Many would say that McDonald’s Sprite just tastes better than anywhere else, including even an ice-cold can from the Coca-Cola itself. In fact, every soda you get from McDonald’s just hits different. The experience is so universal it’s become a bit of a meme that circulates every so often. We’re not imagining things: there are some reasons why Sprite and other fountain drinks at the infamous Gold Arches have a unique taste.
What’s the secret?
Some words used to describe McDonald’s Sprite online have been “Crispy,” “Spicy,” “Sizzling” and even “Electronic.” The baseline of any good drink is the water used. Because fountain drinks mix the soda syrup with the restaurant’s water, this leaves a good deal of the taste up to the restaurant itself.
While McDonald’s doesn’t have the triple filtration system that makes Starbucks water win taste tests, they do double filter their water.
When this filtered water mixes with the syrup in their machine, it’s calibrated differently than other restaurants. Both the sugar content and the carbonation seem to be amped up at McDonald’s.
The syrup itself has a different storage container. While other restaurants might receive their syrup in plastic bags, McDonald’s receives its base soda material in stainless steel tanks, which keep the flavor from degrading. They also pre-chill the syrup and the water, to ensure the beverage is always going to be ice cold no matter what, and this makes a big impact on flavor and a “refreshing” experience and keep the carbonation nice and bubbly.
Finally, we have the presentation: McDonald’s straws are wider than other fast-food restaurants, which affects how the marriage of ice-cold sugar and carbonation hit the tongue.
Photo via Chapendra