Food & Drinks

Why Do Fountain Drinks Taste Better?

Why Do Fountain Drinks Taste Better?

If you drink a lot of sodas, you must know that there is a difference in taste between glass-bottled sodas, canned sodas, and fountain sodas.

For most people, fountain drinks take the win by a large margin, which is why people crave McDonald’s or KFC’s fountain drinks.

Some people may think these food joints and restaurants use sodas made especially for their stores, but that is not the case. It is the same soda, but when you drink it, the taste is richer or fresh, and you can’t explain why it tastes better than your canned one.

It brings us to the question: have you ever wondered why fountain drinks taste better? The reason behind it is as follows:

The underlying reason is that these sodas are made directly in the fountain machine, and the ratio of water and syrup, amount of carbonation, ice, and even your straw plays a significant role in heightening the taste of your fountain drink.

The article will discuss various reasons behind the difference in the taste of fountain sodas compared to canned sodas.

Why Fountain Drinks Taste Better?

Why Fountain Drinks Taste Better?

The magic and mystery behind the taste difference and feeling of freshness lie in your fountain machine.

Now let’s unravel the mystery behind how the taste of fountain sodas is affected by the fountain machine, resulting in that extra freshness.

1. Made on the Fly

Made On The Fly

The first and foremost reason has something to do with the making, and no, you don’t need someone to make it for you (as you would know if you have tried a fountain soda machine before). Also, the fountain machine doesn’t need a bottle like a water dispenser.

So, where does the soda you press the button for come from? The answer is that it is made on the fly. The syrup with the specific flavor (Mountain Dew, Sprite, Pepsi, or Coke) is mixed with carbonated water and served to you in full glory.

However, this part is dependent on water and carbonation.


The quality of water affects the taste of your fountain drink. That’s why for different establishments, the taste may vary slightly. The general ratio for water to syrup is 5:1, meaning for every five parts of water, one part of syrup is necessary.

While syrup comes pre-made, the one thing which is in the hand of the place you visit is the water. That’s why; for most people, the taste of fountain drinks at McDonald’s is the best.

It is related to how water filtration occurs according to a stricter standard.


The craving for soda comes from the fizz, which provides a refreshing flavor while helping you quench your thirst. But this fizz also responds to our taste buds.

However, the fizz comes from the amount of carbonation in the drink. For some people, the higher the fizz in their beverage, the better. Contrarily, for others, the less the fizz, the more they prefer their drink.

It doesn’t mean people who prefer less fizz drink a flat soda, but the opposite, i.e., even the smaller amount of fizz will give you a heightened taste. It is due to the freshness from adding carbonation on the spot, which isn’t the case for canned or bottled ones.

2. Ice and Fountain Drinks

Ice And Fountain Drinks

If you frequent a bar or even McDonald’s or KFC, then at least once, the thought of how to make the crystal clear ice would have crossed your mind.

There are many articles on why diluting your drink with ice may not be a good idea, but if you want a sweeter and more refreshing taste, then ice is an absolute necessity.

But using plain old ice doesn’t cut it here. Also, it may surprise you, but crystal ice isn’t there for aesthetic purposes only. Crystal ice actually melts slower, doesn’t hold in oxygen, and tastes better too!

So, without a doubt, crystal ice is better for your beverages than regular white ice.

Editor’s Note

Adding ice to the soda isn’t only good for you but also saves the syrup in the machine, meaning the establishment owner will save up on the syrup’s cost, albeit a little.

3. Cupping and Straw

Cupping And Straw

The last part relates to packaging, and believe it or not, till the last point where your fountain drink reaches your tongue, every single component plays its role like dominos.

While most of us order food in drive-thrus and continue on our eating business without any mind, these establishments are there to deliver you the best down to even the last inch.

The lid of your cup plays the role of stopping the carbonation from escaping. Also, the longer the shape of the cup, the longer it can hold carbonation, and finally, the last culprit, your straw.

Straws are designed to deliver a concentration of your beverage through a smaller area to your mouth directly. This drink then spreads like wildfire throughout your mouth, and as the straw reaches the bottom, it picks up the more concentrated part of the drink.

Also, the small opening through the lid creates the perfect way for carbonation to reach you directly instead of dispersing in the atmosphere.

Also, as a special tip, try a wider straw, i.e., if you want to recreate the fountain drink taste from any establishment or food chain.


Lastly, the taste difference between canned and fountain drinks relates to their making. The canned drinks are pre-made, so some flavor is lost over time or absorbed by the packaging until it reaches you.

However, in the case of fountain drinks, the fresh carbonation, crystal clear ice, the mixing of the syrup and water on the spot, and the packaging suited to deliver the best taste make you think it is better in taste.

But before wrapping up, the taste is subjective, so while a majority may find it better than canned ones, it may or may not suit your taste.

Regardless, now you know why there is a difference in taste between restaurant and canned drinks.