Monday, July 16, 2012

Layered Drink Doozy

Sarah sent us in this 4th of July Mocktail Pinstrosity.  I've seen this idea a number of times, and even tried a variation of it myself a while back. 
The Original Pin
Sarah says, "I was all kinds of excited to try this awesome pin for our 4th of July celebration festivities! What would be more festive than a drink that resembles our nations's flag? So a few days before, I bought my fruit punch, Gatorade and Diet Sprite and out them right in the fridge so they would be nice and cold! The blog explained that the different layers came from the sugar content... the parts with the most sugar would stay on the bottom and the part with the least amount of sugar would stay on top. The instructions said to fill your glass 1/3 full of ice and pour the fruit punch to almost the top of the ice. Following that, fill your glass with 1/3 more ice then to carefully pour the blue Gatorade on top; finally, top the glass off with 1/3 more with ice and carefully pour Diet Sprite on top. Sounds easy enough, right? Wrong"

The Pinstrosity


"My husband and I tried multiple times with no luck. We tried everything from pouring differently to laying the ice in different ways. The top layer (Diet Sprite) did, in fact, separate from the rest of the drink, but we definitely did NOT see the wonderful blue and red that I was hoping for. The project ended leaving me disappointed with a ton of a fruit punch concoction left to drink."

I can feel Sarah's disappointment through the email. I know I would have been highly disappointed. I've done some looking around (and some far reaches back to my college chemistry classes) and I have a few ideas of how to help this out.

The separation of layers comes from the density of each drink, and the sugar content of the drinks affects the densities. You have to make sure to have good variations in your sugar content to get this to work just right. The pin Sarah used called for fruit punch and blue gatorade for two of the layers, but a little more specific information is needed. If your fruit punch isn't the thick fruit punch, it's not going to work so well. The gatorade and the punch need to differ in densities (or thicknesses if you want to think of it that way). I looked up some other recipes and found a more specific ingredient list for you:

  • Sobe Pina Colada for the white
  • Gatorade Fruit Punch for the red
  • G2 Blueberry-Pomegranate for the blue. 

And here's the process I'm reading in many posts:

  • Fill the glass all the way full with ice (not just the 1/3) and pour in your thickest drink first (using the above ingredient list, that'd be the Pina Colada Sobe). 
  • Slowly, pour in the next drink through the ice, and follow up with the last drink (again slowly!). 
Pouring slowly through the ice will help to reduce mixing of the layers (although some mixing will occur). 

Here are some great examples using this exact recipe and method!
And then one different ingredient list:

  • Cran-Apple Ocean Spray Juice
  • Pina Colada Sobe
  • G2 Blueberry Pomegranate



  1. Did you try pouring the liquid over a metal spoon at an angle? I know that works for layering beer.

  2. Verna & I are on the same page. I make shots & kids drinks by pouring over a large metal spoon. It takes off some of the velocity of the liquid. I even go so far as to touch the spoon to the side of the container so it can trickle down the side.

  3. I do an alcoholic version of this! Use grenadine, UV blue, and sprite. Grenadine is VERY thick and immediately sinks to the bottom in any drink. If you sub that for the fruit punch I bet it would be delicious! Just make sure to use less than the 1/3 called's so sweet you won't want that much!

  4. I don't know about soda drinks, but it seems to me that you could probably use the 'pour over a spoon into the glass' method. It keeps alcoholic layers separate. I think that the 'filling it with ice' method is probably achieving the same thing, a distribution of the weight of the liquid being poured in so less force causes less blend.

  5. I tried the original pin myself. I too, had a REALLY difficult time getting the colors to stay separated. But, I finally figured it out... you have to layer the ice as you layer the liquids.

    see the full story here:

  6. We made this for our Olympics watching party and it worked so good! I accidentally got a can of cranberry juice instead of fruit punch but we had no issues

  7. Are you just rubbing it in by showing all of the successful ones? =)

    1. Not at all...just showing the pin isn't a complete bust and giving motivation to try again.

  8. Something else I'm noticing about the pinstrosity picture... there's very little ice there. Notice that the steps say "pour the [current layer] to ALMOST the top of the ice."

    You need to have enough ice that the weight keeps he ice from floating up and mixing the layers.


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