You are on a road trip and you have stopped at a gas station to refuel and gather provisions for the long drive ahead. You check to see if the fridge contains any Coke Zero. You spot your prize, but the label is slightly strange: this appears to be a Coca-Cola Limited Edition flavor. Well, how bad could it be? As it turns out, you will spend the next 200 miles pondering this question.
There’s a thrill in tasting a brand new flavor that has never existed before (and perhaps should never have existed in the first place.) Whether the taste is any good or not, the experience is improved by sharing one’s impressions with others. Like wine connoisseurs swishing a vintage over their palates, Coke Zero fans all over the world have sipped, analyzed, and shared their thoughts on these intriguing and sometimes alarming concoctions.
Taste Testing These ‘Interesting' Creations
Over the last few years, Coca-Cola has released a series of “creations” and collaborations that go well beyond the standard Coke + some-other-food-taste combinations. You might not have seen them in your grocery store or been lucky enough to stumble across them in a remote gas station. However, plenty of die-hard Coke fans and pop gourmands have lined up and ordered them, and they’ve taste-tested the sugar-free versions of these unlikely drinks (so you don’t have to.) Here are their opinions.
Y3000: AI Inspired Intrigue
Recently, Coke got curious about what the future might taste like, so it consulted with AI (artificial intelligence) to get the flavor forecast. The result was dubbed “Y300,” and the label assures you that it is “Future Flavored.” Fans of the drink report that it tastes of “tutti frutti,” “gummy candy,” and “yogurt.” Less enthusiastic tasters compared it to “stale booze” or (shudder) “Buttered-Popcorn-flavored jelly beans.”
League of Legends: The Ultimate Beverage?
Fans of the video game League of Legends were treated to a version of Coke Zero flavored with something every gamer craves. This “XP Flavored” drink especially rewarded those who prefer the taste of Juicy Fruit gum or artificial banana flavor to actual Coca-Cola. Detractors insisted that it tasted more like Old Spice deodorant.
Dreamworld: Limited Edition, Boundless Creativity
Coca-Cola claims that its Dreamworld creation will “evoke the boundless creativity of the human imagination.” Can you imagine the taste of Tropical Sprite, Mountain Dew Baja Blast, or yellow TicTacs? Good. Then your imagination has been evoked, and you don’t have to actually drink this.
Marshmello’s Limited Edition: Sonic Sipping
This beverage was created in collaboration with Marshmello, a DJ and music producer known for wearing a mysterious marshmallow-shaped helmet during his appearance. His identity was a secret for several years before it was eventually revealed by Forbes magazine.
However, Coke fans will not have to guess as to the intended flavor of this edition: the label on the bottle reads “watermelon” and “strawberry” flavors. Taste-testers vouched for the watermelon, weren’t so sure about the strawberry, and quite a few reported flashbacks to Pepsi Blue.
Move: Taste the Versatility
Created in collaboration with Spanish singing phenomenon Rosalia, Move promises “both bold and delicate flavors,” as an “homage to all the versions of ourselves that co-exist within us.” As one blogger put it: “Will any of the versions of myself that coexist within me regret spending $2.49 on a mystery flavor?” Some tasters agreed that the dominant flavor was coconut and perhaps vanilla. Other tasters on Reddit reported such bold and delicate flavors such as: peat moss, a sepia-toned photograph, moth balls, or tanning spray.
Starlight: Zero-Gravity Refreshment
Have you ever wanted to drink something that is “inspired by space”? No? Then perhaps you are not craving “a subtle cooling sensation, to feel as if you are amongst the stars.” Nevertheless, Starlight Zero Sugar boasts some of the most fervent fans among all Coke’s recent creations. There is little consensus on what it tastes like, exactly (could be cotton candy, S’mores, pomegranate or cream soda) but this recipe was largely a success. Relatively few people felt that it tasted like car air fresheners and nightmares.
Byte: High-Energy Hype
Behold, the “first ever Coca Cola flavor born in the metaverse.” Tasters were undecided as to whether this drink tasted like “pixels” as the label suggests, like pure hubris, or maybe a grape popsicle dropped in a glass of Red Bull. This blogger did find that the flavor evoked pixels, in as much as it tasted like “the staticky, faintly metallic experience of licking a CRT monitor.”
As the gas station fades into the rearview mirror and the miles pass, the taste of these limited-edition wonders lingers, and you feel as if your tongue has taken a journey of its own. You brave soul, you soda gourmand, have slurped space itself, licked the metaverse, and chugged XP. Where will your adventurous palate take you next?
More Innovations to Make You Wonder
Sometimes the future is in new flavors, and sometimes it's far beyond that.