I'm forever blowing bubbles... and wishing I wasn't
June 30, 2008 3:36 AM   Subscribe

How do I reduce the amount of bubbles in soft drinks?.... um, you might call them sodas or pop or aerated beverages....

Heavens to Betsy, the morning sickness!

I'm finding myself with nothing to drink most of the time. I really want ever-so-lightly aerated soda water. I've no idea what that is called in your country.... it's basically fizzy water but isn't mineral water. You used to be able to make it in soda siphons. Maybe you do call it soda water in your country. I have no idea. God, I'm rambling. Sorry.

So... if I'm out and about and want to buy a small bottle of bubbly drink, how do I reduce the bubbles to almost nothing? If I'm in a cafe and don't have the bottle/lid... just a glass of said noxious gaseous fluid, how do I reduce the bubbles significantly.

And if I'm ever well enough to drink it with absolutely no bubbles, how do I remove all bubbles?

The quicker the solution is, the better.

Sorry if this is obvious... but I had no idea how to google this.... I promise I tried. And yes, I did do physics at school... .but that seemed to be largely about trucks and brick walls... more than bubbles. Thank you in advance possums!

p.s. if any of you want to suggest beverages for the heavily morning sicknessed, I'm desperate to hear those also. Bearing in mind, if it's a brand name... I'm in Australia... and I don't do caffeine.
posted by taff to Food & Drink (24 answers total)
Adding sugar will remove most/all of the bubbles, and if you're in a cafe it's pretty easy to get.
posted by Paragon at 3:44 AM on June 30, 2008

Stir. Stirring cabonated beverages helps remove bubbles. You can stop when there are 'some' bubbles, or keep going until there aren't any left. Might take awhile, but it works. And no added sugar.
posted by sandraregina at 3:50 AM on June 30, 2008

Heat will also do the same thing, btw, but I'm presuming that you don't want boiled cola.
posted by Paragon at 3:50 AM on June 30, 2008

Leaving it open for a long time works as well. (This is what I do when I accidentally buy carbonated water instead of still.)
posted by Comrade_robot at 4:00 AM on June 30, 2008

You can still buy soda siphons! I have one. They tend to make soda water with much less bubbley-ness. Also, you can adjust the bubbly-ness by how much you shake the bottle when you make it. Look in a fancy cooking store, that's where I got mine.
posted by miss tea at 4:12 AM on June 30, 2008

When I order a carbonated drink, I also ask for a straw. Stir vigorously with the straw and voila, a lot less bubbles!
posted by lioness at 4:54 AM on June 30, 2008

Stir. When I was a little kid with a stomachache, the doctor recommended coca-cola with the bubbles stirred out.
posted by filmgeek at 4:57 AM on June 30, 2008

I find that when I stir soda with a fork, the carbonation is removed faster than with a spoon.
posted by amicamentis at 5:07 AM on June 30, 2008

I don't know how it is in Australia, but in the US, root beer typically has less carbonation than regular soft drinks. I cut down on the bubbles by adding some cold water, which helps with reducing the sweetness as well.
posted by SoulOnIce at 5:28 AM on June 30, 2008

Pouring it back and forth between two glasses removes the carbonation as well.
posted by TedW at 6:40 AM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

I know EXACTLY what you mean. The most efficient way to reduce the bubbles is to shake the bottle and slowly release the air, then repeat, 2 - 4x. (Disclaimer: close the bottle if your drink starts to explode, this can be a messy process.) I'll taste it after each time, and if its too fizzy I will repeat this process. I have not yet mastered how to do this with a fountain drink.
posted by thetenthstory at 6:41 AM on June 30, 2008

Stirring is going to be your best bet, but if no spoon, etc is available, try taking the drink and lightly tapping it on the table several times to free the bubbles. I always do this...pop is way too fizzy for me.
posted by phunniemee at 7:02 AM on June 30, 2008

"No Frills" brand (or similar, depending on your local supermarket) Soda Water rather than Mineral Water might be what you're after..

..and if it's too bubbly at first I'd definitely try stirring it with a fork to lessen them.
posted by cmetom at 7:16 AM on June 30, 2008

My college boyfriend used to put salt in his pop to get rid of the bubbles. I never tasted it, so I don't know if it altered the taste significantly. I don't know if that was a Chilean thing or just a him-thing.
posted by srah at 7:16 AM on June 30, 2008

Ginger ale is excellent for morning sickness. In fact, any kind of ginger can help settle your stomach. I used to carry a jar of candied ginger in my purse and nibble on it constantly.
posted by Addlepated at 7:29 AM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

Seconding a pinch of salt. It'll make your soda fizz up quite a bit and lose a bit of the carbonation. Gramps taught me to pour a little bag of salted peanuts into my Coke, tastes great.
posted by zengargoyle at 7:57 AM on June 30, 2008

Mint tea is also good against morning sickness/nausea
posted by leahwrenn at 8:20 AM on June 30, 2008

I enjoy carbonated beverages, but find that some soda is too highly carbonated, such that I drink it and all I notice are bubbles, not its taste.

