Tag Archives: drink mix

Gatorade for Drum Corps – Partial Powder Packets

Elaborate: Only use whole packets. Dealing with open partially used powder packets is just asking for trouble.

Open powder packets are a huge hassle. Maybe you don’t mind hunting down a ziplock bag or a bag clip to hopefully keep the powder contained. This powder has had a taste of freedom and will stop at nothing to get as all over the place as possible at its soonest opportunity. Powder might get all over the container you keep your Gatorade supply leading to moisture finding its way onto all of the unopened packets creating a sugary goo which could attract hummingbirds who will inevitably peck their way into the other packets to get to the sweet sports nectar which will cause them to pass out or die due to a severe electrolyte imbalance and everyone will be depressed upon seeing the pile of hummingbird corpses that has formed next to the drink station. So if you insist on dealing with partial powder packets I suggest you invest in a small shovel. Don’t use a spatula from the kitchen, that’s terrible.

It’s easier just to use a whole packet and be done with it. No muss, no fuss, no dead hummingbirds.

There are basically two situations when you’ll need to make more Gatorade: the cooler is empty or there’s still some Gatorade left in the cooler. In either case, you should only make as much Gatorade as whole packets can make. Variables to keep in mind are how much Gatorade is left and how many coolers do you have.

I’ll start simple. One 10-gallon cooler, empty. Make seven gallons (or more depending on the flavor) and you’re done. “But then you’ll have to make the next batch sooner!” Even sooner than you think. Four gallons are consumed leaving three gallons in your cooler. Throw in another packet and make another seven gallons. Now you’re topped off at 10 gallons and can turn your attention elsewhere for a while. Best of all, you didn’t have to deal with a partial powder packet.

Add more coolers and the math is the same. Every pair of 10-gallon coolers you can use three whole packets. Odd cooler out you treat like the lone cooler in the above example. Use a whole packet to fill up whenever one of the coolers gets down to two or three gallons. Rinse and repeat. Literally rinse out the coolers whenever they’re empty, if not full on wash them.

At this point you might be wondering, “how am I supposed to get the flavors right if I use three packets to fill two coolers?” I’ll address that and more next time when I talk about color mixing.


Gatorade for Drum Corps – Watered Down Flavors

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!