On our trip back from Maine after New Years, my wife and I stopped at an inn in Sturbridge, MA. It was bitterly cold (around 0[sup]o[/sup]F), so I only went back out to the car for things we needed in the room. I left all of our “road snacks” out in the car: chips, cookies, and soft drinks.
When I went out the next morning to pack up, I noticed that my wife’s Dr. Pepper was very slushy, near the point of solidifying. But my bottle of Surge was completely liquid! We had bought both at the same gas station, and they were in the same cooler there.
When we got back on the road, I opened it. Nothing adverse happened. But as I drank it, it didn’t seem like it was very chilled, like other soft drinks that I’ve had after being cooled that much.
Is there something unique in the recipe of Surge that keeps it from freezing and feeling cold when you drink it?
Even though all your stuff was in the car, and the exterior air was about -14 °C, (1) the temperature inside the car never dropped quite that far–maybe to -3 or so–because of insulation, and (2) your soda was in the sun, whereas your wife’s soda wasn’t.
Your wife had sloshed her soda around more by drinking more of it, thus causing more of the carbon dioxide to come out of solution. The car interior temperature dropped to about -3 °C. Your soda was protected from freezing by the excess solute remaining.
I think either of these is plausible. It of course has nothing to do with the composition of the two sodas, but for that I’d need more controlled experimental conditions and several replications to average.
(Or I could just go to the corner store and read the labels. :))
A related observation; two cans put in the freezer and forgotten. The Diet Coke had expanded stretching the top and bottom of the can outwards into a convex shape. The regular Coke can was not visibly affected.
On an interesting related note, over the holidays we were over at an aunt’s place, where they stored soft drinks in the garage (due to the freezing temperatures in Illinois). When I took out a Squirt and opened it, you could see that it was clear and liquid, but you could see it cloud up and turn to slush before your eyes. Very neat effect. I’d say try it at home, but I don’t know if the can will burst at freezer temps.
Cans of Coke will burst in freezing temperatures. Back when I lived in upstate New York, I left 2 cans of Coke in the car on a night the temperature droped to near zero (F). The next morning, there was Coke sprayed all over the inside of the car, and the seam had opened a tiny bit at the pull-tab. Must have been a helluva lot of pressure, since both cans were nearly empty and the car was coated from the windshield to the back window.
I accidentally did the opposite. I left two cans of soda on the sidewalk in front of our house. It was about 100[sup]o[/sup]F outside, and the poor cans were surrounded on three sides by brick/concrete. When I came home, one of the cans was just starting to pop a seam, and soda was starting to spray. After it died down, I looked at the other can. It was bulged out where it wasn’t supposed to, and I was afraid it was going to rupture in my hands. I jokingly said to my friend, “Incoming!” then threw the can as high as I could into the air. When it hit my driveway about 30 feet away, it exploded! Not with an “Earth-shattering ‘kaboom’”, but it did rip the can apart and spray soda in about a 15’ radius.