Pepsi Just Rolled Out A Nitrogen-Infused Soda — Here's What That Means

You've likely heard of nitrogen-infused coffee. More commonly referred to as "nitro coffee," this unique take on cold brew coffee is known for having a thicker texture and a smoother mouthfeel, similar to a heavy beer. It even boasts the thick, creamy head that you would usually expect from a beer like Guinness. But what about nitrogen-infused soda?

That's exactly what Pepsi is offering with its new Nitro Pepsi. The brand says the nitrogen infusion makes for a "softer-than-soft" soft drink that's more creamy and smooth than your average can of cola and topped with an impressive foam head. Each can of Nitro Pepsi is outfitted with a nitrogen widget that releases upon opening. According to How Stuff Works, at least where beer is concerned, a nitrogen widget is essentially a plastic, nitrogen-filled sphere that releases a rush of carbon dioxide to create the bubbles and head that you might normally see when you drink a beer on tap versus canned.

How to drink Nitro Pepsi

But according to Pepsi, experiencing the full effect of Nitro Pepsi isn't just as simple as popping open a can and letting the nitrogen widget do its work. According to the press release introducing the product, Nitro Pepsi should be served cold and without ice, hard-poured or fully inverted into a tall glass, and then sipped directly from the glass rather than through a straw. Nitro Pepsi will be available in Draft Cola and Vanilla Draft Cola varieties, in single cans and four-packs, starting March 28.

So will Nitro Pepsi stick around or is it just a fad? The nitro fad, in general, has already been around for a while, with nitro coffee arriving on the scene in the mid-2010s, but some predict it's here to stay (via Thrillist). Jarrett McGovern, co-founder of nitro coffee brand RISE Brewing Co., told Thrillist in 2019 that he expected nitrogen infusions to take the place of other drink additives, such as dairy and sugar, and his team has tried nitro-ing everything from tea to rosé to gravy.

Pepsi did recognize the trend and announced plans for a nitro-based drink in 2019, but it just took a few years to fine-tune its nitro technology. Whether or not these last few years of work have been worth it will be up to consumers.