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Fizzy Potion Recipe

Mad Scientist Lab


You can make a decent-tasting potion if you use fruit juice instead of plain water.

This potion is made using dyed water, but you can make a decent-tasting potion if you use fruit juice instead of plain water.

Anne Helmenstine This mad scientist potion stays foamy for a long time.

This mad scientist potion stays foamy for a long time. It was made from mixing beet juice and baking soda and adding a little vinegar.

Anne Helmenstine

Mad scientists aren't known for drinking tap water. The mad scientist craves fizz! This potion froths and fizzes and is available in the classic radioactive colors or tasty color-change formula. It looks vile and evil, but the fizzy potion is safe enough to drink and tastes better (in my opinion) than most soft drinks.

Gather the Fizzy Potion Ingredients

First lets cover the basic radioactive-colored fizzy potion. You will need:

  • mad scientist glass
  • water
  • food coloring
  • baking soda
  • vinegar
Let's Do Science!
  1. Pour a little water and baking soda into your glass. Add food coloring to get a nice deep color.
  2. When you are ready for fizzing, add a splash of vinegar.
  3. You can add more vinegar, baking soda, and food coloring to keep things going. You can drink this potion, but it will taste like salty vinegar (ick). This potion can keep fizzing for quite a while (as you can see in my video).
Make It Taste Better and Foam Longer

Can't stand the taste of baking soda and vinegar? Stir a small amount of baking soda into fruit juice. Add a splash of vinegar to initiate the fizz. Juices not only taste better, but they can maintain foam longer. Beet juice seems to foam particularly well (though the flavor isn't that appealing).

Make it Change Color

If you used fruit juice, did your potion change color when you added the vinegar? Many fruit juices (e.g. grape juice) are natural pH indicators and will respond to the potion's change in acidity by turning colors. Usually the color change isn't very dramatic (purple to red), but if you use red cabbage juice, your potion will change from yellowish-green to purplish-red.

How It Works

The chemical reaction between the baking soda and vinegar produces bubbles of carbon dioxide gas as part of this acid-base reaction:

baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) + vinegar (acetic acid) --> carbon dioxide + water + sodium ion + acetate ion

NaHCO3(s) + CH3COOH(l) --> CO2(g) + H2O(l) + Na+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)

where s = solid, l = liquid, g = gas, aq = aqueous or in solution

Breaking it down:

NaHCO3 <--> Na+(aq) + HCO3-(aq)
CH3COOH <--> H+(aq) + CH3COO-(aq)

H+ + HCO3- <--> H2CO3 (carbonic acid)
H2CO3 <--> H2O + CO2

Acetic acid (a weak acid) reacts with and neutralizes sodium bicarbonate (a base). Carbon dioxide is responsible for the fizzing and bubbling of this potion. It is also the gas that forms bubbles in carbonated beverages, like sodas.

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