Practical joke cocktails: freeze Mentos into the ice-cubes, add to Diet Coke drink

Wired's HOWTO wiki suggests freezing Mentos into ice cubes and then serving them in Diet Coke-based cocktails as a kind of timed practical joke (the cubes melt, and the drink turns into a volcano). Diet Coke is recommended "because it isn't sticky."

Mix an Exploding Drink (via Neatorama)



  1. Well, I will have to try it but I can think of a few reasons why this wouldn’t really work:

    – Putting the Mentos in water to freeze would dissolve most of the cavitation points on the candy.
    – Pouring the Diet Coke into a glass would degas it enough to prevent a lot of foaming
    – By the time the ice melted enough to expose a Mentos, soda would have degassed even more
    – Melting would not be uniform so there would not be very much Mentos exposed over time evenly

  2. It won’t work that well. As the Mentos/Diet Coke guys explained when they put on the show at Maker Faire, the Diet Coke needs to be room temperature for a good effect. If it’s ice-cold not nearly as much fizz will come out of solution.

  3. The reason it won’t work is the fizz is not caused by gum arabic.
    The fizz is caused by the multiple pits/points of nucleation on the mentos sugar coated candy. I have to admit i have not tried the prank because i am being a physics snob. If anyone can get it to work i will just be all like thumbs up without responding.

  4. Yeah it’s funny but since I just got a lesson in this at Maker Faire, I’m very skeptical. The prankster has been pranked!

  5. All you naysayers with your learning. Then you’re at a party and somebody’s HEAD BLOWS OFF. And it’s FUNNY.

    Where’s your science then?

  6. Nah, the bestest practical joke I’ve seen in a while is the fake Scientology Ad on the bOINGbOING page…

    …oh wait, WTF, a REAL scientology ad.

    now how the hell did that get through!!!!!

  7. The reason it won’t work is the fizz is not caused by gum arabic.
    The fizz is caused by the multiple pits/points of nucleation on the mentos sugar coated candy. I have to admit i have not tried the prank because i am being a physics snob. If anyone can get it to work i will just be all like thumbs up without responding.

    The Mythbusters actually did a really thorough episode all about the diet coke and mentos thing. It is caused by the gum arabic… AND by the nucleation sites, AND by the artificial sweetener. The spectacular results are due to all the individual factors adding up. Each one does cause the carbonation to want to leave the solution.

  8. and in addition to all of the above, Mythbusters found that it’s the combination of DIET Coke that makes the reaction to begin with…it fizzes with regular Coke, lemon-lime soda, etc., etc….but if you have Mentos frozen in water (dissolved points of nucleation) in a POURED (read: partially degassed) glass of Diet Coke, it’s not going to be all that grate, akshully.

  9. “Diet Coke is recommended “because it isn’t sticky.””

    Didn’t mythbusters prove that the aspartam in “diet” soft drinks enhances the effect ?

  10. I’ve been disappointed with the whole Mentos and Diet Coke thing ever since I bought a value pack of Mentos and it *came with a special plastic tube for dropping the Mentos into the Diet Coke*.

  11. All these drinks are yours, except Europa. Attempt no cola there.

    Well, I do enjoy Afri-Cola, and that’s from Germany. Or do you mean some other Europa?

  12. If you want to see a spectacular fizz, just tap a open beer bottle with a glass or other bottle.

    Disclaimer: I’m from Belgium and this works great on beer bottles here. They’ve always been chilled when I’ve seen this happen, but I don’t know if that matters.

    Disclaimer 2: This is fucking annoying when you don’t expect it so don’t do it to someone else, children.

  13. I am just wondering (sorry to be a downer) but I often eat ice cubes. Could this maybe chip a tooth or say damage your stomach maybe if someone swallowed the ice cube and then drunk a bunch of diet coke out of the can? Actually starting to sound a little scary. Maybe not such a great idea.

