of store-bought soda cans, but they can also be pricey and take up valuable space in your kitchen.

Luckily, a machine is not entirely necessary as soda is easy and fun to make on your own. With just a few basic household ingredients on-hand, we can pretend to be mad chemists for a day.

Bubbles of Joy

At its essence, soda is just carbonated water and sugar, with bubbles coming from carbon dioxide (CO2) that has been dissolved in the drink. The carbonation process naturally occurs when underground water mixes with a carbon source like limestone and CO2 is produced and trapped until released in the air. With just citric acid, baking soda, sugar, and water, we can simulate this process and create our very own soda.

You can test different ratios of the ingredients but as a baseline, start with one quarter of a teaspoon of citric acid and one-sixteenths teaspoon of baking soda. Add a quarter cup of water and it will start to bubble. If you want more fizz, try using more baking soda. Soda is typically sweet, so once you've created the perfect amount of fizz, try mixing in a quarter teaspoon of sugar.

While you can find food-grade citric acid in most grocery stores, you can get more creative with flavors by using fruit juice like lemon or lime juice — just make sure it has citric acid in it. For festivities like St. Patrick's Day, you could even add in a few drops of food coloring for a fun twist. 

Now you can impress your friends with your very own soda, pop, or whatever else you want to call it.