If it comes in a bottle with a screw-top (e.g., a normal old plastic bottle of Coke), I begrudgingly drink a bit, and then squeeze the bottle until the soda's at the very top, forcing any air out, and then seal the cap. Shake it a bit so it foams up until the bottle's nice and firm, and then, very slowly open the cap, letting out a lot of the carbonation. Rinse, lather, repeat. Try this one at home before you do in public, or you'll do what I do periodically and end up looking like the lunatic that shakes his soda vigorously and then opens it, having it spray all over him.

If it's in a cup (e.g., fountain drink), get two cups, and pour from Cup A to Cup B, raising Cup A in the air as you do it, which also cuts down on the carbonation. It looks a little strange, but it's very effective. (Unless you have ADD and end up looking away and pouring soda all over your dinner in the process. *cough* Not that I've done that *cough*)

I've never heard of the the sugar/salt trick, but I also think that in many cases (such as my can of Dr. Pepper right now), adding sugar or salt would make for a disgusting beverage.

In any case, it may take a bit of practice to shake and open beverages without them spraying everywhere, our to pour from cup to cup without spilling, but given a little practice, even klutzes like me can pull it off. Repeat a few times until you get the desired results.
posted by fogster at 11:31 AM on June 30, 2008 [1 favorite]

"...our to pour..." -- although I kind of like that mistake.
posted by fogster at 11:34 AM on June 30, 2008

You could experiment with cracking bottles open and leaving them open in the fridge, to see how long they should stand for optimal fizz. You can still buy soda siphons, you know - (the kind of thing you'd find in a good cooking gear or bar ware store): from my understanding they produce a lighter carbonation than packaged carbonated beverages.
posted by nanojath at 1:28 PM on June 30, 2008

Scheweppes make both soda water and tonic water which are available in Australia. I find the tonic water refreshing without being sweet or too bubbly. I like their ginger ale or dry lemonade when my stomach is playing up but am not pregnant so YMMV.

Alternatively try looking for sparkling bottled water. It's usually not as bubbly as soft drinks but still has a tingle on the tongue which is more refreshing than the still version. In NZ several of the standard bottled water brands you can buy in the supermarket come in a sparkling version now (so they aren't really mineral water and don't have that strong limestone taste), or you can get something fancy and imported like San Pellegrino.

Otherwise yeah, stirring is the best way to quickly get rid of some of the bubbles in an open glass while leaving the lid loose for a couple of day the safest (slow) way to deal with bottled drinks.
posted by shelleycat at 6:15 PM on June 30, 2008

I totally know what kind of bubbles you want. I agree with a lot of people here about how to get them:

Get your bubbly water/drink in a bottle, shake it, release the gas, close it, shake it again, etc.
Let it sit for a while (CO2 dissolves into water best when it's cold and under pressure - if it's warm and at normal atmospheric pressure, the CO2 is falling out of solution)
If you can't do the things above, try the salt thing (I haven't tried it myself - I like BIG bubbles - but a little salt won't affect the taste much)
Try fancy imported mineral water. Here in the USA we have Italian San Pellegrino (S.Pellegrino) water in glass bottles. I think they sell it in Australia as well. Anyway, it is lightly carbonated. So is Perrier.
or (best option)
Try the ULTIMATE setup and make your own carbonated beverages at home. I highly recommend reading the page that I linked to - it's very well written and very well AWESOME. My setup looks a lot like this one.

So basically I have unlimited carbonated water and I can put as much or as little carbonation in it as I want! Once I got all the parts (classified ads for the tank, welding supply store for the regulator, hardware store for tubes and valves), it took me about 10 minutes to assemble. I'm no DIY master genius tinker handyman, either. In fact, knowing how handy your typical Australian can be, I'm sure a 10 year old girl over there can put one of these things together faster than I did.

Step-by-step instructions
Another description
posted by redteam at 7:12 PM on June 30, 2008

Ooh! I just noticed fogster's very clever cup-to-cup pouring technique - replace the adding salt technique with that one!
posted by redteam at 7:14 PM on June 30, 2008

Thank you gorgeous folk. I appreciate all the tips and that nobody mocked my ignorance. I'm going to try most of your suggestions.

The only thing that I have to add is that San Pellegrino appears to be a VERY fizzy drink to me. That may be my spurious digestive system at the moment.... but it's the one most commonly available in cafes here, and the one I have the most trouble with. But no longer!

You're all fabulous and I'm sorry I didn't get back earlier to thank you.... time zones and toddlers.... again, many thanks. T.
posted by taff at 2:58 AM on July 1, 2008

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