  14. Diet Coke is recommended “because it isn’t sticky.”

    Also recommended “because this trick will not work with regular Coke.”

  15. Diet Coke is recommended “because it isn’t sticky.”

    Also recommended because regular coke would violate the practical joker’s code of ethics.

  16. On Europa, all the carbonated beverages immediately explode into fizzy clouds because of explosive decompression, and then immediately freeze into tinkly sparkly masses of ice crystals because of the incredibly low surface temperature. Nobody drinks cola ON Europa, it is only consumed deep BELOW the surface ice in our high pressure submarine cities.

  17. And absolutely no one would notice small pill-like things in their ice cubes. Uh-huh.

  18. Posters 1-3:
    I’ll be expecting your experimental results soon testing your hypothesis.

  19. @Sednaboo#19
    Done. Soda poured over ice didn’t fizz at all with the addition of mints that worked on soda in a can (that was a mess :D ). There was little carbonation left.

  20. @ #8-9

    These would be valid arguments if the mythbusters were at all scientific in any of their tests. I hesitate to call them experiments, as they’re not.

    In the interest of full disclosure: I have not seen this particular mentos mythbusters episode. I have however seen quite a few others.

    Entertaining and enlightening the mythbusters are. They are not, however, scientific. So please refrain from suggesting their studies are fact.

  21. the correct method is to split the Mentos and insert a seed of sodium metal. In this way, you can be assured a successful fizz event as well as a good blinding and scarring.

  22. How to not melt the mentos in water.

    Use those half-sphere ice cube molds. When frozen, you can join them together into spheres. Just use a bit of water to wet the surface, and put back in the freezer. But before that, make holes in the center. Something hot will do, like a heated spoon, or ball bearing. Put the mentos in the center before you join the ice into spheres. You crush it first. Maybe powder will react faster.

    But it probably still wouldn’t work.

  23. @ #21

    Your ability to discern the scientific content and rigor of a television episode you have not watched is astonishing. Are you available to meet with Mister James Randi to demonstrate this supernatural ability?

  24. The joke would be on you when nobody comes to your next party … and that would be just for serving diet coke.

  25. It sounds to me like no one has followed the instructions on the link and actually done it. Science isn’t just emotional, reactionary hunches, folks.

  26. @Chairboy (30) – he meant he hadn’t seen that particular episode. But, unlike the Mythbusters, he probably has more than one data point with which to conclude they aren’t scientific. They’re entertainers that do neat projects, but not scientists and certainly not rigorous experimenters.

  27. I love the mythbusters. I think they’re great. I don’t think they’re scientists or that their rigorous “confirmed or busted” routine actually means confirmed or busted.

    Snarky rundown of every mythbusters episode:

    1) what is the myth?
    2) how can we bust or confirm “myth”
    3) “experiment” decided from above
    4) did anything blow up?
    yes: confirmed
    no: move to step 5
    5) increase firepower
    6) did it blow up?
    yes: confirmed
    no: repeat step 5

  28. > Mythbusters. They’re entertainers that do neat
    > projects, but not scientists and certainly not
    > rigorous experimenters.

    I strongly, strongly agree.

    They’re very definitely not amateur scientists. They try hard to *appear* scientific, but they don’t “get it.” The show would be vastly improved if they had people with science background, even if off camera. (Maybe they do have these people. If so, then they’re not listening to them enough.)

  29. Surface roughness of the candy is not the issue, since the effect is caused by air pockets trapped in the rough spots. If the roughness traps little air, then there’s little effervescence.

    Since the above simple idea is lost on the various teams analyzing this (mythbusters, newscientist), I wouldn’t trust their pronouncements much.

    ALso: solidified sugar is transparent, while mentos’ coating is opaque white, suggesting that perhaps vast numbers of microbubbles are embedded in that surface. (That’s why taffy is white, no? Entrained bubbles?) If dissolving sugar surface exposes microbubbles, then the major part of the effect is explained. If so, then “roughness” is no explanation at all …and most important, a carefully-polished mentos candy would still provoke the explosion.

