Too many fizzy drinks can be bad for you, but the first manufactured fizzy drinks were just bubbles in water, which isn’t so bad for you, just flavorless.
A Glass of Bubbly. The fizz in fizzy drinks is dissolved carbon dioxide (the same gas you breathe out). No one really invented fizzy drinks because they can occur naturally: underground volcanic action can put carbon dioxide into spring water.
The first person to copy naturally fizzy water was the English scientist Joseph Priestley. During his research into carbon dioxide, which he called ‘fixed air’, he discovered a way to put carbon dioxide bubbles into water by putting a bowl of water above a vat of fermenting beer.
He liked the taste of his fizzy water, offered it to his friends, and began producing it in quantity in 1772. He’d developed another way of making the water fizzy, using sulphuric acid and chalk, and no longer needed huge vats of beer.
By the 19th century, fizzy mineral water had become popular, especially in the USA where the drinks were sold from ‘soda fountains’ in chemist shops. Manufacturers began adding flavors, such as dandelion and birch bark, which people seemed to like even though they don’t sound very appetizing.
Today the best known fizzy drink in the world is Coca Cola. It was intended as a medicine by its inventor, John Pemberton, at the end of the 19th century.
Joseph Priestley also invented the eraser, and discovered hydrochloric acid and various gases, including oxygen (which he called `dephlogisticated air’) and nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. He was also a leading philosopher and anti-slavery campaigner.
For this experiment you’ll need BICARBONATE OF SODA, ICING SUGAR and CITRIC ACID MONO-HYDRATE POWDER. You should be able to find the first two ingredients in a supermarket. Citric acid powder might also be in the baking section of the supermarket or you can try an Asian supermarket or a chemist.
WHAT TO DO
1. Take a bowl and add SIX TEASPOONS of CITRIC ACID MONOHYDRATE POWDER to THREE TEASPOONS of BICARBONATE OF SODA.
2. Add TWO TABLESPOONS of ICING SUGAR and mix it all together thoroughly. You now have your fizzy drinks mixture.
3. Put TWO TEASPOONS of your fizzy drinks mixture in a glass and then start to fill the glass with a juice of your choosing (e.g. apple juice). Add slowly, as it will create a lot of froth when it comes into contact with the powder. The bubbles that occur from the mixture are carbon dioxide, just like the bubbles in the fizzy drinks you normally buy. The more juice you pour into the glass, the less fizzy the drink will become. Experiment with different quantities and juice flavours.
Did you manage to make a fizzy drink?
You can also make sherbet with the same ingredients, but the quantities are slightly different.
1. In a clean, dry bowl mix TWO TEASPOONS of CITRIC ACID MONOHYDRATE POWDER with ONE TEASPOON of BICARBONATE OF SODA.
2. Now add TWO TABLESPOONS of ICING SUGAR and mix it all together thoroughly. You now have sherbet.
3. Now put it in your mouth – it won’t taste very nice but it’ll fizz! If you want it to be sweeter, add more ICING SUGAR. If you want it to be fizzier, add more BICARBONATE of SODA. You might want to dip a lolly in it to make the experience more pleasant.
How long did your drink stay fizzy for?