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Silly Diet Coke question

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I seldom drink soft drinks but I like to have some on hand for friends who enjoy them.

I put a plastic bottle of diet coke in the fridge for friends the other day. They opted for other beverage options and the soda was never opened.

Can I bring it back to room temperature and store in my pantry? Or will that compromise the product? (I'm thinking about how beer shouldn't be stored at room temp. if it has been chilled - or maybe that's an old wives tale?)

Thanks - real estate in my fridge is hard to find so I'd just as soon not store the bottle there for months!

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  1. Don't think I'd worry about it; store it where you can. It's made for room temp storage, and the flavor is so industrially strong it can never, short of being opened, be compromised.

    1 Reply
    1. re: bob96

      The sweetener will break down in a couple of years at room temp, so it's not immortal. As noted below, dark and cool helps.

    2. A dark and relatively cool place should be fine for that soda, like, as you said, your pantry.

      1. Bottled sodas do lose fizz over time and repeated heating/cooling may compromise the seal further, but it will affect fizz only, not taste.

        1 Reply
        1. re: ferret

          Time does affect the taste, as well as the fizz. I drink DC regularly, and buy the 2L bottles as they are more economical. Once in a while I find I've placed new ones in front of the others...and I'll open one that has gone "off". I don't think it takes much more than a month and I can tell the difference.

        2. Thanks to all of you! I just hate wasting "food" and would rather give it to a neighbor than have it go bad. Back to the pantry then!

          3 Replies
          1. re: meatn3

            Ask yourself how long, honestly, would you even have a Diet Coke in storage?

            1. re: bob96

              Actually, for me it could be a year. I only know a couple of people who drink it and because of distance we only see each other twice a year! I find the stuff nasty as hell personally.

              Same with Dr. Pepper. My sister is the only one I know who drinks it, she is only able to visit every other year. I now send her home with whatever is left (she prefers cans).

              1. re: meatn3

                Ugh. I'd never keep a bottle that long...it would taste awful.

          2. I "lost" a 6-pack of decaf diet Pepsi in my garage for SEVERAL years. When it surfaced, I chilled and opened a can. Not only was it flat, but it was colorless and tasted metallically bitter. It pains me to waste food but this was unpotable and I took comfort in knowing that it was the ultimate non-food anyway.

            3 Replies
            1. re: greygarious

              I don't think that this story is at all about wasting food, which decaf diet Pepsi certainly isn't.

              1. re: greygarious

                We just had a similar experience - we resurrected a lost case of coke zero visiting relatives in Canada - we figured out it was almost exactly three years old from a previous time we visited. Oh, yuuck. It had that weird "metallic bitterness" you describe - like something had degraded. But then we opened another can from another pack that was *only* 6 months old and it was just fine.

                1. re: greygarious

                  Yeah, I was going to say it's not a total waste because you could pour it into the toilet bowl to clean it. But maybe not, if it was flat. I'm not sure if it's the carbonation+chemicals that clean the bowl, or just the chemicals. Hmm.

                2. As an aside, apparently diet coke will actually explode if stored at a low enough temperature (ie, unheated garage in Calgary in winter).

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: tastesgoodwhatisit

                    It will also explode in extreme heat, like the truck of a car in the middle of summer. Even without the mess, extreme heat ruin the flavor.

                  2. I happen to really like Diet Coke, and can tell you that after a few months--regardless of bottles, cans or storage method--it will change. It becomes bitter and slightly metallic. I don't think it's dangerous, but it is unpleasant.
                    If you aren't going to use it within 3-4 months, then give it to someone else if you can.

                    There is a date on the bottle, this one you should abide by.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: iluvcookies

                      Agreed. I do like Diet Pepsi, Diet Coke, Diet Dr. Pepper, Coke Zero and Pepsi Max. When purchasing cans or bottles (refrigerated or not), I won't buy any of them if they are approaching their expiry dates (this goes for Diet 7Up and Diet Ginger Ale too). Anything within about 10 days I'll just leave for someone else to buy. The taste changes over time. Expired stuff is undrinkable to me, even mixed in an alcoholic beverage.

                      I think the various beverages can be stored at room temperature or refrigerated ... even moved from one to the other more a few times. For me, it's all about the expiry dates. Subjecting the cans or bottles to extreme heat or freezing temps isn't wise, though.

                      1. re: iluvcookies

                        Absolutely correct. I'd even say that if you aren't going to drink it with 2 months - I'd give it away.

                      2. Well, the newer posts have convinced me to give it away. No reason to store it if it will taste "off".
                        Thanks again!