  30. MUST TRY THIS!!! Blowtorch a mentos just a tiny bit, then inspect microscopically to assure that the melted sugar surface has become smooth.

    If this doesn’t reduce the explosion effect, then the surface explanation being used by everyone …is just plain wrong.

  31. I’m with Anonymous @ #35. Somebody should actually try this to see if it works before everybody continues screaming at each other about why it is or isn’t a plausible prank.

    I’d do it, but I don’t like diet cola.

  32. I’d do it, but I don’t like diet cola.

    You’re prob’ly not gonna wanna drink it when you’re done..

  33. Actually I don’t like Mentos either. Or cleaning up liquid spills, for that matter. So all in all it would be kind of like a Muslim doing an experiment as to whether bacon really can be used to cure hangovers.

  34. It sounds to me like no one has followed the instructions on the link and actually done it. Science isn’t just emotional, reactionary hunches, folks.

    Oh, again with the MythBusters bashing!

    Can’t you leave them alone? They never did anything to you!

  35. >

    Lol, this ongoing flaw in Mythbusters, drawing continuing criticism …has itself become a pop-culture phenomenon!

    Trouble is, it would be SO SO SO simple for them to end the criticism by solving it. Just get one single freaking postdoc in as a consultant. Millions of us would volunteer to do it for free! But noooooooooo.

    The problem has become bad enough that XKCD has to step in and try to turn around the scientific community that mythbusters alienates.

    Instead, why wouldn’t they fix the actual problem? Are they convinced that scientists are a micro demographic not worth bothering about? Or are we all supposed to be boring nerds who’d ruin their show if we had any input?

    Just think what power mythbusters would have in our culture if it WAS actually trustworthy, and if it WASN’T the butt of scientists jokes?

    1. So, if Isaac Newton doesn’t have a PhD, gravity isn’t real? Interesting when science is legitimate because it’s proclaimed by people with letters after their names rather than by being proved experimentally. That sounds so much more like religion than science.

    1. I’m just saying that giving credence to a conclusion because of the credentials of the proponent is appropriate to religion or philosophy, and giving credence to a conclusion because of the methodology is appropriate to science.

  36. Actually, what works REALLY well are those little spicy heart candies you get at valentines day. Someone dropped a few of this in a pop (not diet coke), and it was quite impressive.

    They would also freeze in an icecube much better!

  37. Not too much science to this Mythbusters episode — they bought a bunch of different kind of soda, dropped a few Mentos into each one, and showed which ones fizzed the most.

    Doesn’t take rocket science for that one — all you had to do was watch…it was really amazing how much more the Diet Coke fizzed than everything else.

    And I’m right there with XKCD — it’s the fact that they get somebody to THINK about something that makes them all so awesome.

    And they blow stuff up.

  38. I don’t know if it will work of not, but nothing with any cola is a “Manhattan.”

  39. Just tried the ice freezing technique. Trickier than expected. I tried layering it into two sections as suggested. First I froze the bottom layer of ice, next I placed the mento on the frozen bottom section and added water to the remainder. At that moment, the ice on the bottom melted enough to loosen from the base, floating to the top and kicking the mento to the bottom. I ignored this in the hopes that something magical would happen overnight. It did not. The mentos were at the bottom of all the ice cubes, and had diminished in size significantly. If it had worked, I believe it would have been impossible to see the mento through the ice, the center was pretty white just from the frozen water. However, I do question whether or nor it would work if the mento is dissolved by the amount I noticed. I have always heard that it was the exterior shell that reacted with the diet coke. In addition, the mento needs to be 100% surrounded by ice in order for the timed release to occur. If anyone has any suggestions, I’m all for it. Will continue to attempt other methods. Due to the requirements necessary for making this a reality vs the simplistic way it is presented in the instructions, I declare this recipe a hoax.

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