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Relax and enjoy a refreshing glass of lemonade while doing science! Here's an easy way to turn ordinary lemonade into fizzy sparkling lemonade. The project works on the same principle as the classic baking soda and vinegar volcano. When you combine an acid and baking soda, you get carbon dioxide gas, which is released as bubbles. The acid in the volcano is acetic acid from vinegar. In fizzy lemonade, the acid is citric acid from lemon juice. Carbon dioxide bubbles are what gives soft drinks their fizz. In this easy chemistry project, you're simply making the bubbles yourself.
Fizzy Lemonade Ingredients
You could do this project with any lemonade, but if you make your own it won't end up insanely sweet. It's up to you. For the lemonade base you need:
- 2 cups water
- 1/2 cup lemon juice (contains citric acid and a smaller amount of ascorbic acid)
- 1/4 cup sugar (sucrose)
You'll also need:
- sugar cubes
- baking soda (sodium bicarbonate)
- food coloring
Make Homemade Fizzy Lemonade
- Mix together the water, lemon juice, and sugar. This is tart lemonade, but you'll sweeten it in a bit. If you like, you can refrigerate the lemonade so you won't need to add ice to chill it later.
- For kids (or if you're a kid at heart), draw faces or designs on sugar cubes using toothpicks dipped in food coloring.
- Coat the sugar cubes with baking soda. You can roll them in the powder or shake sugar cubes in a small plastic bag containing baking soda.
- Pour some of your lemonade into a glass. When you're ready for the fizz, drop a sugar cube into the glass. If you used food coloring on the sugar cubes, you can watch the lemonade change color.
- Enjoy the lemonade!
- Another option, besides food coloring, is to paint the sugar cubes with an edible pH indicator. The indicator will change color according to whether it's on the powdered sugar cube or in the lemonade. Red cabbage juice is a good choice, but there are other options you can find in your kitchen.
- Any acidic liquid will work for this project. It doesn't have to be lemonade! You could carbonate orange juice, limeade, grapefruit juice, or even ketchup (maybe not so tasty, but it makes a nice volcano).
Got another lemon? Use it to make a homemade battery.