Elaborate: Some flavors taste better watered down than others.
There are two main reasons to water down your Gatorade mix: save money and avoid dealing with partial packets. Watering down also naturally occurs when the ice in your mix melts.
Gatorade’s instructions suggest you place a gallon of ice in a sealed plastic bag in your 6 gallon mix of Gatorade. Not only does this take extra time, but a mere gallon of ice is rarely enough, especially when you want to maximize your 10-gallon cooler capacity. Just consider the ice as water in your mix calculation, chances are it will all melt by the time it’s consumed on a hot day anyway. The whole “how much ice?” thing is applicable to plain water as well, so I won’t get into that in this series of posts.
The following is based on 6 gallon packets of powder in 10-gallon coolers.
General rule: All flavors I’ve worked with still taste good at 7 gallons for one packet (14% diluted), and great at 10 gallons for one and a half packets (11% diluted). If you have an even number of Gatorade-dedicated coolers, this works great. But it’s the pesky odd cooler out where you want to consider how much to make depending on the flavor you use. Side note: Don’t make Gatorade in 5-gallon coolers unless you have to. More on that in a later post.
So that you don’t have to deal with open partially used packets, when you’re making a single cooler don’t make the full 10-gallons.
Orange – tastes good up to 8 gallons per packet (33% diluted!).
Grape, Fruit Punch, Lemon-Lime – tastes good up to 7.5 gallons per packet (25% diluted). I’ve only used Grape a few times, so test this for yourself.
Glacier Freeze – tastes decent up to 7.5 gallons per packet, but I recommend sticking to 7.
Riptide Rush – tastes good up to 7 gallons per packet. Do not confuse with Grape. Not all purple drinks are the same!
Of course your mileage may vary. There also may be other flavors available in 6 gallon packets, I just haven’t worked with them yet. Other brands of drink mix will obviously vary as well, the important thing here is the concept that not all flavors dilute the same, so experiment on your own to find that “sweet spot.”
From a purely economical standpoint your best bet is to only get Orange Gatorade, but everyone would get sick of that. So mix it up. Har har.
Tune in next time for the mixing sequence!