Since 1927, Kool-Aid’s colorful crystals have been bringing joy to millions of people across the globe. Everyone has their favorite flavor, from grape to strawberry and cherry to berry. Debates are had as to the best ways to drink the fabulous fruit punch. There are even recipes using it as a main ingredient.
Love it or hate it, there’s no denying, Kool-Aid is iconic. Plus, it’s cheap. You can still make quarts of it for under a dollar. All you need to do is add water and sugar to the powdery goodness inside the packet. But how much sugar is the right amount?
The official company answer (as per the directions on the packet), is 1 cup of sugar per packet. Each packet makes 64 ounces (half gallon) of Kool-Aid. So, if you were making a full gallon of Kool-Aid, the directions would call for 2 cups of sugar.
It’s important to note that some Kool-Aid comes pre-sweetened and there is no need to add sugar. Usually the bigger containers or tubs are already sugared up, while the packets and satchets are not.
While most people are satisfied with 1 cup of sugar. Some people want more and will double the amount. Then there are those who find it too sweet and cut the amount in half. They may even just use Splenda. Like most things in life, the decision is yours.
Just remember the official directions say 1 cup of sugar per .16 ounce packet. Also, all that sugar is not great for you.
Is Kool-Aid Bad For You?
Let’s be honest. We can take one look at the package design and know it’s probably not great for us. Even if we set aside all that sugar, Kool-Aid has a lot of processed ingredients, artificial colors, and preservatives. With over 100 flavors, the additives may vary but can include:
- red dye 40
- yellow dye 5
- BHA (preservative)
- sucrolose (artificial sweetener)
- blue dye 1
- sodium citrate
- sodium benzoate (preservative)
None of these ingredients grow on trees or come from the earth. They are designed to make you think a product tastes like something it doesn’t. As well as to give it the ability to sit in warehouses and on shelves for years. Too much of any of these chemicals is not good for us.
However, Kool-Aid is not without some redeeming qualities. The biggest one being, it’s better for us than soda.
This party punch:
- has fewer calories than soda
- contains vitamin C (soda does not)
- you can control the sugar content if you choose
- is non-carbonated
- better for your teeth
You may think it’s loaded with sugar. How is it better for my teeth? Well, though sugar is not great for your teeth, it’s not the worst thing for them.
The worst thing is the carbonic acid that makes the soda fizzy! That’s right. Any type of acidic ingredient will cause tooth decay quicker than sugar.
Why Was Kool-Aid Invented?
Kool-Aid was developed by a Nebraska inventor Edwin Perkins in 1927 in his mother’s kitchen. Perkins saw that the original liquid form, called Fruit Smack, was quite expensive to ship to customers.
So, inspired by Jell-O, he devised a way to take out the liquid and Kool-Aid was born. He could then easily seal up the powder in envelopes and ship it for a fraction of the cost. The Kool-Aid inventor started with just 6 flavors.
The originals were:
These remain some of the most popular today. But, Kool-Aid has evolved into many more flavors and as a symbol of pop culture.
That Kool-Aid Life
Kool-Aid continued to gain popularity from its introduction in the 1929’s. It was a refreshing, sugary treat that was loved by millions. But in 1974, with the birth of the Kool-Aid man, the drink took on a life of its own.
This giant walking, talking pitcher of Kool-Aid became a beloved figure. The mascot became instantly recognizable after commercials aired with him busting through walls.
He has been the subject of video games, comic books, marched in parades, and makes regular appearances at the National Kool-Aid Day festivities all over the country.
In addition to that, there is a collectors’ market for vintage and discontinued Kool-Aid packets. With rare ones going for as much as $400. People also use the sugary crystals to dye their hair and make tye-dye shirts.Kool-Aid FAQ’s
1. Can I use something other than sugar to sweeten my Kool-Aid?
Yes. There are several alternatives to sugar you can use in your Kool-Aid. They include:
- coconut sugar
- brown rice syrup
- Maple syrup
Most of these are just as sweet if not sweeter than actual white sugar. The coconut sugar will give your drink a tropical twist!
2. The sugar in my Kool-Aid won’t dissolve. What can I do?
Sometimes it takes a lot of stirring to get the sugar to dissolve and you may still end up with sand like grains in your glass. A simple way to avoid this is to fill up the pitcher with warm water and add in the mix and sugar.
Give it a few stirs and all the sugar should dissolve. Then pour in the rest of the cold water. Stir a bit more. This will have no effect on the taste of the Kool-Aid and it will make life easier.
3. How will my Kool-Aid taste if I use less sugar?
Most people that have tried it say it’s quite sour and acidic.
4. How much sugar is in one glass of Kool-Aid?
One 12 ounce glass of Kool-Aid has 38 grams of sugar. It also has 150 calories and 39 grams of carbohydrates.