Why You Should Only Stock Small Bottles Of Soda For Mixed Drinks

Nothing says "wet blanket" like a bottle of flat soda — and if you thought it was bad on its own, it's even worse when used as a mixer. Imagine guzzling down a flat whiskey and cola. It's a deeply unpleasant thought, right? Bubbles are kind of the primary function here, and their presence or absence can make or break a mixed drink. Mixers like club soda and seltzer may be flavorless and colorless, but that's all the more reason why their level of carbonation is so important.

There's a scientific explanation for why soda goes flat in the first place. When pop is made, carbon dioxide is diluted into a liquid form, then incorporated into the batch and bottled. Once the seal is broken, the difference in pressure causes the carbon dioxide to release into the air and return to its gaseous form, creating those fizzy bubbles that make soda interesting. Soda goes flat because those carbon dioxide bubbles keep popping until they're eventually all gone.

To save your mixed drink's mouthfeel, stock your bar fridge with multiple small bottles of soda versus one large bottle. Using one can or bottle per person will retain those fizzy bubbles in every sip, and depending on how much mixer you'll need for the drink you're making, you can get one or two servings out of each small can or bottle.

Keep that carbonation roaring

Mouthfeel is always huge in the cocktail realm, but it's especially important in more uncomplicated mixed drinks. You might not notice a flat pop right away in a Mule or an elaborate Long Island Iced Tea, but in a classic G&T or a 7&7, there are minimal ingredients and nothing to hide behind. Even if you're opting for a flavored mixer like diet cola, ginger ale, or lemon-lime soda, be sure to opt for individual smaller cans to keep that carbonation ripping. Flavored or not, flat soda is pretty unwelcome any way you spin it.

Perrier and San Pellegrino make eight packs of individual soda water cans for this very purpose. You could even get a case of La Croix sparkling flavored water and use it as an affordable mixer. At a Whole Foods Market in Brooklyn, NY, a 12-pack of Limoncello La Croix runs for $6.49, which comes out to 54 cents per can. Ever seen those six-packs of mini Coca-Cola Cans? They're the perfect size for mixed drinks.

To help retain maximum fizziness, it's also a good idea to keep everything nice and chilled, as carbon dioxide releases faster at higher temperatures. Cold sodas aren't just more refreshing than warm ones — they're also more likely to stay bubbly.