The world of mixology has changed immensely in the last decade, and it’s safe to say that there are few things on the menu that don’t involve some form of carbonated liquid.
Can You Put Carbonated Drinks in a Cocktail Shaker? The short answer is yes, but… First off, never pour straight-up soda into a cocktail shaker. It’s difficult to control precisely how much liquid you’re putting in a glass and can lead to over-carbonation or a foamy drink. Instead, if you want fizz in your cocktails, use seltzer water instead of tonic water or soda.
Seltzer water has less of an impact on taste and requires less shaking than regular soda. Add small amounts at a time for just enough fizz without sacrificing too much flavor. Even better? Try making homemade tonic syrup with boiling water and adding seltzer for quick and easy homemade sodas with only one ingredient (or two if you count the optional gin).
Here are things to consider before adding carbonated drinks to your cocktail shaker
1) Know Your Ingredients
There are plenty of inventive bartenders out there who like to experiment and come up with their own unique blends. And that’s great, but you need to know what you’re mixing in your drink so you can be sure that what you create is delicious and safe.
Be sure you know exactly how much booze is in each serving. Don’t assume vodka means 80 proof—it could mean anything between 38 percent (the minimum for vodka) and 190 proof. Never mix alcohol with carbonated beverages unless both have been measured using an accurate measuring device.
2) Consider Serving Size
It’s easy to lose track of what you’re drinking when you’re using cans and bottles instead of hard liquor. A good rule of thumb: measure out each can or bottle into a glass, and make sure it fills one serving size (about 5 ounces). If you’re mixing more than one can/bottle, divide that total amount between glasses.
3) Watch out for Extra Sugar
Carbonated drinks contain a good amount of sugar and caffeine, both of which can mess with your body. While those ingredients make soft drinks highly popular, they are not necessarily ideal in cocktails because you can easily consume more than one serving at a time.
And if you’re already drinking soft drinks on their own, it might be worth skipping soda altogether when mixing. Soft drink brands have sweetened their products with as much as 66 grams of sugar per 12-ounce bottle (that’s 13 teaspoons).
So even though you’re using soda in a cocktail, there may still be plenty of sugar that is getting into your system. Instead, use club soda or sparkling water instead for a lighter flavor without added calories and sugar.
4) Understand the Acidity Level of Each Drink
The acidity of each drink affects its use in cocktails. For example, a sparkling white wine’s acidity level is much lower than that of seltzer or club soda, so mixing a sparkling white wine with seltzer in a cocktail would create an overly tart drink.
On the other hand, using an acidic drink such as cranberry juice allows you to mix it with sparkling water without creating a harsh flavor or drink.
If you aren’t sure how acidic a certain beverage is, ask around at your local market; some stores even have bottles and cans labeled as non-acidic so customers know whether they can go ahead and mix their beverages in a bar glass.
5) Check Out the Main Ingredient
The biggest reason not to mix Carbonated Drinks and alcohol is that most carbonation comes from soda water, which makes a drink overly acidic. It can be hard on your stomach and give you indigestion or heartburn later.
If you’re mixing with low-calorie options like seltzer water or flavored waters, then you don’t have as much of an issue. Still, opt for unflavored club soda instead of colas if possible; no matter what flavor you use, they’ll all put too much pressure on your esophagus.
6) Understand How Alcohol Can Affect Taste
The bitterness of tonic, for example, can be mitigated with a touch of sweetness from club soda. Carbonation heightens the flavor of many ingredients and balances sour notes in drinks like margaritas and lemon drops.
Likewise, sparkling water can lend mouthfeel and bite that’s especially desirable in a vodka soda or gin martini. If you prefer not to taste any alcohol at all in your drink, fizzy water is a great way to get there, as well.
7) Create an Ideal Flavor Profile
Cocktail enthusiasts know that soda isn’t always a bad thing—in fact, it can be a great addition to many adult beverages. The trick is determining when you should add them and how they will affect both flavor and texture of your drink.
Carbonation affects mouthfeel, which can either complement or clash with other ingredients in your glass. It also gives a sweetness level similar to simple syrup, so you needn’t add as much sugar if you have a bottle of cola on hand.
8) Add Bitters – For A Twist (Optional)
A teaspoon of bitters is a great way to add depth and complexity in addition to balancing out the sweetness. This is especially useful if you’re making a margarita-like drink with cola or orange juice.
There are many styles of bitters, but for simple cocktails, you can use Angostura Orange Bitters or Bitter Truth Aromatic Bitters. Adding two dashes of bitters goes a long way toward helping your cocktail taste like more than just mixers and soda water.
Remember that carbonation takes time to integrate so wait at least 30 seconds after shaking and test by pouring some into another glass without ice; if it doesn’t taste right, put it back in and shake longer or stir with ice for 5 minutes then try again.
9) Experiment & Have Fun!
It is always a good idea to experiment and try new flavors. Adding a slight amount of sparkling water could add freshness to your cocktails and give them that extra bit of a bubbly feel.
There are many different flavored sparkling glasses of water out there so pick one that best compliments you’re drink mix. Make sure not to overdo it as well because too much might ruin all the hard work you put into making such a tasty drink.
Related: The 10 Best Cocktail Shaker Set
How to shake these drinks in a cocktail shaker with a strainer on the top
Step 1: Add ice cubes to a cocktail shaker.
Step 2: Shake all ingredients hard for about 30 seconds.
Step 3: Add one or two balls of ice into the shaker.
Step 4: Make sure there is enough room to drain the excess pressure from the cocktail shaker. You can do this by placing the strainer on top and using your finger to create a small hole at the bottom.
Step 5: Pour the cocktail shaker contents into a cocktail glass.
Step 6: Add more ice to the glass if necessary, then fill it with club soda.
Why is it important to shake these drinks in a cocktail shaker with a strainer on the top?
There are a few reasons why it’s important to use a strainer to shake drinks with carbonated beverages in them, besides the fact that it’s easier to stir them into a cocktail than other ingredients. The most important reason is that carbonated drinks usually have a lot of fizz, so they tend to increase the strength of the cocktail.
To make a cocktail with an extremely strong effect, you might want to shake with the ingredients before adding the carbonated beverage. This means that you have to give them a lot of mixing time and they have a lot of carbonation still left in them, which makes the cocktail more difficult to mix and last longer.
Although a cocktail shaker can be used to shake a drink with carbonated beverages, it can also be used to mix and serve these drinks straight from the shaker. For the latter, you may want to find a glass that’s easier to fill and pour carbonated beverages into.
It is best to avoid carbonated drinks when making cocktails and drinks at home because they cause fizzing and bubbles in a drink. The fizzing can make the cocktail go flat, but if shaken properly, they will still be good.