My fellow Americans, hello. And also any non-American reading this, hello to you, too. I do not think your countries are shitholes and I like you very much. Thank you for reading.
As we all know, the state of our union is profoundly fucked up. High ranking FBI officials are being hounded into early retirement and the House Committee on Intelligence seems to have morphed into a group of wannabe authors who are creating conspiracy thrillers and releasing them in memo form. Meanwhile, the president is not implementing the sanctions against Russia that Congress told him to implement and Congress’s reaction is to go “Oh. Well. Huh.” Meanwhile, a lot of Trump’s guest list at the State of the Union speech tonight have been harmed by MS13 gang members so I gather he’s going to tell us that immigrants are waiting to kill us as soon as we step out the door, therefore we should build a stupid wall.
But I’m not here to solve those problems. In fact, I CAN’T solve those problems so I’ve delved into other actitivies to distract myself from problems like that. This week I spent some quality time doing the important work of…taste testing the new flavors of Diet Coke.
Diet Coke has release four new fruit based flavors this month to try and capture the Millennial market. These will not replace normal Diet Coke or even Coke Zero Sugar. They are additions to the Diet Coke family, much as Millennials are additions to the soda consuming family of Boomers and GenXers who are shaking their heads because we remember New Coke and how stupid that was and why is Coke still messing with good things? But someone at Coke figured out that the non-caloric fizzy beverage of Millennial choice is LaCroix so they decided to go for fruit flavored Diet Coke in skinny cans and see how it turns out.
I was curious to see if Coke nailed this attempt to surprise our taste buds so I went out and bought each of the new flavors. Read on for my reviews:
Twisted Mango: I gulped this down too fast at first because I was actually thirsty. But I quickly remember that I was supposed to savor it and stood stock still and smacked my lips a few times to gather an impression, much as a wine afficinado would do. Or maybe not. I dunno. My wine comes from a box. Anyway, the flavor of this soda is very subtle – almost non-existent. It’s like bubbles with a hint of mango and an undertone of Diet Coke. It evokes the same sensation as when you drink a very light rosé and wonder if there’s actually any alcohol, only here you’re wondering if there’s any point at all. The flavors are that mild. At least it’s caffeinated.
Feisty Cherry: This beverage has a stronger flavor palate than the mango, bringing more of the fruitiness to the forefront. At first sip, it’s redolent of Diet Cherry Coke. The middle gives nice strong hints of Diet Cherry Coke, followed by a finish that evokes Diet Cherry Coke. What I’m saying here is that this is Diet Cherry Coke but in a skinny can.
Ginger Lime: I was expecting an exciting snap of ginger, like you might find in an old fashioned ginger ale, followed by the tang of lime. My palate was prepared for a journey from spice to sour, carried down my tongue on a cascade of bubbles. I got the bubbles. There is no other discernible flavor to this beverage. If it didn’t have a Diet Coke logo on it, I would not know what it is. It takes like the carbonated water that comes out of a soda dispenser when the syrup supply is hovering around .5%.
Zesty Blood Orange: After the flavor disappointments of the lime ginger and twisted mango, I was afraid the word zesty meant that this one would have the minimalist hint of blood orange similar to what you get when adding orange zest to a recipe. Imagine my surprise when my first sip revealed a full bodied flavor reminiscent of orange soda. Or perhaps orange flavored children’s cough medicine. It was a heavy, syrupy effect that left you no doubt that you were drinking soda. The middle brought a strong awareness of the artificial sweeteners, almost like a Tab (Remember Tab? How 70s is that?). The zesty part came in at the finish, with a mild burning sensation on the back of the tongue similar to how it feels to eat wasabi peas. This is a beverage best suited to pouring down the drain.
I do not know how sales of these new flavors will go in the general population but I can assure you that I’m in no hurry to ever taste any of them again. They do not seem to be making diet soda drinking any greater than it was before.
And with than, my fellow citizens of the world, I bid you good night, good luck, and may the deity of your choice bless the place you live.