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"Let us strive to make each moment beautiful."
Saint Francis DeSales
painting by Katie Bergenholtz

Red, White and Blue Punch (a lesson in Density)


Here is a fun way to make a patriotic punch and have a little lesson in density. You will need 3 different kid-friendly juices/drinks in red, white, and blue as long as the three colors of drinks are of different sugar content per serving. The larger the sugar content difference, the better your drink will layer. That’s because this involves a little kitchen science density. For your bottom layer you want something with close to 40 grams of sugar per serving, the middle layer should have around 20 grams of sugar per serving and the top layer should have as little as possible.

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 The sugar content can be found on the package with the rest of the nutritional information. You can see that our white layer mixed just a bit with the other colors. This is because the sugar density did not differ enough in the layers. There are also a few more tips and tricks to get the layered effect.
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First start by filling your container, whether it be a large dispenser like in the above photo or individual glasses with the drink of the highest sugar content per serving, in our case, red Gatorade Fruit punch, which has 56 grams of sugar.

Next fill the container totally with ice. Place a large metal spoon across the top of the container so that the spoon is up against the side of the container. Now, slowly pour the drink with the next highest sugar content over the spoon and down the side of the container to fill it up one third of the way with the second color, in our case a white drink, Gatorade Frost: Glacier Cherry, which has 21 grams of sugar per serving. Try not to let any of it pour directly over the ice in the center or it will mix with the next layer and the colors will combine. 
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Slowly pour your drink with the next highest sugar content very slowly over the ice to make your second layer. The ice will act as sort of a buffer. 
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Lastly slowly pour the drink that has the least sugar content on top to form your top layer. We used Powerade Zero Mixed Berry, which has less than one gram of sugar. It is a light blue, however, and that may have contributed to it not showing up as a distinct layer. 
If you would like to complete the lesson in density, you could try it again, using drinks that are a similar density and show how they mix instead of staying as layers. You could use Hawaiian Punch Fruit Juicy Red, which has a sugar content of 14 grams of sugar, instead of the Gatorade Fruit Punch and compare the results, as it has a density level much closer to the Gatorade Frost: Glacier Cherry, (21 grams of sugar per serving.) Have fun, drink up and learn science!

2 comments:

  1. That was really cool!

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  2. We have to do this! The boys will love it!

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