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The best diet Coke in town?  Hmmm…  So…I quickly admit that I am totally addicted to diet Coke!  And not just any diet Coke – I mean a diet Coke from a soda fountain!  Yes…I know that’s totally picky of me, but I like what I like.  And what I like is a diet Coke from a soda fountain!

You might be saying to yourself “This Ball Cap Mom chick is crazy.  A diet Coke is a diet Coke.”  Well…I’m  here to tell you that you are wrong.  A diet Coke is NOT a diet Coke.  Some are better than others.  Here we go…

When I first think about going out to get a diet Coke for myself, my first thought is “Where is the nearest Sonic.”  Right?  Isn’t that what everyone thinks when you just need drink?  They have SO many to choose from, and drinks are their specialty, so they should have the best sodas, right?  Wrong!

They have very good sodas, and for kids like mine who like to mess up their sodas with things like vanilla, cherry, or lime flavors, then Sonic is the perfect place for you.  However, if you are like me, and you don’t agree with messing with perfection, then Sonic might not be the best place for you.

The very best place to get a diet Coke (if that’s all you want), is…drumroll please… McDONALD’S!  I can hear the gasps!  But yes…the best place for a straight forward diet Coke is in fact McDonald’s!  I know….hard to believe, right?  Like I said in the title – – this might surprise you.

My go to place is many people’s favorite – Chick Fil A!  I love getting a soda there, especially early in the morning, because somehow, an order of hash browns always ends up coming with the large diet Coke!  So…if it’s early morning, that’s where you’ll find me.  Unless of course it’s on  Sunday – then you’ll find me at Sonic or McDonald’s.

However, hitting McDonald’s can sometimes work out too.  Have you ever ordered your large diet Coke and accidentally ordered some large fries as well?  It has certainly happened to me a number of times.  And if you haven’t experienced a nice hot, fresh order of McDonald’s french fries cooked to perfection, I highly recommend giving it a shot!

I’ve often thought that McDonald’s needs to take a hint from their friends over at Krispy Kreme Donuts.  Ever been there?  Have you noticed their sign that starts flashing when the donuts are hot?

I think McDonald’s could really increase their drive-thru traffic with a sign that flashed “Hot French Fries” right as the fries came out of the basket of grease!  Agree?  That would certainly entice me to drive through their line instead of going down the street to Sonic.

What is the Secret to McDonald’s Diet Coke?

There are many things that make McDonald’s different when it comes to their soda fountain.  There are many parts to a soda fountain, and some of those things they can’t control.  There are a few that they can.  Here is what I know…

CO2 is the gas that makes your diet Coke fizzy. The ratio and mix of ingredients is controlled by the fountain machine that is set by Coca-Cola.  We (as the customer) can only change the temperature by adding ice.

The secret to McDonald’s diet Coke tasting so much yummier than the rest of them is the water they use and freshness of syrup.  Water is 85% of your soda, so McDonald’s uses a reverse osmosis filtering system in order to provide the best water possible.

Would you believe that the water you get at McDonald’s is cleaner than almost anywhere else!  This is also why their coffee is so popular.

Now on to the syrup!  Most places who sell Coke products get their syrup in a small bag/box.  However, McDonald’s sells so many fountain drinks, that they order their syrup in stainless steel cylinders that are delivered by tanker trucks!

The syrup does not sit around for very long at McDonald’s either, therefore it is much fresher than most other restaurants.  They also clean out their machines every single day to prevent build up in the hoses.  YUM!  Right?

If you need more scientific reasons than I can provide, then you should read the article on the Delishably Website titled Why Does Fountain Coke Taste Better at McDonald’s?  I wrote about the part that makes sense to me – I am happy that they use fresh, filtered water, and fancy containers to store and transport the syrup!

And bottom line – their diet Coke is awesome!  So…when it’s convenient, or when I’m craving some yummy french fries to nibble on while I enjoy my fresh, cold, fizzy diet Coke, then I will head to the nearest McDonald’s!

Can I Install a Soda Fountain in My Own Home?

My husband and I often wonder how much money I would save if I could “brew” my own diet Cokes here at the house.  I mean, each time I drive through to grab a diet Coke, it costs me about $2.00.  I guess that’s because I almost always get a large.

I mean…if I’m going to the trouble of driving through to get a drink, I need to make it worth my while, right?  So…it turns out there are some options for making your own diet Coke.

One option I found was the SodaStream Fountain Jet Home Soda Maker Starter Kit on Amazon (see below).  This seemed like the simplest idea.  The description of this kit on Amazon, says the following:

  • Transform ordinary tap water into fresh great-tasting soda or sparkling water in less than 30 seconds
  • Choose from over 60 better-for-you regular, diet and all-natural soda mix varieties with no high-fructose corn syrup and no aspartame
  • Each bottle of soda mix makes up to 12 liters of soda (33 cans)
  • Requires no electricity, no batteries and no clean up
  • Includes 60-liter Carbonator

Now…I cannot imagine this machine replacing my diet Cokes from McDonald’s!  Can you?  But…it would be fun to try.  Have you tried one before?  If so, let me know.


Doesn’t this look cool? But for the price? Not so sure…. I think it’s a better deal for me to keep driving through and spending my $2!

There are also some more extensive options such as the 3-Flavor Soda Fountain Tower System with Cold Plate Cooling.  This one actually looks sort of complicated, and more like a real soda fountain.  And you should click on the link just to see the price…  Don’t choke when you see it!

But I’m not sure I’d want this in my kitchen – I could see majorly over-dosing on diet Coke if I had my own soda fountain!  If you decide to try something like this, you MUST let me know how it turns out.

Can I Build My Own Soda Fountain?

Of course I had to go see if there were people out there who “brewed” their own diet Coke.  I mean, lots of people brew their own beer right?

Before you go try and install your own soda fountain, you must read How to Install A Soda Fountain in Your Own Home.  It’s a funny article on The Awl Website, about a couple who tries to install their own soda fountain.  After reading their experience, I don’t think this kind of do-it-yourself soda fountain is in my future!

For now, I think I’ll stick to driving through McDonald’s when it’s convenient, or settling for Chick Fil A or Sonic for those times I can’t make it to McDonald’s – the place with the very best diet Coke in town!  Drink up, people!  And enjoy!  Until next time….