If soda right out of the bottle or can is just too fizzy for your tastes, allowing it to go flat will make it a little easier to drink. While you could open it and wait for it to turn into a flat soda on its own, stirring it, shaking it or even heating it in a pan will speed up the process.
Why Soda Fizzes
Carbon dioxide is what gives a carbonated drink such as soda its fizz. Before a soda can or bottle is opened, the carbon dioxide remains trapped in the liquid. Once the soft drink is opened, these gas bubbles race upwards, bringing some of the flavor and scent of the drink with it. Carbon dioxide also affects the flavor of the drink; it creates carbonic acid as it mixes with the water content in your favorite bubbled beverage, making the drink taste a bit tart.
Flat Soda Facts
If you’ve ever wondered why flat soda tastes differently than a fizzy soda, the lack of carbonic acid is largely responsible. The tartness this acid brings to a fizzy beverage goes away as the carbonation leaves the drink, whether it’s a seltzer water or a flavored cola. This is why a flat cola, for instance, tastes more like a somewhat sweet, watery syrup and not quite like that once-carbonated cola.
The Simplest, Slowest Method
If you prefer a completely flat soda or one that isn’t as bubbly as a cold cola opened on the spot, the easiest way to achieve your goal is to open the drink and wait. Leave the cap off or replace it without tightening it all the way, so the carbon dioxide bubbles can escape. Leave the drink out at room temperature or in a sunny location where the sun’s warmth can expedite the bubble-releasing process.
A Faster Fizz-Removal Method
Pouring the soda into a glass and letting it sit at room temperature will also cause decarbonation. Once the soda container is opened, the carbonation rises until it makes its way out of the drink entirely. To make it lose fizz even faster, start with a room temperature can or bottle. The warmer the drink, the faster the bubbles escape. This is why a bottle of soda kept in the refrigerator keeps its fizz longer after opening than it would if left on a countertop.
Shaking the bottle a bit before pouring will also release loads of carbon dioxide bubbles once you remove the lid, making the soda go flat faster. This is best done with a previously opened bottle that has lots of space in it for the bubbles to foam; otherwise, the foam may squirt out of the top, making a mess. Do not shake a can; that’s a guaranteed mess when you open it.
If shaking a full or nearly full bottle, perform a controlled release of gases by unscrewing the lid only slightly, until foam rises. Immediately tighten the lid until the foam subsides a bit. Repeat the process until the soda can be poured without it fizzing and foaming all over.
Fast and Hot
Warming the soda up in a saucepan will remove the carbonation even faster than the other methods. Pour the soda bottle’s contents into a pan. Heat the liquid on low, stirring gently to help release bubbles. Inspect the soda for bubbles; once they’re gone, the drink has been decarbonated.
There’s no need to boil the soda; even warming it slightly and slowly for a couple minutes should do the trick. Pour some of the beverage back into a glass and give it a test sip once it reaches room temperature. If you prefer a cold drink, place the glass in the refrigerator for a while, in the freezer for 5 to 10 minutes or until it reaches the desired temperature.
Kathy Adams is an award-winning writer and avid DIYer. She has written numerous recipes for grocery store chains, as well as articles tool and paint manufacturers and travel sites. She also writes about the best neighborhood restaurants and bars for upscale real-estate firms around the country. Her work also appears on USA Today Travel, Hunker and Landlordology, among other sites.