In recent years, you might have heard of Nitro Soda. The name is exactly what it sounds like: a soda infused with nitrogen. However, it differs from regular sodas, which are infused with carbon dioxide instead.
There has been a trend of nitrogen-infused drinks over the years. Beers and coffees with nitrogen have become fairly common. Recently, Pepsi has joined the bandwagon by creating Nitro Pepsi: Pepsi infused with nitrogen.
If you want to learn more about this unique new addition to beverages, keep reading!
What does nitrogen do to soda?
When nitrogen gas is infused into sodas, it produces thick, creamy bubbles, similar to the fizz in regular sodas, yet still different for many reasons.
In regular sodas, the present fizz comes from infused carbon dioxide. It looks different from the fizz in nitrogen-infused sodas because both have different properties. Carbon dioxide is highly soluble in drinks which is why it dissolves well and comes out in slower and bigger bubbles than nitro sodas.
Nitrogen, on the other hand, is far less soluble in beverages. Due to this factor, it doesn’t dissolve too well in drinks. The bubbles and fizz come right at the beginning of pouring the soda and dissipate relatively quickly. The bubbles are much smaller and softer than the ones in regular sodas. Once poured, they collect at the top of the drink in a creamy texture.
The most well-known nitrogen-infused soda today is Nitro Pepsi. Launched in early 2022, Nitro Pepsi prides itself on being the first nitrogen-infused cola drink. In doing this, Pepsi has set itself apart from other soda brands since the trend to infuse nitrogen in non-alcoholic beverages is fairly recent.
Nitro Pepsi comes in two flavors: Draft Cola and Vanilla Draft Cola. Draft Cola has been described as having a similar taste to the original Pepsi, yet different. The creamy bubbles and foam on the top make it sweeter and taste less crisp than regular carbonated soda. Vanilla Draft Cola has a similar taste but has obvious vanilla notes that make it much sweeter.
Even if you’re not a big fan of the new Nitro Pepsi, you can still try recipes incorporating the nitrogen-infused soda instead. For example, you can try the Draft Espresso Mocktini, which you can make using Espresso beans and Vanilla Draft Cola for the sweet flavor.
Additionally, you can also make a Nitro Pepsi Ice Cream Float. You can make this by adding Vanilla Nitro Pepsi to a glass and placing a scoop of vanilla ice cream with a cherry on top. With these recipes, the sweetness of the cola will enhance your taste buds without making you miss the old Pepsi that you’re used to.
Is nitrogen in soda safe?
Whether or not nitrogen-infused sodas are safe has been an ambiguous discussion. Nitrogen is an inert gas constantly present in the atmosphere with no consequences. However, at a certain temperature, liquid nitrogen can be dangerous.
According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), food items and beverages sold with liquid nitrogen added at the moment of sale can risk your health. One such example is Dragon’s Breath. While liquid nitrogen is usually non-toxic, it can cause severe skin problems and damage your internal organs at low temperatures.
However, beverages infused with nitrogen have been around for decades, like Guinness Beer, which was launched in 1959. Some argue that ingesting those beverages has had no problems; thus, nitrogen-infused beverages are relatively safe to drink.
What is at the bottom of a Nitro Pepsi can?
The bottom of a Nitro Pepsi can has a device called a widget responsible for the nitrogen foam in the drink at the top.
The purpose of a widget is to release gas into the drink when the can is opened. It contains gas particles waiting to be released once the can or bottle is opened. Widgets have predominantly been used in beers in the past, and it’s the first time a cola soda uses this technique.
The widget is present at the bottom of the can for a reason. The soda is kept under pressure in the can with dissolved nitrogen gas. When the can is opened, the gas pressure builds inside it. As a result, the pressure inside the widget also builds up, emitting nitrogen gas to the rest of the soda, causing bubbles at the top of the poured drink.
Before Nitro Pepsi came along, there were a few popular beverages that used a widget as well. For example, Guinness beers are one of the first beverages to infuse nitrogen in their drinks and contain a widget. Similarly, Rise Nitro Cold Brew also contains a widget that makes the coffee drink much frothier and sweet.
Is Nitro Pepsi just flat soda?
To many people who’ve tried Nitro Pepsi, it tastes like flat soda. In reality, however, how you pour the soda and drink it has a lot to do with how it tastes.
Nitro Pepsi contains nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide. Because nitrogen is less soluble, all the creamy fizz stays at the top instead of the rest of the drink. However, once it dissolves or is sipped initially, the lack of fizz makes the soda taste flat.
Sometimes, how you pour the soda affects the taste and amount of fizz. The Nitro Pepsi can tell you to do a hard pour of the soda into a pint glass immediately after opening the can for the ultimate experience. Hard pour means pouring the soda into a glass at a 90-degree angle, so the pressure helps the fizz build up at the top for the optimal drink.
Since the bubbles dissipate quickly due to the nitrogen, the drink tastes flat and sweet. So you’d think it is because of the nitrogen that the soda tastes sweeter than regular Pepsi. However, after checking the ingredients, we found that Nitro Pepsi contains much more sugar than regular Pepsi.
According to PepsiCo, besides hard pouring the soda into a pint glass, this soda is best served chilled but without ice. It is also best enjoyed by sipping rather than drinking it through the straw so you can experience the light foam on the top of the glass.
Nitro Pepsi, the first cola soda infused with nitrogen instead of carbon dioxide, is a fairly recent phenomenon that has excited people. However, the soda has less buzz than regular Pepsi due to the softer, creamier fizz from the nitrogen.
Some people have been blown away by this new addition to sodas. Others, however, prefer regular carbonated sodas instead. Of course, you can always try the new Nitro Pepsi in other recipes instead.
If you haven’t tried the new Nitro Pepsi, you must! It’ll be exciting to find out whether you’re a fan of the new Pepsi or couldn’t care less. Either way, it’s sure to be a joyful experience.