Why Does Ice Make Soda Taste Better?

I think most people can agree that a cold soda with heaps of ice is just so more refreshing than one that’s served at room temperature. But just why does ice make soda taste so much better? 

Adding ice cools the beverage down and reduces how sweet the soda tastes when you drink it. The coldness of the ice also causes carbon dioxide gas to be released from the drink, making it more thirst-quenching and giving you a hint of acidity in the fizz. 

So as it turns out, there are several factors at play when it comes to enjoying an icy cold fizzy soda or beer – from texture and carbonation to taste and even cultural preferences. Let’s take a closer look at why ice makes soda taste so much better. 

What Does Ice Do To Soda?

When a cold beverage is served with ice, some of its carbonation is released in the form of tiny bubbles as it comes into contact with the icy cold cubes. This has the effect of making it more bubbly, which gives the soda a much more refreshing and pleasing aftertaste.

In addition, the coldness of the drink reduces your sensitivity to its sweetness (and also bitterness) and makes it easier for you to drink.

In many countries, like the US, free refills are commonplace in restaurants and fast-food chains. 

This means that people have grown accustomed to enjoying their soda drinks with lots of ice, which is one explanation as to why Americans sometimes find it strange that Europeans don’t have as much ice!

Apart from the taste and temperature of a soda, the texture that comes with adding ice cubes also plays an important role in making it more pleasing. As you sip on your beverage, you get a nice fizz on your tongue and the ice cubes give you a crunchy texture that adds an extra layer of enjoyment.

Another reason why adding ice may make your soda taste better could be a psychological effect; looking at an icy cold glass of pop makes us think about how refreshing it would be to take a sip and can make us crave that flavor even more.

The type of ice can also make a difference – ice made with filtered water has fewer impurities than regular cubes, so the icy surfaces are much smoother. This results in fewer bubbles being released than when using rougher cubes or crushed ice.

Does Ice Make Drinks Less Fizzy?

It’s a common belief that adding ice to a soda will make it less fizzy. This is partly true as the ice will release some of the bubbles, but not enough to make it go flat. 

In fact, drinking your soda with ice will actually increase how fizzy it feels to drink as when the liquid comes into contact with the icy cold surfaces of the cubes it produces more gas bubbles. The more bubbles a soda contains, the more fizzy and refreshing it will be when you drink it. 

Adding ice to your soda is also beneficial if you want to drink it slowly, as the cubes will help lower the temperature of the liquid. The colder it is the longer it will keep hold of the carbonation as colder temperatures make the carbon dioxide in the soda more soluble.

What Happens When You Pour Soda Over Ice?

When you pour soda over ice, the carbonated liquid comes into contact with the icy surfaces, and some of its carbon dioxide is released in the form of bubbles, making it appear fizzier than before.

When pouring a soda over crushed ice, the same principle applies as when you serve it with cubes.

It also helps to keep your beverage colder for longer and makes it more satisfying to drink. The added texture is also a plus for many people, adding an extra layer of enjoyment to their drinking experience. 

Many people also believe that pouring soda over crushed ice tends to make it less sweet than when you add ice cubes later. Crushed ice also melts faster so will dilute it further quite quickly.

The amount of ice in your drink often affects the way it tastes as well. Too much ice will dilute the flavor and make it taste less strong, while too little won’t have enough of an effect on its sweetness. 

Why Do Some People Prefer Soda With No Ice?

One of the main benefits of serving soda with ice is also one of the main reasons some people prefer it without. 

Adding ice makes soda taste less sweet and some of the flavor will get diluted. So to keep the sweetness and interesting taste of your soda intact, some people prefer no ice in their drink.

Of course, the downside is that it warms up quickly and will lose fizz sooner as cold drinks can hold more carbon dioxide in the liquid.

Another tip is that if you like to get the full volume of liquid you’ve paid for then you should ask for the ice to be served in a separate glass so that you can add it yourself as you go along.

Why Do Europeans Dislike Too Much Ice In Their Drinks?

In general, Europeans tend to prefer their soda without too much ice, and for good reason. In countries like the US, it is common to get free refills with your drink order, but not so much in Europe.

Ice reduces the volume of soda in each cup and also tones down its sweetness – which isn’t a problem if you have unlimited soda.

In countries like the UK, where free refills are not commonplace, people tend to enjoy their beverages without large amounts of ice, as they feel they’re getting cheated out of the amount of soda it contains! Europeans also prefer it when their drink is not too watery which often happens if the ice melts too quickly.

Cultural preferences aside though, adding at least some ice to your drinks is still popular in European countries as everyone loves that more refreshing and thirst-quenching experience. 

When Did People Start Putting Ice In Their Drinks?

The use of ice in drinks goes back to ancient times, with evidence of the ancient Egyptians and Greeks using ice to cool their drinks with ice or snow. However, the widespread use of ice in drinks didn’t really take hold until the 19th century.

Ice soon became a symbol of luxury and sophistication, and it was a common sight in fashionable saloons and hotels. The use of ice in drinks became even more popular in the late 1800s and early 1900s, with the rise of soda fountains and the popularity of cold, fizzy drinks like Coca-Cola.

In Europe, the use of ice in drinks started during the 17th century when wealthy Europeans discovered the luxury of drinking chilled beverages. At that time, only the wealthiest households and the most prestigious restaurants and hotels could afford to have ice on hand. 

Some wealthy households even had their own personal icehouses built where ice could be stored and used throughout the year. 

In the early 1800s, commercial ice production began to take off in the United States, with large-scale ice harvesting taking place in places like New England and the Great Lakes region. 

This made ice more widely available and affordable, and people began to use it more frequently to cool their drinks.


In conclusion, adding ice to your soda drinks not only improves their taste but also makes them more enjoyable to drink. 

It helps reduce the sweetness of the beverage, adds a bit of crunch and texture, keeps it colder for longer, and even increases its carbonation.

So, if you want to make your soda taste even better and keep it cold for longer, don’t forget to throw some ice cubes in the next time you enjoy a refreshing glass of fizzy drink.

Tom Hambly

Tom Hambly is the founder of Totally Drinks. He loves to cook and drink nice things - his favorite drinks are wine, beers and whiskey. About Tom Hambly.

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