The flavor of Diet Coke is iconic, unforgettable, and incredibly consistent (at least in America). Every can of Diet Coke tastes the same, right? Maybe so, if you just crack it open…but according to TikTok, that iconic Diet Coke flavor can be enhanced with proper preparation techniques. We all know ice matters, but some claim marinating your Diet Coke is the key to ‘crispiness.’

How do you marinate a Diet Coke?

Marinating a Diet Coke is simple — just stick it in the fridge and forget about it for a few days, or even weeks. Basically, I’ve been marinating all my sodas without even realizing it. According to TikToker Kristen Hollingshaus (@hauskris), the minimum marinating time for “a perfect, stunning, beautiful, crispy Diet Coke” is two to three days.

But does marinating your Diet Coke really impact the flavor, or is it just the psychosomatic effect of seeing that iconic silver can every time you open your fridge for days on end? Ideal soda storing temperature is around 40 degrees fahrenheit, and Coca-Cola has said that the perfect temperature to serve Coke is around 38 degrees fahrenheit. Considering that the ideal fridge temperature falls around 37 degrees fahrenheit, there might be something to this whole marination idea, scientifically speaking. 

What makes a ‘crispy’ Diet Coke?

Many TikTokers described their marinated Diet Cokes as ‘crispy.’ But what does that even mean? Crispiness is something of an elusive quality, with no one agreed-upon definition. But generally speaking, it seems to refer to a sharper flavor and brighter carbonation. According to one commenter, longer ‘marination’ creates more "crisp carbonated bubbles." This may be a scientifically questionable claim, but not everything can be explained by science.

Here are other ways to enhance your Diet Coke.

Marination isn’t the only way to optimize Diet Coke. Kristen (the ultimate Diet Coke tastemaker, apparently) recommends adding Diet Coke flavored ice cubes, frozen limes, and lime juice, and sipping the concoction with a glass straw for the ultimate flavor experience. This may sound like a lot of work for a slightly better soda, but as Kristen says, “never settle girlies!!!”

For a less labor intensive Diet Coke recipe, TikTok user Vivian (@coffeebae97) suggests simply adding salt and lime. Yes, salt. Another user, Taylor (@tayalexras), radically suggests starting with a Diet Pepsi, and adding lime juice and coconut rum, because "Diet Pepsi is just crispier." I don’t know about the Diet Pepsi, but I can get behind the coconut rum.

Diet Coke recipes may sound silly on the surface, but (coconut rum aside) mocktails and sober bars are on the rise, and zhuzhed up Diet Coke is basically an affordable and customizable DIY mocktail. So, the next time I grab a can of Diet Coke from the fridge (two to three days after I put it in, obviously), I might also grab the lime juice.